Posted by: graemebird | August 24, 2006

Singularity:Potential Investor/Public Policy Paradigm

This is not the thread where I try to explain why there can never be a singularity. But I’ve been thinking what a potentially neat didactic concept this “Singularity” business is. Because it shows up all these potentialities and it ought to be motivation that we need to get public policy right. Because there is just so much to gain from getting public policy right. And because if people are both familiar with and yet skeptical of the Singularity idea they will be of a mindset where they will be more receptive to Birds ideas on advanced public policy.

The ideas folks commonly talk about when they fantasise about the singularity are ideas that may lead to the POTENTIAL for very high rates of economic growth. Higher perhaps then we’ve ever seen before amongst countries that aren’t playing catch-up.

You see. Though there will be no singularity, those inevitable impediments that will stop it from happening are just those very realities and considerations that investors and public policy boffins ought to be focusing on in that 24 hour way that some of the fat chicks in the office focus on chocolate.

Incidentally the physicists’ concept of the singularity is almost definitely bollocks as well.



  1. “Incidentally the physicists’ concept of the singularity is almost definitely bollocks as well. ”

    What makes you so sure? They predicted dark matter and they’ve already found dark matter.

  2. It just sounds like an idea where someone has mixed up their mathematical formulas for the reality they are trying to describe.

    Its like the crazy shit you get when you start putting ZERO in the denominator. I don’t think we’ve seen a skerrits bit of evidence for such a thing.

    It strikes me as the sort of bogus idea you get when you build on dubious unproved assumptions. The first time you do that you get some potentially useful insights. Then you build on that again and it tips you off to this or that idea. But then once you try and build on that at a third level you are likely to come up with total Shiite.

  3. Gb
    It seems clear that tech change is speeding up. The interent is still at it’s infancy so we can only speculate the speed of change in the future. There’s no predicting the effect of the web, but we can say one thing, the speed of change will be massive in the future.

    Look around you, the cost of goods has fallen quite stunningly while our earnings have increased. people’s homes these days are simply full of the latest gadgets. Even as China becomes wealthier we will continue to have cheaper and cheaper goods. Recall what our parents homes were like growing up.
    These days a TV or some other device breaks down you simply just replace it as it is economically cheaper todo so.

    There will come a time, if don;t fuck things up, when the price of goods will simply be dirt cheap….next to nothing.

    Medical discoveries could happen in hours at time.

    Imagine enormously faster computing compounding information at warp speed. That’s the singulairy will bve like. But look people will be right in that vortex or not blink an eye it’s happening. The only way we know er’re moving faster is to look at our childlhood and compare. of course this advancement won’t be uniform in all areas of the economy. Haircutting won’t change much for instance.

    I only wish I was young enough to see more of this.

    look at this stuff.

    We recently moved and ended up with a entertaimnet sytem I have no idea how it worked. i still think we are in the says of the stereo system. Anyways there this amp looking thing that is supposed to be a music recorder. You place a cd in this thing and it will store it for you with a capacity of 400 albums. It also goes to the net and picks up the name of the albums and the songs for you. I can also download music and send it to this recorder or whatever it is. This shit is amazing. I won’t end up using it but my kids will. I never knoew this shit existed. it is all progrmamed into what they call a Creston system. I really have not much use for it as I still like the old ways. But it is truly amazing stuff. The tech i had in told me I can turn on my lights from the web if I wanted.

  4. Right.

    I might right a summary of my thesis before fleshing it out.

  5. JC, just saw a program where the super computers are doing several trillions of computations every second and their capacity doubles every year and they are now encrypting data into laser beams….

  6. are you working on your piece on singularity?

  7. I haven’t really started. But I’ll get it done sometime over the next few days.

    Early if I don’t get involved in too much stoushing. But a bit later if I do.

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