The State of the Singularity…

This video is Highly recommended as a sort of “State of the Singularity” update.

I have been excited about the Singularity since I first read about the concept from Vernor Vinge in the early 90’s (check out his original paper here.).

Increasingly I get a chill when I see how quickly it is approaching. Estimates put the “Rapture of the Nerds” at 2035, so we are over half way there—starting from Vinge’s initial prediction.

And the thing about exponential growth is that it kind of creeps up on you..

Take the example of an exponential hose pipe filling a stadium with water…

If the pipe drips once on the first second, twice on the second second, four times on the third and so on…


…after 5 minutes there will be barely a stain on the grass, a thimble full of water. After 20 minutes, a bucket full of water makes a small puddle in the center. 
Then twenty minutes later, the stadium is full!

For half the time it took to fill the stadium, the eventual tsunami was a barely visible trickle… them Wallop! To switch metaphors, the AIs have taken over and organic life is extinct…

2025 the computational equivalent of one human brain will cost $1000
2050 it will buy you 10 Billion human brain equivalents…

(I am not sure I agree with the math, if you read my books you know I believe sub-neuron quantum processing across multiple world lines is how we think, but still, with exponential growth like this, even that will only add a couple of decades…)

Check out the video:

Meaningful Relationships…

I enjoyed ths wired article at lot—all the while experiencing an ominous sense of wrongness.

If you have read your Asimov, it feels like parts of humanity are heading towards Solaria.

Eventually, all traces of our base, biological behavior will have been criminalized and proscribed—purged from polite society. The only flirting or f&*king we will be doing then, will be with our robot housemaids.


‘Levy takes Alan Turing’s famous claim that the convincing appearance of intelligence (in AI) is proof of intelligence, and he expands that into the emotional realm:

“If a robot behaves as though it has feelings, can we reasonably argue that it does not? If a robot’s artificial emotions prompt it to say things such as ‘I love you,’ surely we should be willing to accept these statements at face value … Why, if a robot that we know to be emotionally intelligent, says, ‘I love you’ or ‘I want to make love to you,’ should we doubt it?” Human emotions, he argues, are no less “programmed” than those of an intelligent machine: “We have hormones, we have neurons, and we are ‘wired’ in a way that creates our emotions.” ‘

Taken to extremes, this is the dark Armageddon of the body snatchers. Humans are swapped out, uploading into shiny, hygienic oids, one by one. Society continues, but it has become a kabuki of raging and laughter—there is nobody home, no Cartesian observers in the cockpit, nothing going on behind cold android eyes…

…I fear we are only starting to scratch the surface of future shock

Is Physics Different Outside the Matrix…


My curiosity was piqued by the title of this article:
“We don’t live in a simulation, or computing works differently outside the Matrix.”

But why wouldn’t physics be different outside the simulation?

I suppose one reason is that for a grandfather simulation—where the simulation’s owners try to learn more about their pre-singularity dark ages by letting others (e.g. us) live through them—it would make sense for the rules inside and outside to be the same.

But generally a simulation must consume fewer resources than the universe it is running within, and corners must, therefore, be cut. A program running on a Minecraft Redstone Turing Machine ( will clearly have fewer resources available than assembler running on the bare metal of a processor. Even ignoring the appalling speed at which it will run, lookup tables and special instructions will make some calculations scale better than others in the simulation…

We already know that the ‘substrate’ our universe runs on, is wildly different from the ‘classical world’ we experience. Some physics like entanglement seems to require access to ‘superuser‘ functions which break our Universe’s laws, e.g. instantaneous communication of state changes between entangled particles. Quantum computation is another example of magic, able to solve ‘classically’ impossible equations in the blink of an eye.

Even if our universe is not a synthetic simulation created for amusement or research, theories like the Holographic Universe suggest reality is far less prosaic than we imagined up until now.

Quantum Computation:

Holographic Universe: