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


Message 106 of 169 (605042)
02-16-2011 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by onifre
02-15-2011 1:05 PM


Re: Maybe read some of what Kurzweil writes?
In an effort to try and understand your position, and Theo's too, who are they selling the technological changes to - like facebook and iPhones - if not to our society?

Well, primarily affluent white males with technical backgrounds. Are we really saying that the small number of affluent white males with tech backgrounds are synonymous with "society"? That seems ill-considered to say the least.

I mean, sure, you're on Facebook. I'm on Facebook. Everybody you know is on Facebook. But, that's what I'm talking about in terms of "absorption": everybody you know is on Facebook. But nobody this guy knows:

is on Facebook, or even knows what it is. Or even knows what the Internet is. Or has even seen a computer. Or a toilet that can be located inside your house because it flushes into a network of sealed sewer pipes. And this guy is a lot more representative of the average human being than you or I are.

Has Facebook been "absorbed" by our society? I don't know - I'm not smart enough to offer a rigorous definition of what it means to be "absorbed" - but my intuition is that, given that 998 out of every 1000 human beings is not a Facebook user, the answer is "no." (Probably 700 out of those 998 people or more simply cannot be Facebook users because of a lack of access to the requisite technologies and infrastructure.) I don't see how an invention accessible to such an enormously small fraction of human beings could possibly be said to have been absorbed by human society.

Our culture has shifted the way it buys products, communicates with itself, and even meets future spouses, to mostly only through the use of technological advancements.

Your culture and my culture have done that. Has your grandmother's? Does she own an iPhone? Is she on Facebook? Does she do Twitter?

As the rate of technological change increases, a lot more people are going to have your grandmother's relationship to technology than your relationship to it or mine. Including us, someday. That's the singularity. I don't see how it can not be true.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by onifre, posted 02-15-2011 1:05 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by onifre, posted 02-16-2011 5:45 PM crashfrog has responded

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


Message 107 of 169 (605048)
02-16-2011 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by cavediver
02-16-2011 4:30 AM


cavediver writes:

the implications of another technological existence out there in space still using something so arcane as to be limited by the speed of light is ludicrous.

Not really. To start, FTL is a meaningless concept without extensive qualification. If you are "simply" talking about the ability to move between two space-time points that are not causally connected, then you are talking about space-time manipulation of almost god-like proportions, and the idea that anything with such ability would be concerned with something as trivial as "moving" is bizarre.

Ursula LeGuinn has many stories set in 1 ficton where communication is done instantaneously via the Ansible.

And again, this is complete nonsense for the simple reason is that there is no such thing as "instantaneously" in a universe like ours where there is no such thing as "simultaneity"...

Ok. You give a serious answer of something I was intending to be light-hearted. Basically it amounts to the speed of light being too damn slow.

So then would you agree that the universe is just too damned big to go anywhere or send a "Hello, world!" message? Going anywhere would take generations & generations to do and would be very unlikely to keep focused over time. Messaging and waiting for a reply would also take too long.

But probably the main reason SETI will fail is that all of the equivalent efforts on other worlds would have died in congressional committee and never reach the floor for a vote, just like our own SETI eventually will.


- xongsmith, 5.7d
This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by cavediver, posted 02-16-2011 4:30 AM cavediver has not yet responded

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


Message 108 of 169 (605057)
02-16-2011 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by crashfrog
02-16-2011 4:11 PM


Re: Maybe read some of what Kurzweil writes?
Well, primarily affluent white males with technical backgrounds.

I am none of those things and have all of those things.

Are we really saying that the small number of affluent white males with tech backgrounds are synonymous with "society"? That seems ill-considered to say the least.

Are you saying black people and hispanics aren't on facebook or own iPhones? Do you know how many family members in Cuba I have that are on facebook? Do you know how many own a blackberry but actually want me to send them the iPhone and/or HTC? Shit, I got a friend here that came from Cuba 3 years ago and left his wife and kids while he did the paper work and gathered the money to bring them. He told me he didn't want to get a facebook because his wife would find out about all the women he had here. And Redbull? Fuck! They love Redbull. Never seen it. Never tasted it. Never even seen it being sold. But they fucking love it. Western stuff spreads, man. Big time.

What helped Egypt and Iran last year with their demonstrations, wasn't it social networks like facebook and youtube?

And this guy is a lot more representative of the average human being than you or I are.

No doubt, I agree fully that you and I have it far better than 2/3 of this planet. But, I wouldn't go as far as to say that, even the guy you pictured there, doesn't know of or has seen someone use a cellphone. Or maybe a missionary with a laptop. Or on the one tv he has, seen advertisment for these products.

