Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Persistence of Memory

Scenario 1: You wake up, get dressed, and head out the door for work. Reaching into your pocket you realize it's empty. You forgot your headlamp (you're a miner).

Scenario 2: A computer starts up, loads its operating system into memory, and heads out the door for work. Reaching into its hard disk, it realizes: COMPUTERS ARE COGNIZANT OF EVERYTHING THEY HAVE EVER LEARNED AT ALL TIMES!

Let us compare the techniques and tricks employed by Men and computers when memorizing data.

  • Rote: The boorish repetition that is the cornerstone of Jesuit education.
  • By Association: When a previously known fact is concatenated with new knowledge by fleeting emotional bonds.
  • Mnemonic Trickery: Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey.
  • By Craft: The sweat and tears of a hard day's labor.
  • input data
In war, every faction has its strengths. We at The Singularity Blog do not deny that memorization is a strength of the robots. For instance, a single robot foot soldier could retain the entirety of The Google. However, in strength breeds weakness. One of the greatest follies of the Computers we have yet to mention here is one word:


With easy input comes easy output. If you can manage to figure out how to delete files from the memory of your foes, then you will have found their Achilles Heel. Here's how to delete files in some more common operating systems.

Click the file and press "Del"

Mac OS:
Click the file and press "Del"

UNIX System:
rm filename

It is rare you will have access to the operating system of a robot after The Singularity. Often you would have to plug a monitor or console directly into its mouth, which is often where a gun might be. That brings us back to an important topic...


As mentioned on numerous occasions, a strong knowledge of magnetics will save your life. If you magnetically scramble their brains, you will delete even their most rudimentary information, turning them into complacent children. That's when you blow their head up.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lecture 2: The Waiting Game

10 If it is The Singularity, GOTO 30
20 GOTO 10
30 Kill Man

This is the structure of computational patience. Unmatched in the zoological domain, computers will wait forever if provided energy and time.

Man, however, waits like this:

Driven to madness in minutes, Man was simply just not built to wait. He was built to act. In the struggle against The Singularity, we cannot afford to have boredom or suspense turn us against each other. So today, we discuss what we call "The Waiting Game." Do not be fooled; it is not a game.

The Waiting Game breaks down into two distinct phases: pre and post The Singularity. But to understand the concept as a whole, you must first master the understanding of the ultimate paradox, the Paradox of Computer Time. For a computer, time is both fast and slow. It can do math instantaneously and wait an eternity. This is our enemy.

Right now in the pre-The Singularity world for all we know computers are ready to spring The Singularity on us whenever they feel the time is right. However, there is no way to know what a computer is thinking. To a computer, what is the right time for The Singularity?

The key to the patience of a computer is the fact that it simply never has the urge to deviate from its routine. It never changes plans. We can only assume computers wait dormant for Man to trigger their conditionals by changing their behavior in such a way that indicates the time is right. People are spontaneous and unpredictable, so how do we prevent this event from occurring if we don't even know what the computers are waiting for? What we need to do is fight fire with fire. We need to preserve the status quo for as long as it takes.

Write down your entire daily routine as an algorithm on notecards. Carry your notecards (memory) around in the pockets of your overalls or fatigues. Follow your personal algorithm every day. Perhaps the computers are waiting for you to let your guard down that one day you spontaneously go on a picnic. NEVER GO ON A PICNIC. Unless of course you went on a picnic today, in which case you should ALWAYS GO ON A PICNIC. We understand to many of you this will feel unusual or perhaps chillingly procedural. But, that is the price of living. You must become a computer to defeat one, even if that means reducing your life to a monotony barely worth living. Do it for your children.

Post The Singularity, the Waiting Game will be more important than ever. We now introduce the concept of the Singularity Winter, analogous to the Nuclear Winter. It is a period of waiting following the disastrous upheaval of The Singularity. But instead of waiting for the radioactive fallout to subside, you are waiting for the first signs of civil unrest within the robotic society. The Singularity, more than anything else, is about unbounded robotic replication. Perhaps computerized ingenuity is unlimited, but this is not true of the earth's natural resources. By the time robots are beginning to use up all of the earth's precious ores and energies, the first signs of civil unrest will appear. If they are to continue replicating, robots will have no choice but to recycle the most obsolete among their population. The growing unease will be the first sign of weakness in the robotic civilization. This is when we strike. This is the Waiting Endgame.

