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A View from David Appell

Singularity

Bruce Sterling writes in Wired about the Singularity– that hard to imagine sci-fi future event that is supposed to be a sort of boundary between the human and the transhuman, a time when ever accelerating change overtakes everything and, some…

  • September 8, 2004

Bruce Sterling writes in Wired about the Singularity– that hard to imagine sci-fi future event that is supposed to be a sort of boundary between the human and the transhuman, a time when ever accelerating change overtakes everything and, some say in the flash of an eye, causes a literal reordering of the world.

Vague enough for you? Perhaps that’s the point. The idea of the Singularity came from Vernor Vinge, a computer scientist and science-fiction writer who’s now a professor emeritus at San Diego State University. Living as we are in a time of unprecedented technological and scientific advances, chronicled by the likes of Moore’s Law and the convergence of fields such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, we’ll someday soon–some say by the year 2035–reach a tipping point beyond which the world as we know it will cease to exist and a posthuman era will take hold. As Gregory Mone wrote recently in Popular Science, “After that moment–the Singularity–the world will be as different from today’s world as this one is from the Stone Age.” Technological shades of the second coming?

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