The Singularity has happened; we call it "the industrial revolution" or "the long nineteenth century". It was over by theAclose of 1918.
Exponential yet basically unpredictable growth of technology, rendering long-term extrapolation impossible (even whenAattempted by geniuses)? Check.
Massive, profoundly dis-orienting transformation in the life of humanity, extending to our ecology,Amentality and social organization?ACheck.
Annihilation of the age-old constraints of space and time?ACheck.
Embrace of the fusion of humanity and machines?ACheck.
Creation of vast, inhuman distributed systems of information-processing,Acommunication andAcontrol, "the coldest of all cold monsters"? Check; we call themA"the self-regulating market system" andA"modern bureaucracies" (public orAprivate), and they treat men and women, even those whose minds and bodies instantiate them,Alike straw dogs.
An implacable drive on the part of those networks to expand, to entrain more and more of the world within their own sphere? Check. ("Drive" is the best I can do; words like "agenda" or "purpose" are too anthropomorphic, and fail to acknowledge the radical novely and strangeness of these assemblages, which areAnot even intelligent, as we experience intelligence, yet ceaselessly calculating.)
Why, then, since the Singularity is so plainly, even intrusively, visible in our past, does science fiction persist in placing a pale mirage of it in our future? Perhaps: the owl of Minerva flies at dusk; and we are in the late afternoon, fitfully dreaming of the half-glimpsed events of the day, waiting for the stars to come out.
Posted: November 28th, 2010
at 2:57pm by Koookiecrumbles
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