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Guest Ray Kurzweil

Transcendent Man

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Guest Ray Kurzweil

The term "technological singularity" refers to the future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such an intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual "event horizon", beyond which the future becomes difficult to understand or predict.

 

Proponents anticipate such an event horizon to be preceded by an "intelligence explosion", wherein superintelligence allows for us to design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds. The term was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity.

 

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that in a few decades, exponential growth in technology will have produced computing power that will exceed that of the human brain!

 

With superhuman artificial intelligence appearing around the same time, optimally healthy life conditions could eventually be achieved. Kurzweil sees this happening through the development of nano-computers, as small as blood cells, placed in our bloodstreams, correcting and enhancing the biological functions that naturally slow with age or are deemed to be insufficient. These tiny robots would repair themselves and assist in the production and distribution of neurotransmitters. Mathematical projections suggest the singularity is likely to happen sometime within the 21st century.

 

 

Consider for a moment regulating access to such enhancements. Superhuman intelligence may be completely inconsistent with human survival if we were to say create a class of elitist and a sub-species slave race; or perhaps create the planet of the apes by trying it on the animal kingdom 1st!

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Guest Hal 9000

Nano machines in the bloodstream just like in the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage. Click the image to watch PBS's Nova - Making Stuff Smaller.

 

Fantastic_Voyage_1.png

:wacko:

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Guest Terence McKenna

The singularity that arises for no reason in absolutely empty space instantly is the least likely of all singularities. Doesn’t it seem more likely, if we have to have a singularity, that it occurs in a domain with a rich history, with many causal streams feeding into the situation that nurtures the complexity. In other words, to put it simply, if you have to have a singularity doesn’t it make more sense to put it at the end of a cosmogonic process than at the beginning.

 

The human experience is the main event. The coordination of perception, of hope, of dream, of vision that occurs inside the human heart-mind-body interface is the most complex phenomenon in the universe. Now, even the physicalists will agree that the human neocortex represents the most densely ramified matter known to exist in the biological world.

 

No one of us, I think, can imagine that history could go on for another thousand years. What would it look like? At the current rate of population growth, spread of epidemic disease, rate of invention, connectivity, depletion of resources, the atmosphere it is impossible to conceive of another thousand years of human history. History then is ending.

 

We all know that there is this intermediate resting stage where the caterpillar is, for all

practical purposes, enzymatically dissolved and then reconstituted as an entirely different kind of organism with different physical structures, different eyes, different legs, a different way of breathing with wings where no wings were before, with a different kind of feeding apparatus this is what’s happening to us.

 

History is a process of metamorphosis. It’s a pupation stage. It begins with unclothed monkeys and it ends with a human machine planet girdling interface capable of releasing the energy that light the stars, and it lasts about fifteen or twenty thousand years, and during that period the entire process hangs in the balance.

 

One of the great mysteries still to be addressed by philosophy is that why is it that numbers, which are after all constructs of the human mind, why is it that numbers are so incredibly powerful for the description of nature? Nature after all is somehow given, we find it all around us, and number arise in the depths of human ratiocination. So, what is the relationship of these things to each other? This may appear to be an easy question. It’s such a difficult question that it wasn’t even asked in philosophy, until the twentieth century.

 

Now the old idea, in science, was that these mathematical models of nature were if fact laws, truths, eternal platonic truths that were being teased out. In the twentieth century slight epistemological sophistication leads to this word models where we say we’re modeling reality, and our model is only as good as we need it to be. If we’re trying to model the flight of an artillery shell, the model needs to be only good enough to get the artillery shell to its

target. We don’t need to understand the essence of lead or the nature of motion there. We simply need the model to kick out the data that interests us, and in the twentieth century it’s been understood that all knowledge is dependent upon the question asked, and the relationship

of mathematics to nature is one of the profound indicators, I think, that truth can be known maybe not the truth.

 

The positivist philosopher Wittgenstein once asked in a classroom situation about a certain proposition, is it the truth? And, he said, well, it’s certainly true enough. That’s where we are with our modeling of the world and with our mathematics. It is the truest truth we know. It is true enough.

 

we have gone sick by following a path of rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottomlineism. We have gone very very sick, and the body politic, like any body when it feels itself to be sick it begins to produce antibodies or strategies for overcoming disease, and the twentieth century is an enormous effort

at self healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of

linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival by a reversion to archaic values.

 

The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living

mystery. Our birth, our death, our being in the moment, these are mysteries. They are doorways opening onto unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment, and hope for the human enterprise, and our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy product and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body, and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation.

 

We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet to be born may have a place to put there feet, and a sky to walk under, empowering, and building a future that honors the past, honors the planet, and honors the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful as capable of transforming itself and the planet as the human imagination.

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