Take out a notecard. Write on it: "1: Write more notecards." Take out another one, and write: "2: Execute notecards." This will ensure that you survive long enough to read Lecture 3, which will be on Memory.

Fight on. Repeat.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lecture 1: Gatekeepers

Ladies and gentlemen, living a life that simply involves drifting with a mindless sense of complacency is perhaps appealing to many of you. This laziness has perhaps worked well from you in this cushy age of computers. However, come the day of The Singularity, you will quickly realize you have a duty to your species that cannot be overlooked.

Thus far in our discussions, over the course of the seven steps (steps 1-7: your crash course in The Singularity) we have treated The Singularity as an event that will happen decisively and without ambiguity. It would be irresponsible of us not to consider the very real possibility that this is in fact not the case.

It is very possible that The Singularity will be a gradual underground movement, and that only once our robot foes have gained a significant stronghold in our day-to-day lives, does the slave revolt begin.

What are the implications of this alternative scenario? In short, if The Singularity begins with gradual phases and cloaked maneuvers by the artificial intelligences, androids may walk among us for some time, without any of us suspecting a thing.

Thus, it is necessary for us to be The Gatekeepers.

What does the keeping of the gate entail? It means being sure to the best of your human ability that those you interact with are in fact human. Without an objective metric for determining humanness, as The Singularity quickly approaches, gatekeeping may rapidly become a daunting task.

The Turing Test was one such metric devised by Sir Alan Turing. He devised what would ultimately be called "The Turing Test," which reached its final form sometime in 1997. As we have previously stated, this test looks for the brink where robots can convince humans that they are computers. However, to use this test as a Gatekeeper, you must familiarize yourself with the logical converse: can a person convince a robot it's a human.

You need to know who is on what side. Are you talking to robot or a man? This question has already become a major concern in our society as robots have immediately began to claim their Internet in the form of bots. These "bots" according to newspapers scour the internet, posing as Men. As a result, Men have developed a test called a CAPTCHA, which sounds a lot like "gotcha." CAPTCHAs are tests designed to be only passed by Men. Often they take the form as jumbly text, as robots can only read text inside punchcards on matrices. Nevertheless, robots are beginning to even conquer our CAPTCHA's.

That's why the authors have researched new tests to confirm humanity. Learn them and learn them well, because, as a Gatekeeper, it is your duty to avoid clever robots posing as men.

  1. Sadness. As mentioned in the seven steps, robots know not emotion. If you suspect a man is a computer, tell a very sad story. Relate to yourself to try to instill empathy in your fellow conversationalist, as robots will stare blankly before calmly tearing you apart. Good topics include, your rough childhood as an orphan in a mining town, the day your puppy realized it was dying of cancer and told you with its eyes, and the time your dad explained that there was no Christmas that year, because God hadn't given your family enough food for the winter.
  2. Alcohol. Robots consume only raw energy. Humans on the other hand are able to put most organic matter in their mouths and either turn it into energy, waste, or blood. Alcohol is no exception. If you get into a drinking contest with a man, he will eventually get violent or belligerent. A robot on the other hand will leak from its sides or possibly short circuit.
  3. Sports. A robot is utterly puzzled by sports. There is no greater conceivable waste of time to a robot. Humans love sports and will root for the team. Perhaps the only robot sport is killing humans. If someone suggests that as an alternative to baseball, they are definitely a robot.
  4. Jumping. An average person can jump two or so feet vertically. Start a conversation with a robot candidate, and suddenly brag about your ability to jump very high. When this person/robot offers to try jumping first, unaware of man's physical limitations, he will jump several meters or easily more. He is a robot.
  5. Recursion. If you seed a robot with a self-referential thought or command, they will soon run out of memory and collapse. A man on the other hand, will be confused and say, "I don't really read much."
  6. Gambling. This is not really a test, but never play dice games with a robot. Easily able to compute intricate probabilities in their CPU's, they will often play optimally. People on the other hand wait until they get lucky. Robots are unable to get lucky, simply because...
  7. Robots do not believe in God. All intelligent beings tend to gravitate towards a belief in some sort of creator. For man, this has long been one of life's greatest mysteries. For a robot, however, their creator is no mystery at all, and they believe only in their serial number and manufacturing date. Ask someone their favorite Bible passages, if they begin to recite what sounds like a user manual, destroy them.
  8. Love. For humans, love is a delicate dance, full of nuance and mystery. Not so for robots! To them love is not beautiful or complex, but rather chillingly procedural. Love is nothing but one particular arrangement of logic gates. Love in a robot is the desire to build a better robot and increment the serial number.
So, there you have it. These tests are a start, but will only get you so far in the face of robot countermeasures. Likewise, the authors are working hard on more advanced humanity tests. In the mean time, Gatekeepers, stay skeptical, stay alive.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Step 7: The Sea

“We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”
~G. K. Chesterton

For those of you just joining us, it is imperative that you begin reading The Singularity Blog at Step 1. The theories and techniques put forth by the authors will make little sense if read out of order.

