Tuesday, November 01, 2005


More Vernor Vinge Singularity

I've just about finished listening to the podcast referenced earlier. Vinge's view of singularity is that change accelerates so fast that it become impossible to see/predict/get ready for what comes next. The acceleration hits a saturation point. The exponential curve turns into an S-curve. But the new plateau is so different than what was before, it is a whole new world.

He uses an example. We are now embedding networked computing devices in the inanimate world around us. Once there is a critical mass of the networked embedded devices, the inanimate world will "wake up." The intelligent toaster will "converse" with the intelligent fridge without the mediation of the human. The emergent collective intelligence will create a world unlike anything we can imagine.

Vinge suggests reading Accelerando (2005) by Charles Stross. to get a sense for this kind of world.

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