The Right Coast

July 29, 2005
But where's my Martian colony
By Tom Smith

Some excitement over at Instapundit about this book.

I suppose I will buy the book, but for now I would just like to express some grumpy skepticism. As a religious person, I believe some weird shit, but I just don't believe that in 50 to 100 years, humans are going to fuse with machines and be a trillion times more intelligent. I. don't. think. so. If that were in the cards, I think we would have already developed a cure for back pain, lo-cal ice cream that tastes good, an automatic way to both write and grade exams, a cure for baldness, and television worth watching. And yet, no, we have not.

I was reading one of these "the singularity is coming" guys the other day, and he said in the future, we will have wireless modems planted in our heads so we can be plugged into the internet at all times. Bad idea. Driving is dangerous enough as it is. Also, look at how much trouble wireless networks already cause. They're up, they're down. I really don't want to have to reboot my brain twice a day. And then spam. Do I really want the thought planted in my brain every five minutes that my penis needs to be bigger or I need to tell some Nigerian my bank account and social security number?

I think if we could ask the great coming post-human intelligence whether the singularity is coming, It would say, uh, no, I don't think so. But do I have a low interest re-fi for you.

I'm not holding my breath for the great AI apotheosis, and I don't expect Jesus in the next couple of centuries either. I think technology is as cool as the next person, but I think it's not too soon to prepare ourselves for the notion that we're going to be human for a long time to come. It could be worse.