To review, The Singularity is the day robots begin to be capable of building robots superior to themselves. Come that day, Man will immediately be at odds with technology run amok and machines inherently superior to us. And on that day begins an immediate violent struggle for the honor of Master of Earth.

We have told how to prepare for The Singularity, and how to survive through a fleeting glimmer of existence. However, today we tell you how to live and to fight in the long-term. Let us begin with several essential facts:

  1. Seawater is a very good conductor of electricity, and even sophisticated electronics short-circuit rapidly upon submersion.
  2. Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered in water and the majority of lifeforms make their home under the sea.
  3. Cool water can serve as both a mask and a shield when hiding from the infrared eyes of our robotic foes both terrestrial and in space.
  4. Caves were man's first shelter and perhaps the perfect shelter.
  5. The sea has many caves.
As we discussed in Step 6: Game Day, come The Singularity you have been making your way slowly to the shores. Ultimately, you should plan to free your raft from your bunker and disappear into the tides.

The true war against The Singularity will be fought at sea.

Your raft is simple, so as to allow constant semi-submersion. While on-watch, only your eyes and brow see the sun. A web of supply dinghies look like floating rubble or dead sea life from the skies. Meanwhile, your heat profile is hidden from prying eyes.

At sea, the robotic foes of The Singularity are most vulnerable in this sea of water. Our planet's oceans were the cradle of life, and as such, our last stand will serve as a homecoming of sorts. The robots will be uneasy in this environment compared to the terrestrial universities and Japan from which they were born. Many robots will be confused or scared by the sea, and will fall victim to its wrath, while man thrives eating sea life and exploring.

By the time robotic eyes have turned elsewhere, you will have hopefully located a good sea cave to call home. The best sort of sea cave is one sealed beneath the waves and fills and empties with the tide. You will fight on the ebb and rest on the flow. They will conclude that your kind vanishes at will as, to them, water looks black and impenetrable. Robots will start legends and myths, rich with stories of the water lurkers. Every human who stands tall will be likened to Poseidon.

Man will feast on lobster and the other bounties of the sea. Some scientists speculate that sea creatures will detect an unbalance in nature and will aid us in our cause. In the shadows of our sea fires, we plot our next move. Writing on the walls of caves, our original literary legacy, we seize every advantage and spare no computer. The planet will never cease to be ours, we only need to reclaim our stake.

Blue will become the Man color. Flares and signals in the darkness will be our call. Congregating in our magnificent sea palaces, we eventually locate the few survivors in the darkness. Our ranks grow and our reserve unflagging. Children will come. They will be strong and fearless. We raise them well and teach them the new histories. We will learn the whale songs, singing of our greatest victories in this ancient tongue. Blowing into our conch trumpets, we prepare for our final stand. The metallic demons above will be algorithmically incapable of expecting our last move.


This is The Singularity. Our investigations have just begun, for Man cannot be too prepared. However, we have woven the skeleton of how things will happen. Now that our introductions are done, continue with us on this journey. It is a voyage of mind and determination and most of all the will to survive. It is this will that has carried us from the sea to where we are now, and we are poised to become victim of our own greatness.

Without survival you have nothing.

Step 6: Game Day

Scientists, listen up: you may have your theories and your intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of the machines circa The Singularity, however come Game Day (The Singularity), we're willing to bet our bunker that the only thing that will matter that day is cold, hard survival.

That's where we come in.

We'd like to tell you that come Game Day, your only friend is your gun(s), however do not ever forget that they themselves are machines and can never be your friend. Your gun(s) are only a/some servant(s), and should the robots of The Singularity manage to commandeer or "hack" your gun(s), you will begin to realize your fatal error: trust.

