# Re: everything-list and the Singularity

```Thanks, Russell, it was very educative. I learned about singularity probably
before you were born, and that was not a 'mathematical' one. By 1956 I
probably even forgot about it. The term - in its classical form - was almost
interchangeable with nirvana. Probably the first model of a black hole could
mimick it: nothing in, nothing out, no information either. Even measurements
were missing since the 'ouside' size could project on the inside, so it was
a (mathematical) point.
I usually look up Google (incl. Wiki) when I suppose there is a 'newer'
version to be known,
I did not in this case, because I was happy with the old vesion.
John M```
```

On 5/1/10, russell standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:
>
> Mathematically, a singularity is where something is divided by
> zero. A matrix with zero determinant is singular - if you attempt to
> solve the simultaneous linear equations described by the matrix, you
> will end up dividing by zero - a singularity.
>
> In General Relativity, a singularity is where the space-time curvature
> goes to infinity - eg in the heart of a black hole or at the Big
> Bang. In science, this is what the term singularity usually means.
>
> When Vernor Vinge in 1982 was describing the way AIs will eventually be
> able
> to design themselves, and so accelerate technological evolution beyond
> the exponential Moore's law, he compared it to the gravitational
> singularity of General Relativity, and so named it the Singularity,
> now called Technnological Singularity to avoid confusion with the GR
> term.
>
> This is my potted history - Wikipedia has an even more nuanced version
> if you're interested. Interestingly (I did not know this), Stan Ulam
> described the concept with the term "singularity" in 1958!
>
> Cheers
>
> On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 04:03:55PM -0400, John Mikes wrote:
> > Hi, Quentin, .
> > Long time no exchange... and thanx.
> > That is a good suggestion, I just cannot figure out how can a Singularity
> be
> > Technological?
> > I may have too 'big' assumptions about the 'S'-concept, including it's *
> > closedness* so even no information can slip out (= we don't even know
> > its contents) while *technological* is a topical
> restriction/identification
> > - I find it contradictory. OR: requires ANOTHER description of
> > 'singularity'...? (what scares me, making 'science' even more ambiguous
> than
> >
> > John M
> >
> >
> > On 4/30/10, Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Maybe... Technological Singularity ?
> > >
> > > 2010/4/30 John Mikes <jami...@gmail.com>
> > >
> > >>  Dear List,
> > >> for some weeks many write about TS (no explanation, seemingly all you
> > >> physicists on the list know exactly what they are talking about. I
> don't.)
> > >> So after 'enough is enough' I looked up Wiki. I found some 50
> different
> > >> items 'TS' may stand for, in physical sciences only some 20.
> > >> It did not make sense when I substituted in the posts "T.S.Elliott,
> > >> besides in the texts there are no periods in between. Nor Tectonic
> Slip. Or
> > >> Teutonic Surrogates. Tyrannical Softness? I bet it does not stand on
> the
> > >> Trafalgar Square. (maybe in texting lingo: *t^2* as in Time Square?).
> > >> Somebody have mercy on me!
> > >> John M
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>   On 4/30/10, Sami Perttu <sami.per...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> Hi, I've been thinking about the political implications of TS. The
> > >>> conclusions I've so far reached are quite pessimistic, but perhaps
> > >>> they're realistic. I'm trying to come up with a detailed scenario,
> and
> > >>> here are some starting points. All help is appreciated!
> > >>>
> > >>> I believe control is one of the paramount issues considering the
> > >>> politics of TS, and the unfolding of TS. There are many factors that
> > >>> point to the need for increased control, surveillance and
> > >>> authoritarian forms of rule, and I still believe these will spill
> over
> > >>> to the digital domain. But I may be missing some important component.
> > >>>
> > >>> -Interpersonal economic polarization is increasing. A threat from
> > >>> below implies less democracy.
> > >>> -TS is the biggest strategic issue of the 21st century. It can be
> seen
> > >>> as the final race to global supremacy: if there are sufficient
> > >>> computational resources available, then whoever will first achieve
> > >>> brain digitization and emulation technologies will win the race, for
> > >>> example by gaining a massive economic advantage, or by starting a
> > >>> massive weapons research program.
> > >>> -The huge potential for technological advance will fuel instability;
> > >>> the major powers could attempt to resolve this by coming to an
> > >>> agreement to create a global political organ to oversee all of
> digital
> > >>> humanity. Rogue nations will be brought in line by economic or
> > >>> military means. On the other hand, conflicts will likely remain
> > >>> regional in scope, as
> > >>> globalized capital won't tolerate a global conflagration.
> > >>> -Digital communities can't simply be let loose. Previously most power
> > >>> rested in the hands of an elite of analog humans, and they won't be
> > >>> willing to relinquish their position so easily. The Luddite movement
> > >>> will be exploited politically to this end. This will lead to strong
> > >>> digital surveillance, a digital police force, and possibly STASI
> style
> > >>> methods of enforcing control in the digital world.
> > >>> -Such controls clearly impede productivity, which is another
> incentive
> > >>> to establish global control over TS technologies. Otherwise some
> large
> > >>> nation or power could hedge its bets, dispense with control and make
> > >>> an alliance with a liberal digital community, achieving
> > >>> a competitive advantage.
> > >>> -Corporations will likely continue to increase their power. Strong
> > >>> digital property rights will be established. Digital exploitation and
> > >>> slavery will follow.
> > >>> -Even more control is needed when most of analog humanity becomes
> > >>> economically unviable: they will no longer be able to compete in
> wages
> > >>> with digital humans. I have no idea how this question will be
> > >>> resolved.
> > >>>
> > >>> --
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> > >
> > >
> > > --
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> > >
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> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
> Mathematics
> UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
> Australia                                http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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