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Author Topic:   The Social Implications Of "The Singularity Moment"
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 136 of 169 (605220)
02-17-2011 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by Theodoric
02-17-2011 5:40 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
So now isn't different, then why is there going to be a "singularity" now? Instead of in the past or instead of the far, far future.

I never said there was going to be a singularity now. I've said nothing about when the singularity will occur.

I literally have no idea when it will occur. That's a calculation I'm not able to make. But it seems obvious that it will happen in the future, given the exponential rate of technological increase combined with the linear rate at which technologies are absorbed by society. Stragger believes that technology inherently cannot increase beyond the rate at which society can absorb them, so I suppose he believes in a kind of anti-singularity, a point at which technology stops growing exponentially and begins growing linearly.

I don't agree, because I don't believe that the rate at which technologies are adopted is a limiting factor on the rate at which they're created; that's why most human beings are subsistence-level farmers using cast-iron hand tools, and why malnutrition continues to be the leading cause of death. It's actually quite common for the development of technology to dramatically outstrip its adoption; I've given and defended examples of that being the case.

So people of 1800's were able to "absorb" the technological changes of the time more than people today can?

No, not at all. They simply had a lot less technological change to absorb. That's the point, here - the linear or even static ability of human society to absorb technological change compared with the exponential growth of technology. It's simply a matter of mathematical fact that exponential growth will always overtake linear growth, no matter how much larger the linear trend starts out at. Always.

Also still waiting for you to show us how people of 1800 could predict the technology of 1820.

How people make predictions does not even remotely begin to be on the topic of this thread. People made predictions in 1800 the same way that they make them in 2011, presumably - using their intellect and judgement.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 5:40 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 6:50 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 142 by Straggler, posted 02-18-2011 6:12 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 144 by onifre, posted 02-18-2011 5:23 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 8.8


Message 137 of 169 (605227)
02-17-2011 6:50 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by crashfrog
02-17-2011 6:24 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
That's the point, here - the linear or even static ability of human society to absorb technological change compared with the exponential growth of technology. It's simply a matter of mathematical fact that exponential growth will always overtake linear growth, no matter how much larger the linear trend starts out at. Always.

This is based on your assumptions. Mostly word salad. You have shown nothing that shows that humans ability to "absorb"(still not sure what you actually mean by this) technology is linear. How would that be determined? So your second line may be true but you ahve not shown that it has anything to do with the subject.

They simply had a lot less technological change to absorb

But they also started from a much lower technological level. So I am not sure your premise necessary holds. Maybe you can present an argument to support this.
Also still waiting for you to show us how people of 1800 could predict the technology of 1820.

How people make predictions does not even remotely begin to be on the topic of this thread. People made predictions in 1800 the same way that they make them in 2011, presumably - using their intellect and judgement.

So your going to take a mulligan on this. Right on.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 6:24 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 6:56 PM Theodoric has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 169 (605229)
02-17-2011 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by Theodoric
02-17-2011 6:50 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
Mostly word salad.

"Word salad"? Will exponential growth eventually overtake linear growth, or not? Do you need to see the proof? I can walk you through it.

But they also started from a much lower technological level. So I am not sure your premise necessary holds.

A lower technology level would be confirming to my premise, not contradictory to it. A lower "absolute" technology level would mean a lower rate of change, because the change is exponential.

The derivative of the exponential function e^x is e^x.

So your going to take a mulligan on this.

On how people made predictions in 1800? Yes, I'm going to not bother to chase an irrelevancy in that regard. How people make predictions isn't the subject of this topic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 6:50 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 7:02 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 8.8


Message 139 of 169 (605230)
02-17-2011 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by crashfrog
02-17-2011 6:56 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
"Word salad"? Will exponential growth eventually overtake linear growth, or not? Do you need to see the proof? I can walk you through it.

So now you are going to quote mine me? How about addressing the meat of my comment?

Theodoric writes:

This is based on your assumptions. Mostly word salad. You have shown nothing that shows that humans ability to "absorb"(still not sure what you actually mean by this) technology is linear. How would that be determined? So your second line may be true but you ahve not shown that it has anything to do with the subject.