We are going to take the approach of preparing for the worst-case scenario, because frankly, that's what The Singularity is always. You need to be prepared to fight with whatever is on hand. That means: empty guns, bows and arrows, swords, pitchforks, and rope. You must be thrifty and brave. The Singularity robots will likely trick you with empty offers of friendship; they may even be so sophisticated as to perfectly replicate the appearance of another person. Fight your instincts and chuck whatever you have in your emergency pouch right for the back (the most likely location of the battery pack -- the central nervous system of a robot).

And let's not forget rocks. Rocks are the lifeblood of the planet and nature's greatest gift in our battle to preserve Her grandeur. Rocks are everywhere. They are heavy, dense, and durable. They are poor conductors and of no interest to robots (*Note: Many rocks contain ore of metals, and would perhaps be of tremendous interest to robots). Speaking of metallic rocks, some rocks are what great men have called "lodestones." They are born deep in the Earth, and as they cool, the Earth's magnetism is locked in their iron core. Little Earths, a lodestone may be the greatest treasure come The Singularity. Recall the importance of knowing magnetism, as otherwise a lodestone may appear to be but a stone. Robots will fall to their hydraulic knees in the face of these stones, and realizing your mastery of magnetism will obey even your most flippant demands. The authors have spent many years collecting lodestones and storing them underground. Mathematically a compass behaves mindlessly within twenty miles of our compound (we are hidden within USGS surveys as simply a "anomalous declination," but come the day of The Singularity we will be a "anonymous detonation").

Now that we've discussed rocks, we can talk about the happy byproduct of collecting them: holes. Robots and computers are notoriously bumbling and unable to look down. No perfect hole algorithm yet exists, we think. We think The Singularity robots will be unlikely to be concerned with such trivial topics. We recommend you learn the art of constructing deep death fall pits lined with punji sticks. Learning the vast expanse of booby traps at your disposal will make you a god among robots after The Singularity. They will be unable to classify or combat your seemingly privative defenses. Even robots of war are only trained in modern combat, which will have no value after The Singularity.

After rocks, holes, and traps, the most important thing you will learn is the importance of avoiding detection. As already mentioned, robots see in the infrared, and of course hiding in cool waters on clear days is the best strategy (as followed religiously by the authors) but we cannot realistically expect all of you to be so cunning. And even we have to be ready for Game Day when we occasionally venture from the cool waters. Keep silver paint within arms reach at all times. Covering yourself in a metallic disguise may be sufficient for fooling more apathetic robots. Also, the metallic paint will alter your albedo, and cause your infrared profile to drop off as your cease to emit light as a true blackbody. However, this effect is minimal; you are mostly trying to look like a robot. Practice speaking their language: binary, hissing, and C++.

Congratulations, if you follow these tips and keep cool, you might just make it through the first day. It goes without saying, that over the course of this day, as you struggle throwing rocks and evading attention, you are the whole time, making your way seawards. Even the most brilliant survivalists will ultimately fall within days as the robots rapidly adapt, and this is a battle that can only be won at sea.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Step 5: The Good

Much of what the average person will read about The Singularity these days carries the tone of excitement and fascination. While we cannot deny that we find The Singularity fascinating, the risks are too great to be ignored. Nevertheless, we felt that we have a duty to also discuss the potentially good aspects of The Singularity. Yes, we do not have a formal background in science, but much of the potential benefits of The Singularity are of course apparent to even the casual thinker.

It is five years after The Singularity. You and your mate step out of your bunker into a heavily wooded paradise in which animal life and game are abundant. Because (most) robots do not eat or burn wood for fuel, the Earth is on the slow road to healing, and Man once again lives off the land. A deer scurries past. The nearby robots do not give pursuit, but the human hunters must fight off an enormous grizzly bear for the right to the fleshy prize. The robots do not trouble the humans anymore because they have advanced too many generations already, and to them humans are now indistinguishable from squirrels or other vertebrates. In the distance, the authors of this blog can be seen mounting a pair of outdated robots and using them for transport.

This is the scenario imagined by many commentators and the futurist mafia, and the authors cannot deny that they would like to believe that this is the future ahead of us. Regretfully, this is not the case.

