July 30, 2005

MY EARLIER POST ON RAY KURZWEIL is engendering some skepticism from Tom Smith:

As a religious person, I believe some weird shit, but I just don’t believe that in 50 to 100 years, humans are going to fuse with machines and be a trillion times more intelligent. I. don’t. think. so. If that were in the cards, I think we would have already developed a cure for back pain, lo-cal ice cream that tastes good, an automatic way to both write and grade exams, a cure for baldness, and television worth watching. And yet, no, we have not.

I was reading one of these “the singularity is coming” guys the other day, and he said in the future, we will have wireless modems planted in our heads so we can be plugged into the internet at all times. . . . Do I really want the thought planted in my brain every five minutes that my penis needs to be bigger or I need to tell some Nigerian my bank account and social security number?

I think if we could ask the great coming post-human intelligence whether the singularity is coming, It would say, uh, no, I don’t think so. But do I have a low interest re-fi for you.

You’ll know the Singularity is here, Tom, when your penis really does start getting larger . . . .