Wednesday, 16 December 2009

When The Universe catches up

rt is a very personal thing. It can evoke emotions from disinterest and apathy to exhilaration or fury. Surrealist art, in particular, provokes these traits. When I was investigating sources of art for my blog I discovered Surrealist art by richard dotson as he has a piece called soliloquy. One of his other pieces, titled "When The Universe catches up" puts me in mind of the primordial soup coagulating into proto-stars at the dawn of our universe. Hence it seems like a perfect image to run alongside this next blog. In my earlier research I started reading

There was an essay on the Law of Accelerating Returns, it is a pretty weighty read, so don't start it unless you have a glass of wine and a good 30-60 minutes. It postulates that technological advancement is just an extension of evolution. To that end, Moore's Law is one tiny fragment of the supporting evidence for this theory. The paper presents mathematical evidence that evolution and now technological advancement is exponential in nature. In fact technology is purely an extension of (or natural successor to) evolution. Previously we have only perceived the linear advance since the briefness of human life, when looked at on an exponential graph, only provided us this perspective but now as evolution is accelerating, during a single human existence we can now perceive this exponential effect. "When I were a lad", will become "When I were ... er... 1 year younger" to "Yesterday everything was so much simpler".

The argument to support this is that, as an advancement becomes "active" it interacts positively with contemporaneous developments and produces a symbiotic effect that accelerates further advancements. The natural conclusion of this acceleration is that on an exponential graph we shift from "horizontal", through "curvy" to "vertical". That is, we were horizontal, we are now curvy and soon we will become vertical. "are you still with me? wait until you read the paper!".

We're now at the exciting bit, technology and biotechnology will meld together and accelerate the evolution of mankind and within a short period of time we will evolve into another species - that's the vertical bit - we hit what they refer to as a "Singularity".

Its fascinating stuff, it doesn't appear to be a cult, it does appear on the face of it to be Science and Philosophy on the cutting edge. There are some incredible predictions, for example the first person to live for 1000 years is probably already alive. For me though, I've missed the boat, as it suggests they are probably under 30 today.  Before you completely write this off as Jim's nonsense, consider what an Anglo Saxon would have said if you had described the space shuttle to them.

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