Monday, June 21, 2010

All Too Human

6/21/2010—The New York Times magazine story on June 13, 2010 entitled “Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday” would have been frightening if it had not been so silly. The article told of “the arrival of the Singularity — a time, possibly just a couple decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can’t predict or comprehend in our current, limited state.
At that point, the Singularity holds, human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past.”

The idea has something to do with implanting chips in our brains or using robots directed by chips in our brains, etc.

What’s funny about all this is that “some of Silicon Valley’s smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity.”

Well, I guess if I were really rich and really in love with myself, I would fool myself in the same way. But there is this. I am only my brain. I am not any circuitry apart from it. When my body dies, so do I. We cannot, as the guru of the movement, Raymond Kurzweil believes, back up our brains to survive death. Kurzweil apparently believes he can achieve a "partial resurrection" of his late father that way.

If he actually believes that, I feel sorry for him. If he is just scamming the rich, well, even a Silicon Valley geek can be stupidly mesmerized by the promise of technology.

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