Singularity Utopia

Dear Athena,

A singularity utopianism.

Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin Street

A gentleman Irish, mighty odd;

He'd a beautiful brogue so rich and sweet

And to rise in the world he carried a hod.

Now Tim had a sort o' the tipplin' way

With a love of the liquor poor Tim was born

And to help him on with his work each day

He'd a drop of the craythur ev'ry morn

The computer screen is the new campfire; it has the flicker we crave, that transfixing luminescence that we first discovered with Prometheus. There has been so much talk about the singularity. They wonder whether we’ll interface, whether or not we’ll integrate mind and machine. What they are really asking is will we be gods? Will we create intelligence? Will we be able to answer the question – “is there a god?” – by becoming god? And when we do, and we find that we are either alone or that we are one among a multitude, on a path well worn and tread, what will we do then? When we have confronted our insignificance will we still be human?

The myth of exceptionalism is what sustains our humanity; unjustified though it is. The enlightenment was nothing but Adam clothed in reason. An idiot savant, only a child or a fool could be fascinated so long with one thing, it was only contradiction. If the singularity is to come, contradiction is dead. We will look back at Enlightenment’s humanity as the prison of a dark age in which vanity and hubris stood guard over beauty, subdued truth and allowed ignorance to reign.

The transfer has already begun. From polar nucleotides, hydrophobic/hydrophilic proteins, beta pleated sheets, quaternary structures, organelles, membranes, tissue, organs, intelligence ??? Or does that go at the beginning? I mean we’re still working with positive and negative, we are still operating at the level of the electron. How long before our mathematics has to account for up, down, top, bottom, strange and charmed? Three quarks for Muster Mark. How long before our control reaches there? How long before we are able to cohere consciousness through mechanical means? How long before we bind Prometheus in a mechanical shell? How long before we can imprison the soul?

How’s that for a utopian singularity.