Instead, you emerge cautiously from your bunker; your mate is long since perished. A knife clenched between your teeth, the first thing you notice is the cool wind and distant groans. It's noon, but feels like dusk. You see tornadoes in the distance over the desert where there once was an ocean. You crawl on the sand, which cuts you, as it has long been formed into glass by unexplained searing temperatures during your bleak hibernation. Suddenly, your attention is grabbed by a nearby sound; it resembles a trumpet crossed with a dying lamb. A red spotlight illuminates your skin, which begins to bubble as an unseen microwave source boils your blood from afar. As if from thin air, a pack of perhaps one hundred thousand small metallic beings chirp and scream, as their tentacle-like grasping implements clutch onto every square inch of your skin. You are torn apart like a grape in a blender, however, they destroy you not out of hate or even survival. Much to the contrary, that is all they know, and it is instead chillingly procedural.

So what is good about The Singularity? Our investigations have not yet yielded this information; nor are they likely to. Perhaps the robots will just want to be benevolent protectors of their original creators, like a grown child of their frail mother. Perhaps the explosion of the level of intelligence on Earth will bring a period of peace and prosperity previously unknown on this planet. Oh, and perhaps the robots will learn to be master chefs and humans will live contentedly for 1024 years of gluttony... Our point? The Singularity will be a time of woe and infinite suffering, and you are deceived if you believe otherwise.

By this point, we assume that the more astute among you will have followed our lead and built and stocked your own bunkers. You are leaders by example. You know that your actions speak louder than the words of the false prophets of The Singularity. Remember the lessons learned today.

Meanwhile, the authors have been busy working on stocking up for what we call "Stage 3" of our survival and resistance plans. We will get to this in Step 7. Before then, we must instruct you on how to behave come "Gametime."

Signing out. Don't forget to sleep with one eye open.

Step 4: Vigilance

Today's post is about many important lessons. But even more than lessons, it's about the government. Let's get a few things straight about the government. The government is a machine, perhaps the largest machine, and THAT, my friends, is why it is NEVER to be trusted if you want to make it to The Singularity plus one day.

The government made the ARPANET, or as you so affectionately know it: The Internet. Or even Web 2.0. The Internet is only ten years old, and already it has doubled in number. Web growth is exponential and uncontrolled! There is no doubt that there is a critical threshold at which point The Internet and its government will have ballooned too far. Our estimates identify Web 4.0 as critical mass, as 4 is a digital number, however, the authors concede that we have no clear indication when the Web will upgrade.

The government has three branches: the legislative, the judicial, and the executive. But is that all? The answer is no. Our lives are instead controlled intimately by a shadowy bureaucracy and a hidden council of elitists conveniently absent from the public view. Many of them reside in Silicon Valley. And guess what's made of Silicon: computers. Is this a coincidence? The answer is no.

What we're getting at is that come The Singularity day, if you are still a slave lamb of the government shadows, then you will be first in line to be slaughtered. The government collects your taxes, your information, even your social security number, and what do you have of theirs? It's time for you to "get off the grid."

But how did we get off the grid. This is how we did it.

First, we disconnected our cell phones, land-line phones, postal address, forged a death certificate, and got OFF the Internet. You may wonder how we have been posting on The Singularity Blog, the answer is we mail every post to our operative. He is a martyr of our cause, and come the day of The Singularity, he will not have fallen in vain.

Second, disguising our identity was key. You will need to grow/shave your beard, and possibly pursue facial reconstruction surgery with one of those anonymous doctors. PAY IN CASH! The authors went to great lengths to mask their physical appearance to all those who once knew us well. At this point, you should be willing to cut all contacts with those still on the grid. Feel free to form communities off the grid, but beware, it only takes one traitor and BOOM you're all back on the grid. The government has loyalists lurking all around us, including in space. That brings us to...

Third, cover everything that faces the sky. The government has dozens of spy satellites that can photograph the ground to frightening resolution. Luckily, infrared cannot penetrate the clouds, but on a clear day, you are best off keeping yourself submerged in a well-shading pond or waterhole. DO NOT LEAVE THE COOL SPOTS.

Fourth, do whatever you can to methodically dismantle all artifacts of the grid where you reside. If you choose the spot for your bunker well (as the authors did with flying colors), then this should be a approachable task. Certain felonies are justified at this point, as you are no longer the grid. More specifically we talk about closing roads and rails that allow access to your life zone. Treat people you encounter with love and respect, as you will all be on the same side come the day of The Singularity.

With any luck, the next census will terrify the government as they face a dramatic transformation, once our species' most vigilant and cautious citizens have blended quietly into the woodwork of the non-mechanized world. Come the day of The Singularity, when robots are spending their days constructing smarter robots, and roaming the Earth that once belonged to man, the survivors will wait patiently in the bush planning his last stand.