Thursday, February 28, 2008

Event Horizon

Stretching and bending some analogies here, but that helps me think.

A number of different authorities have predicted the technological singularity's arrival at anywhere from about 2018 to 2050 (lots of other's have placed it sooner, later or not at all but I'm sifting some sand here)

So I've got to wonder if we are approaching the singularity's "Event Horizon" yet. In astrophysics this is the point-of-no-return beyond which light or information can not escape a black-hole's gravity well. In societal and technological terms the Event Horizon will be marked by some similar phase transition after which the singularity will become unavoidable excepting perhaps a nearby gamma-ray burst or sudden cometary impact which utterly wipes out all life on earth.

The web is seeing a proliferation of do-it-yourself-ism and intention hacking such as the biohackers, reprap, Make, Lifehacker and of course our hopeful friends the transhumanists. Social networking is building slow meta-minds and even potentiating some initial loops that might network meta-minds into meta-meta-minds. These minds are even beginning to have the means to effectively take a hand in our world with groups like The Point. Meanwhile "ancient" infrastructure such as usenet are still bubbling along providing the rich and varied services they always have, almost like the older parts of the human brain that give us primitive emotions and fight-or-flight style instincts.

I recently read that in about another year or two over half the people on earth will have cell phones. This means every odd numbered person on earth will have a potential immediate open line to half the people in the world. Somewhere a hungry meme opens its baleful eye and yawns awake.


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