I don't know. I think the scale would tip 2/3 of the world being familiar with technology of this level, all be it not be able to afford it.

Has Facebook been "absorbed" by our society? I don't know - I'm not smart enough to offer a rigorous definition of what it means to be "absorbed" - but my intuition is that, given that 998 out of every 1000 human beings is not a Facebook user, the answer is "no." (Probably 700 out of those 998 people or more simply cannot be Facebook users because of a lack of access to the requisite technologies and infrastructure.) I don't see how an invention accessible to such an enormously small fraction of human beings could possibly be said to have been absorbed by human society.

Let me ask it this way then, How much of our population would you guess knows about facebook?

And just for shit and giggles, How much of the world's population would you think also knows about facebook? That number will shock you. Fuck the suspense, here: "About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States"

Plus there are a few other things you have to look at with something like facebook. Namely this:

quote:

    Entrepreneurs and developers from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform.
    People on Facebook install 20 million applications every day.
    Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites.
    Since social plugins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day.
    More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore's U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore's Global Top 100 websites.

I would say a high percentage of the population on this planet has heard of facebook, knows what it is and wishes they had it too.

Has your grandmother's? Does she own an iPhone? Is she on Facebook? Does she do Twitter?

Again, I think it's a greater number than you're giving it credit. Plus the fact that even if they don't use it, they know about it and what it does.

I never met any grand parents, but my mom and dad are in their 70's and both have a cellphone, a laptop and I Skype with them when I'm on the road.

I don't see how it can not be true.

I just don't think the numbers are in favor of that theory.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 4:11 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 6:13 PM onifre has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 109 of 169 (605059)
02-16-2011 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by onifre
02-16-2011 5:45 PM


Re: Maybe read some of what Kurzweil writes?
I am none of those things and have all of those things.

You must be operating under a different definition of "primarily." Or "males", for that matter!

Are you saying black people and hispanics aren't on facebook or own iPhones?

No, I'm not saying that. Was there some confusion about what I said? I said that iPhones are primarily marketed to affluent, white males with a technical background. I don't recall at any point saying that blacks or hispanics don't own iPhones. My sister has an iPhone; I don't.

So what?

Do you know how many family members in Cuba I have that are on facebook?

Probably a bunch! Did you miss the part where it's not about how everybody you know is on Facebook?

I mean, no shit, dude. You're one of the 2 in 1000 human beings who uses Facebook.

No doubt, I agree fully that you and I have it far better than 2/3 of this planet.

It's really more like 99/100ths. I mean you and I are talking to each other on the Internet, on our own personal computers, an act that puts us well into the 99th percentile of technological "haves."

So what?

How much of our population would you guess knows about facebook?

Not a lot. If it's as high as one-half of one percent of the non-users, I would be very, very surprised.

Fuck the suspense, here: "About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States"

Great, but so what?

I would say a high percentage of the population on this planet has heard of facebook, knows what it is and wishes they had it too.

Based on what? Your math fail? 250 million people is only 3 percent of human beings. I don't consider that "high."

Nothing in those numbers gives any indication that a "high percentage of human beings" has heard of Facebook. Look, it's popular among people who use the Internet. That's not a lot of people!

Plus the fact that even if they don't use it, they know about it and what it does.

Ok, but would your grandmother have known what Facebook is? Besides "a website"? Mine wouldn't have. My dad has a fan page on Facebook and still doesn't understand what it is.

I just don't think the numbers are in favor of that theory.

How can a technology accessible by such a small percentage of human beings be considered "absorbed by human society"? How can technologies we're still killing people over - like birth control - be considered absorbed by society? Can we consider the firearm "absorbed" by 20th century society when the highest-bodycount military weapon in that century was the hand machete?

Shouldn't "absorb" mean something akin to "widely used"? Obviously, many more technologies are absorbed by the subset of society with considerable wealth, affluence, access, and technical skill - people like you and I - than by the less affluent and less technical. But, I guess you, in your relentless anti-Crashfrog contrarianism, are going to insist that there's absolutely no difference in technological proficiency between 30-something males on the Internet and 80-something seniors in nursing homes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by onifre, posted 02-16-2011 5:45 PM onifre has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Theodoric, posted 02-16-2011 6:27 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 115 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2011 8:15 AM crashfrog has responded

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


Message 110 of 169 (605061)
02-16-2011 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by crashfrog
02-16-2011 6:13 PM


Please define this phrase
"absorbed by human society"

Please, please, please.