A lower technology level would be confirming to my premise, not contradictory to it. A lower "absolute" technology level would mean a lower rate of change, because the change is exponential.

We are discussing your concept of "absorption". Keep up.

On how people made predictions in 1800? Yes, I'm going to not bother to chase an irrelevancy in that regard. How people make predictions isn't the subject of this topic.

You made the assertion. But refuse to back it. I am not surprised. So it was bullshit, just like I thought.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 6:56 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 7:06 PM Theodoric has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 140 of 169 (605231)
02-17-2011 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by Theodoric
02-17-2011 7:02 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
How about addressing the meat of my comment?

I did. Does exponential growth eventually outstrip linear growth, or not? Do you need to see the proof?

We are discussing your concept of "absorption".

Yes. And a lower level of technology in 1800 is supportive of my premise, not contradictory with it.

Keep up.

You made the assertion.

No, I never made any assertions about how predictions were made in 1800, only that they were made. You appear to believe that predictions were never made before now. What's your evidence for such an absurd and ahistorical position?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 7:02 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 8:53 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 8.8


Message 141 of 169 (605240)
02-17-2011 8:53 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by crashfrog
02-17-2011 7:06 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
I guess I am going to have to repost the original query in order for you to actually address it.

Theodoric writes:

You have shown nothing that shows that humans ability to "absorb"(still not sure what you actually mean by this) technology is linear. How would that be determined? So your second line may be true but you ahve not shown that it has anything to do with the subject.


You will notice that I have not said anything about exponential vs. linear growth. This is something you made up. Why would you do that? Are you going to address this or lie about what I said.

Yes. And a lower level of technology in 1800 is supportive of my premise, not contradictory with it.

Not sure how you think this supports your "absorption" theory. If they are at a low level technologically wouldn't the level of technological change have to be relatively low for them to be overwhelmed. Wouldn't they have trouble "absorbing" new technology too? Therefore what seems to us a minor technological change would be for them a much harder change to "absorb"

Speaking of "absorb". since you won't adequately define it or explain where you got the concept, how about answering a few questions. maybe that will help.
1) How do you determine if a technology is "absorbed"?
2) What are some newer technologies that are "absorbed"?
3) What are some newer technologies that are not "absorbed"?
4) Are POTS(plain old telephone service) technologies absorbed? If so, why? If not, why not?
5) Are internal combustion engines absorbed? If so, why? If not, why not?
These will help me get a better idea of what "absorbed" means.

No, I never made any assertions about how predictions were made in 1800, only that they were made.

And I never asked you to show how predictions were made. This is something else you made up. I asked you to show that they were made. I see you agree that that is what you said, so how about showing some of those predictions.

Edited by Theodoric, : No reason given.

Edited by Theodoric, : Spelling


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 7:06 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2011 10:45 PM Theodoric has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 142 of 169 (605270)
02-18-2011 6:12 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by crashfrog
02-17-2011 6:24 PM


Non-Linear Absorption
I was going to just leave you and Theo to it. But then I saw this and felt compelled to clarify.

Crash writes:

Straggler believes that technology inherently cannot increase beyond the rate at which society can absorb them, so I suppose he believes in a kind of anti-singularity, a point at which technology stops growing exponentially and begins growing linearly.

Not exactly. Instead I dispute the linearity of absorption.

Crash writes:

The singularity would be when that subset of society able to absorb the most recent technological changes shrinks and shrinks until it is zero. Given historical trends this seems obviously true. What possible reason is there to believe that it won't? Message 121

Crash writes:

But it seems obvious that it will happen in the future, given the exponential rate of technological increase combined with the linear rate at which technologies are absorbed by society.

In Granny Power and The Ever Shrinking Subset (Message 126) I made the case that for economic reasons high absorption (i.e. easy to use mass appeal) technologies, and indeed those technologies that facilitate absorption itself (e.g. communications technologies), are more likely to dominate and prevail. Thus making it unlikely that your shrinking-subset-to-zero prediction will come to pass. This argument suggests a non-linear rate of absorption rather than a leveling off of the rate of technological advance.

