It’s a mixed bag of gifts
So, today in the NYT (Sunday, June 13 edition) I read this article on Singularity. And this isn’t the mathematic term I learned in astronomy (according to my dictionary: a point at which a function takes an infinite value; especially in space-time when matter is infinitely dense, as the center of a black hole). Rather, it’s:
a time, possibly just a couple decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can’t predict or comprehend in our current, limited state.At that point, the Singularity holds, human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past.
The article can be read here. It’s both fascinating and frightening. I’m still trying to work out the moral implications of it in my head. I’m specifically concerned with the concept of humanity and morality in an immortal/extremely long life. From where does morality stem if not our fear of death? So if there is no fear, then will we become amoral, or just assholes?
Of course, once my brain started thinking about these implications, it immediately began thinking (surprise, surprise) what an interesting idea for a novel! And HOLY GUACAMOLE it’s like my fingers have been waiting for it. I haven’t actually written any of the book yet (I’m trying to hold off so I can finish my current MS without further distractions), but I’m trying to get down the world building and a broad synopsis so that it’ll be easy to dive back into.
I also really want to read The Time Machine by HG Wells now. And some of the singularity literature that’s out there.
Seriously, reading the article felt like watching Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and The Sixth Day (with Gubernator Ahnold) and Ghost in the Shell all at once… except it’s the NYT. And it’s telling me that this isn’t fiction. WTF, world? WTF?