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 In the distance, the authors of this blog can be seen mounting a pair of outdated robots and using them for transport.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.