In the 1980s, "transhumanism" had an air of truthiness because digital became all the rage. Left out of that inconvenient math was that in order to digitize a human brain you'd need CDs as tall as a skyscraper.
This never stopped Ray Kurzweil from saying the singularity was just around the corner. The corner being 25 years from whenever he was speaking.
What was never real was...well, all of it. It is 2023 and we still can't predict the weather 7 days out, goofy meteorologists even throw up PM2.5 air quality maps to manufacture things for people to worry about, and yet 30 years ago Vernor Vinge jumped into the singularity prophecy and wrote, "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended."
And he can do math so he should have known better. We're still here, there is still plenty of oil, plenty of water, plenty of food, all the things various doomsday prophets said would happen did not...but neither did all the things technoptimists wanted. In 2011, Kurzweil said it was 35 years away; a nice cushion, since he was in his 60s. Smart people assumed he just wanted to be dead when he was shown wrong again. But now he has pushed it ahead to 2030.
Based on what? Moore's Law was never a law, people who knew physics knew computer chips were about to hit a plateau, and quantum computing was as remote as the singularity.
Anyway, if he wanted it to be in the future so he'd be dead when it wasn't remains unclear, but he seems to now be wanting to will it into existence. Maybe he abandoned his all lettuce diet and got a wellness coach because he seems to think if he believes hard enough, it will happen.
Richard Feynman coined the term "nanobots" about curing disease in his 1959 talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom: An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics" but people seem to think Kurzweil seems to think it is new tech being worked on. Maybe in an "Avengers" movie but it's as far off as quantum computing and the ascension in the real world. It is classic "futurism" mumbo-jumbo but nothing real.
In reality, self-repairing cells have made no more progress than solar panels, which means a lot less progress than the crappy batteries that go into electric cars. Where is the "super exponential" process he claims follows the money, when poor people have seen $4 trillion of their taxes go toward mandates and subsidies? There is no greater surge in anything that would propel a technological singularity.
The Older Ray Kurzweil Gets, The Crazier He Sounds
By Hank Campbell | March 13th 2023 05:16 PM | Print | E-mail