As for the exponential rate of technological advance continuing unabated Well there are all sorts of possible reasons this might not occur. These possibilities are speculative but no more so than the AGI induced Singularity Moment scenario proposed by Kurzweil. For an intriguing (if somewhat depressing) example of one of these speculative counter-possibilities see The XBox Challenge (Message 90).

But whatever the case The argument that there will be no limit to the rate of increase of technological advance purely because we have never previously experienced any such limit seems overly simplistic. Not necessarily wrong. Just not in and of itself an argument that takes into account all of the disparate factors involved.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 6:24 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2011 10:48 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10041
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 143 of 169 (605325)
02-18-2011 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Straggler
02-17-2011 12:56 PM


Is it one moment or a series of moments?
Straggler,replying to Crashfrog writes:

I am still bemused as to exactly what you mean by "absorbed" and how we know when a particular technology can be said to have been "absorbed" by human society.

One example that I can think of is the common observation that young kids are more adept and proficient at computers than most mature adults not directly involved in the field. The younger generation "gets it" much easier than the older generation.

I will admit that this is not a global thing. It is true only among those of us with access to computers and awareness of their usefullness.

Straggler,to Crashfrog writes:

I disputed the mathematical certainty of the 'Singularity Moment' that you had been asserting as mathematically inevitable. It isn't mathematically inevitable at all. It is mathematically predicted if you make certain assumptions.

Technological progress, to me, is a bit like the stock market. It has its ups and downs, is never linear, yet has historically averaged an increase in overall value. For the sake of this discussion, additionally, I would assume that the technological impact (if and when realized) will initially only directly affect the affluent. The poor will always be among us. Yet even as we speak, there are global movements aimed at advancing the tools needed to become involved, such as the One Laptop Per Child initiative. When the splitting of the atom led to the worlds first atomic bombs, the impact of the technology did not directly affect the entire global population, but indirectly changed the course of the world forever. If there were such an event (that could be measured) where the capability of computers, nanotechnology, and perhaps artificial intelligence were to take a quantum leap of efficiency due to the ability of the technology itself to replicate itself and advance...that would be defined as a singularity moment. I am uncertain if there actually is such a moment, however, or if the collective changes will happen over a period of time.

Straggler writes:

If a particular communications technology (such as the internet and it's future forms) facilitates the ability for human society as a whole to absorb technology at a greater rate then you might end up with a less tiered and more even distribution of absorption across humanity as a whole rather than the ever shrinking puddle model you predict.

I suppose that the trend of society at large will depend on the reasons for the research. Often, wars are a reason to advance a technology. Global altruism has never been as important.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2011 12:56 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 540 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 144 of 169 (605347)
02-18-2011 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by crashfrog
02-17-2011 6:24 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
I had a few travel days. I've read where this has gone and feel my argument has been represented well by Straggler and Theo.

So I won't add much, just one thing.

that's why most human beings are subsistence-level farmers using cast-iron hand tools, and why malnutrition continues to be the leading cause of death.

I will say this, if this is your main point: In every single country where malnutrition is found, and where age-old farming equipment is used, there is also the same kind of technological advancements that you find in the US. You will however, find a government unwilling to allow their population to grow technologically for political, financial and greedy reasons. But it's not to say that those who suffer don't know there are better ways of doing things, it's just that there is no way for them to attain these things without the threat of violence.

In any case, I'll keep watching this thread from the sidelines. And add, obnoxiously, some humor to it.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 6:24 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 145 of 169 (605385)
02-18-2011 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Theodoric
02-17-2011 8:53 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
I guess I am going to have to repost the original query in order for you to actually address it.

I've addressed it multiple times in multiple posts that I have repeatedly brought to your attention, but feel free to continue to lie about it. We can chase your various absurd falsehoods around and around again if that's what you wish to do.

And I never asked you to show how predictions were made.

I'm sorry? Were these your words, or not? They appear in your Message 135:

quote:
Also still waiting for you to show us how people of 1800 could predict the technology of 1820.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 8:53 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by Theodoric, posted 02-19-2011 9:01 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 146 of 169 (605386)
02-18-2011 10:48 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Straggler
02-18-2011 6:12 AM


Re: Non-Linear Absorption
I made the case that for economic reasons high absorption (i.e. easy to use mass appeal) technologies, and indeed those technologies that facilitate absorption itself (e.g. communications technologies), are more likely to dominate and prevail.