What the hell does this mean?

If you would at least sketch out what you mean by this maybe we can agree on something.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 6:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 7:46 PM Theodoric has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 111 of 169 (605067)
02-16-2011 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Theodoric
02-16-2011 6:27 PM


Re: Please define this phrase
What the hell does this mean?

Jesus, Theodoric, I've only explained it half a dozen times:

Message 31

Message 67

Message 83

Message 106

Message 109

We're actually having an interesting discussion. Maybe you'd like to read in and be a part of it, Theodoric? The terms being used here aren't in any way mysterious and they've been explained to you over and over again.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Theodoric, posted 02-16-2011 6:27 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2011 5:57 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 116 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 10:40 AM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 112 of 169 (605068)
02-16-2011 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Rrhain
02-15-2011 1:42 AM


The problem is that the brain is inherently biological in function. We might be able to replace it with cybernetic processes, but it won't function in the same way because we are (and I'm stealing from Myers because he's talking about this at the same time) a bunch of neurotransmitters floating around in saline.

Why wouldn't a simulation of my brain inside an environment that simulated, to angstrom accuracy, the behavior of neurotransmitters in saline, be my brain? Especially if my original brain was no longer around. Isn't it only a copy if there's two? If "Crashfrog" is just an appellation for what is basically a moving target - a system of organization, not specific molecules - then there's no reason "Crashfrog" can't be the appellation for that same system of organization represented in something besides a meatbag.

Moby Dick is Moby Dick whether I'm reading it as letters on the page or as simulated letters on a Kindle.

It may be a perfect facsimile of you with all of your knowledge and experience in there, but it isn't you.

Why not? I'm the same person even if all my molecules changed into other equivalent molecules, we agreed on that. Why wouldn't I be the same person if all my molecules changed into equivalent virtual molecules inside a chemistry simulation program? As long as the simulation accurately models the behavior of real-world molecules, there's no reason the chemical system being simulated couldn't be "Crashfrog."

Assuming "axe" means the entire thing, it stopped being "grandfather's axe" when the handle was replaced. And it lost any claim to be "what's left of my grandfather's axe" when the head got replaced.

So why didn't I stop being "Crashfrog" when all my molecules got replaced? I'm sure it's happened at least once since I started posting here.

Really, Rrhain, all you're doing is asserting that I'm not myself. But I'm pretty sure I am.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Rrhain, posted 02-15-2011 1:42 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by Rrhain, posted 03-08-2011 2:01 AM crashfrog has responded

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


Message 113 of 169 (605125)
02-17-2011 5:57 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by crashfrog
02-16-2011 7:46 PM


Re: Please define this phrase
Hi Crash. I'm not being an arsehole here but I too remain confounded by what you mean by "absorb technological change". You replied to me in Message 89 and simply changed this to "grapple with technological change". But that wasn't really any more enlightening. These statements regarding culture's ability to "absorb" or "grapple with" technological change seem rather central to your argument here. So could you tell us definitively what you mean by this?

Crash writes:

Thus, technology will eventually begin to change faster than humans can keep up the change. This is obvious and must, mathematically, come to pass.

I also strongly dispute your argument that this 'Singularity Moment' is somehow mathematically inevitable. Your argument that the pace of technological progress will continue to rise on the basis that it always has done is an inductive argument. Fair enough in and of itself. But then you assert that it is some sort of mathematically deduced certainty that this Singularity Moment will inevitably occur. This conclusion obviously isnt justified on the inductive basis on which you started.

If there is a limiting factor that we haven't yet reached then there would be no reason to expect past history to provide any experience of this limit would there?

Were you talking figuratively? If so this was far from clear.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 7:46 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 12:10 PM Straggler has not yet responded

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


Message 114 of 169 (605135)
02-17-2011 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by jar
02-14-2011 6:11 PM


Re: Watson The Great
A.P. writes:

Watson's victory leads to the question: What can we measly humans do that amazing machines can't do or will never do? The answer, like all of "Jeopardy!" comes in the form of a question: Who not what dreamed up Watson? While computers can calculate and construct, they cannot decide to create. So far, only humans can.

"The way to think about this is: Can Watson decide to create Watson?" said Pradeep Khosla, dean of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "We are far from there. Our ability to create is what allows us to discover and create new knowledge and technology."

We created Watson, after all. And whats wrong with infotainment? Humans like to play games and have fun. Its an emotional thing.

