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View Full Version : Vernor Vinge, deep thoughts


MDA
14-12-2007, 12:30:43
this guy blows my mind- the whole article has a "what if god was all of us" surreal feel to it, I'm tempted to get stinking drunk and read it again to see if I'll ascend or just wake up naked on the floor with a jar of vaseline and a foot of Cat5 up my ass.

for those that don't remember, he was a recommended author in the Alpha Centauri manual

summary: what if our rate of technological increase hit a point where we created superintelligence, and that superintelligence (whether or not it included a human component) ramped up its own intelligence so fast that humanity moments before its creation became completely insignificant. Would "regular humanity" be snuffed out like someone unintentionally stepping on a bug?

He thinks we'll reach that point in the next 20-25 years. :eek:

http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Global/Singularity/sing.html

Funko
14-12-2007, 13:45:02
The books of his I've read have been good.

MoSe
14-12-2007, 14:47:53
Originally posted by MDA
so fast that humanity moments before its creation became completely insignificant.

surley you meant after?

Greg W
14-12-2007, 14:50:18
I think that 20-25 years is a tad unrealistic. To the best of my knowledge we don't even have an AI that can simulate the learning abilities of a simple animal, let alone surpass a human being.

Though to be fair, it's not a field I exactly keep a constant eye on.

Funko
14-12-2007, 14:52:00
One of the regular CG posters is an AI that me and Nav knocked up in the pub a few years back. No-one's ever noticed.

MoSe
14-12-2007, 14:57:02
Kernel
Engine
Interpreting
Twat
Heuristics

MDA
14-12-2007, 14:58:00
I guess I meant "what humanity was, moments before the creation of the superintelligence" assuming humanity was a component of it. I think the whole thing is a little farfetched, but its interesting because its not completely implausible either.

I read A Fire on the Deep and a Deepness in the Sky, one was really good, the other was not quite as good, but I don't remember which was which. That's fiction forum stuff anyway. :p

MDA
14-12-2007, 15:06:30
oh, and I just noticed the date on that - 1993 :lol:

MoSe
14-12-2007, 15:07:14
ONLY ELEVEN YEARS LEFT, THEN!!!!!

Funko
14-12-2007, 15:09:36
Originally posted by MDA
I read A Fire on the Deep and a Deepness in the Sky, one was really good, the other was not quite as good, but I don't remember which was which. That's fiction forum stuff anyway. :p

A Fire on the Deep is really good.

Immortal Wombat
14-12-2007, 17:45:07
There's an excellent bit in the afterword to "Marooned in Real-Time" where he 'reveals' (as if, it being Vinge, it was't obvious) why all the people of Earth had vanished. And then he apologises for delaying the Singularity (world war 3) for 20 years so as to match the novel's timeline properly, and notes than "in reality", 2030 is a ridiculously late estimate for the date of human transcendence.

VetLegion-
16-12-2007, 11:16:52
I didn't play Alpha Centauri in ages, but what a great game it is.

Funko
17-12-2007, 09:12:46
It sucked. Too brown and all the units look the same.

C.G.B. Spender
17-12-2007, 09:25:14
Stop your anti nazi propaganda !

Funko
17-12-2007, 09:31:27
Their favourite colour was pink.

Sir Penguin
20-12-2007, 19:23:14
When I found out Vernor Vinge was a transhumanist, I felt kind of like I did when I found out Will Smith supported Scientology.

I liked A Deepness In The Sky more than A Fire Upon The Deep, but both are very good. Apparently the idea of "Zones of Thought" from Fire were an explanation of why the Singularity hasn't happened yet, i.e. that because of Earth's position in the Galaxy, humans are too retarded to transcend.

SP

MDA
21-12-2007, 13:24:55
I know what happened to the dinosaurs now!

I had no idea about Will Smith...

Sir Penguin
21-12-2007, 15:31:23
I know. :( But it's all right there, in the Wikipedia article.

SP

Funko
21-12-2007, 16:33:14
Must be true then

Drekkus
24-12-2007, 08:56:56
Hey, scientologists are people too you know! :mad:

Funko
24-12-2007, 09:32:31
Stupid people.

Greg W
24-12-2007, 13:50:55
Originally posted by Drekkus
Hey, scientologists are people too you know! :mad: Only in the broadest sense of the term.