It's my hope that I made it clear that I recognize you made a very compelling case for this position. I'm not sure I'm convinced by it, but I don't have an equally-compelling counter to it, either. For whatever that's worth.

Thanks for clarifying your views.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Straggler, posted 02-18-2011 6:12 AM Straggler has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by onifre, posted 02-19-2011 1:34 AM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 148 by xongsmith, posted 02-19-2011 5:00 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 540 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 147 of 169 (605393)
02-19-2011 1:34 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by crashfrog
02-18-2011 10:48 PM


Re: Non-Linear Absorption
It's my hope that I made it clear that I recognize you made a very compelling case for this position. I'm not sure I'm convinced by it, but I don't have an equally-compelling counter to it, either. For whatever that's worth.

This also puts me at no disagreement with you, then. I agree about not being convinced, because neither am I, either way. But both you and Straggler put up a good argument for both opinons.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2011 10:48 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1819
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 148 of 169 (605439)
02-19-2011 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by crashfrog
02-18-2011 10:48 PM


Re: Non-Linear Absorption
It seems there some assumptions here:

1: the rate of technological innovation is exponential.

2. the rate of "cultural absorption" is linear.

Never mind asking for evidence on these sorts of things....

It's all about what "feels" right....

I would suggest that the rate of technological innovation is closer to FACTORIAL and the rate of cultural absorption is exponential because it is directly linked to the population of the earth, which grows exponentially.

FACTORIAL?? Technology advances as the interconnections of each scientific discipline crosses over into the others. This is a graph of lines connecting to the other nodes, which grows much faster than e^(at) does (Latex is giving me shit right now).

So - on the one hand crash maybe didn't get the math graphs right, but on the other hand, the technological explosion could indeed overtake the ability of us all to do anything about it.


- xongsmith, 5.7d
This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2011 10:48 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 8.8


Message 149 of 169 (605453)
02-19-2011 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by crashfrog
02-18-2011 10:45 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
I've addressed it multiple times in multiple posts that I have repeatedly brought to your attention, but feel free to continue to lie about it. We can chase your various absurd falsehoods around and around again if that's what you wish to do.

I wasn't sure if you were crazy or deliberately misrepresenting what I say. I think your quote mines here clearly show a deliberate attempt to misrepresent. You do know people can go back and read what I actually asked don't you?

No you have not addressed this particular question. Ever.

Here it goes again
You have shown nothing that shows that humans ability to "absorb"(still not sure what you actually mean by this) technology is linear. How would that be determined?

Am I to expect you to lie again and claim that I don't understand how exponential growth out paces linear growth? I have never disputed this. I would like to know how you determined humans ability to "absorb" technology is linear and how you determined this.

And I never asked you to show how predictions were made.

I'm sorry? Were these your words, or not? They appear in your Message 135:

quote:
Also still waiting for you to show us how people of 1800 could predict the technology of 1820.

Playing stupid? You are going to ride this "how" thing like you di the embassy issue.
You do realize that there is a difference between "how" and "how could" don't you?
You claim these predictions were made. As of yet there have been no posts by you showing this. We have gone on so long on this that I am quite sure you have no support for this. If you want to pick this hill to die on go ahead.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2011 10:45 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by crashfrog, posted 02-22-2011 11:19 PM Theodoric has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 150 of 169 (605983)
02-22-2011 11:19 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Theodoric
02-19-2011 9:01 PM


Re: Maybe getting someplace
You are going to ride this "how" thing like you di the embassy issue.

What, you mean where I continually demonstrated multiple instances of Dronester's own words showing him saying the very thing he insisted he wasn't saying? The words that he could never offer any alternative explanation of, only flat denials that whatever I said he was saying, that's what he wasn't saying?

Heavens, no, I certainly wouldn't want to do that!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Theodoric, posted 02-19-2011 9:01 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Theodoric, posted 02-23-2011 2:20 PM crashfrog has responded

  
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