Also jar, as you once pointed out, we have a unique emotion known as empathy. Could Watson even be programmed with such a thing?

And if so...so what?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by jar, posted 02-14-2011 6:11 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 115 of 169 (605136)
02-17-2011 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by crashfrog
02-16-2011 6:13 PM


"Widely Used" Technologies
Facebook apparently has a "Global Audience" of 624,682,160

Link

Does that qualify as "widely used"? Is "widely used" the same as being "absorbed" or "grappled with" as you have been talking about previously?

Has nuclear power technology been "absorbed" by human society as a whole? Has mobile phone technology? The internet? Chemical pesticides? Teflon? Sewage treatment?

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 6:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 12:15 PM Straggler has responded

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


Message 116 of 169 (605160)
02-17-2011 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by crashfrog
02-16-2011 7:46 PM


Re: Please define this phrase
crashfrog writes:

What the hell does this mean?

Jesus, Theodoric, I've only explained it half a dozen times:

Message 31
Gee no explanation about what it means here

Message 67

It means something akin to "is your grandmother on Facebook?"

Not sure what this means in relationship to the singularity and the absorption of technology. Maybe you can expand on this so it means something.

Message 83

so the technology we invent has to be something we can use and absorb.

Doesn't really tell us what it means does it?

Message 106
I think Oni has done a good job explaining why this whole argument seems a bit silly. Still doesn't actually explain your absorption concept. Where did you get the idea from, maybe they can explain it better.

Message 109
Obviously Straggler is just as confused as I am on your attempts at explaining, or rather your attempts not to explain.

We're actually having an interesting discussion. Maybe you'd like to read in and be a part of it, Theodoric? The terms being used here aren't in any way mysterious and they've been explained to you over and over again.

Actually the term seems to be very mysterious. Does Straggler also not accept that technology always marches forward too? That is what you accused me of because I don't agree with you. Actually, I don't know if I agree with you. Your refusal to explain the terms or prevent evidence for you idea of "inevitability" make sit impossible to know if I agree with you or not.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 7:46 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 12:13 PM Theodoric has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 117 of 169 (605172)
02-17-2011 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Straggler
02-17-2011 5:57 AM


Re: Please define this phrase
So could you tell us definitively what you mean by this?

I feel like I have at least five times already - see my message to Theodoric - but again, the difference between absorbing technology and not absorbing it is the difference between your relationship with Facebook/Twitter/the Internet/etc and your grandmother's.

I continue to remain puzzled about what could possibly be unclear about that. Can any of you elaborate as to precisely how the concept remains mysterious to you? At this point I need much more to respond to than Theodoric's "dur, I still dun get it."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2011 5:57 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 118 of 169 (605173)
02-17-2011 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by Theodoric
02-17-2011 10:40 AM


Re: Please define this phrase
Maybe you can expand on this so it means something.

I have, several times - including in the posts you link to and claim to have read.

At this point I need more than your gape-mouthed assertions of non-comprehension to respond to. Your relationship to technology is different than your grandmothers - you've absorbed Facebook/iPhones/internet dating/etc but she has not.

What precisely is it that confuses you about that concept?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 10:40 AM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Theodoric, posted 02-17-2011 2:20 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 119 of 169 (605174)
02-17-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 115 by Straggler
02-17-2011 8:15 AM


Re: "Widely Used" Technologies
Does that qualify as "widely used"?

600 million out of 7 billion is roughly 8.5 percent.

Why would I consider that "widely used"? How can a technology utterly inaccessible to 92% of human beings be considered "widely used"?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2011 8:15 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Straggler, posted 02-17-2011 12:24 PM crashfrog has responded

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


Message 120 of 169 (605175)
02-17-2011 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by crashfrog
02-17-2011 12:15 PM


Re: "Widely Used" Technologies
OK. So we now know that you don't consider Facebook to be "widely used". Does that mean that it hasn't been "absorbed" or "grappled with" by human society as whole? If all you meant by "absorbed by society" was to be "widely used" by people as a percentage of world population then you could have saved a lot of time by simply saying that instead.

Has nuclear power technology been "absorbed" by human society as a whole? Has mobile phone technology? The internet? Chemical pesticides? Teflon? Sewage treatment?

How do we know when a particular technology can be said to have been "absorbed" by human society?

Would it broadly require over 50% of the worlds population to be using it? If that is the case I suspect we hit this "Singularity Moment" decades ago as the affluent few shot off out of sight of the vast majority of the world.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 12:15 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2011 12:30 PM Straggler has responded

  
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