The Singularity

Technology, population, speed of travel, food and materials production,
communications capabilities, computing power, the decrease in computer
size, amount of information known to humanity, and a gamut of other things,
are all increasing at an accelerating rate. That is, they are increasing,
and the rate at which they are increasing is increasing.

Some mathematicians plotted the asymptotic graphs of all of humanity’s
technological developments and projected them out to the point where they
all, relatively simultaneously, hit infinity. The day that they arrived at
is December 21st, 2012. One projected date of “The Singularity.” That’s the
day that some say is when everything as we know it will…change. Drastically.

Now I realize that this is a mathematical model, and that things never seem
to happen on time, but as a good thumbnail reference point, it makes a
convenient time to aim for. There are other models, other calculations, and
other dates. The idea is more important than the specific date, IMO.

[An interesting aside: I’ve heard that the ancient Mayan calendar was
calculated forward but ends on…you guessed it: Dec. 21st, 2012 (see below). I’ve also
heard that the scientists aren’t quite sure _why_ that is… 🙂 ]

Essentially, if we take a look at some of the really species-changing
events in our history, we see 3 really MAJOR developments that changed the
entire course of human history. 1) The Agricultural Revolution. 2) The
Industrial Revolution. 3) The Information Revolution.

30,000 years ago, we learned how to farm. 350 years ago, we learned how to
mass-produce machines. 30-40 years ago, we learned how to build computers.
As you can see, the _rate_ of change is increasing, as is the ability
afforded by the change. With computers, we have the ability to build more
efficient things, fly planes and spaceships, educate more people, etc. Each
of these enabling technologies will build further development, and at a
faster rate.

According to the mathematical model, we should see approximately *61* more
of these species-changing developments before 12/21/2012! All of the same
magnitude as the three noted above! Again, it’s only a model, but they
predict 18 of those changes on the last day, and 13 of _those_ to happen in
the last FRACTION OF A SECOND, as things accelerate towards that infinity
point.

Other quotes:

The Mayan prophecies speak to us of the changes towards the fifth Ajaw
(fifth sun), on the famous date of December 21, 2012. This date begins the
[next] period of 5,200 years. This cycle is of wisdom, harmony, peace,
love, of consciousness and the return of the natural order. It is not the
end of the world as many from outside of the Mayan tradition have
misinterpreted it to be.

****

“The fifth cycle (Ajaw/sun) will be a fusion of both feminine and masculine
energies.”
“This fifth Ajaw/sun comes with the power of transmutation which in reality
marks the beginning of changes in the way we see and live life, focusing
more on harmony, the key word for existence in this reality.”

****

At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun
rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the
ecliptic.

*****************

*****************

There are two definitions of The Singularity: the one I used above that technological change will be “off the charts” and the other is the use by futurists and transhumanists that human will become modified, cyborg like, to amplify their intelligence. Vinge and Kurzweil are in the forefront of this school of thought.

References on the subject:
Wikipedia
The Singularity is Near (Kurzweil)
Vinge’s 1993 seminal paper on the subject
and an Extropian view (Many of the links on this page are dead.).

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