Monday, January 08, 2007

sorry, i know it's nearby, but i can't really reckon with the singularity right now

I made progress on the grant I'm working on tonight--although, O, much more needs to be done--but tonight's major procrastination distraction was: improving a piece of anti-procrastination software! I'll post it when I get around to it.

So now I'm in bed having my usual trouble sleeping, and I'm contemplating one of the books on my nightstand, Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity Is Near. I bought the book because it had been recommended to a colleague by an important figure in the national science funding establishment. The basic argument of the book is that innovation is occuring at an accelerating pace and, this will continue to change everything faster and faster, then big chunks at a time, then all at once. Or something like that. I can't get past page 14, where I read the same two sentences and stop.
"I conceptualize the history of evolution--both biological and technological--as occurring in six epochs. As we will discuss, the Singularity will begin with Epoch Five and will spread from Earth to the rest of the universe in Epoch Six."
Each time, I hit this point and think, "You know, it's an accomplishment for me if I manage to leave the house cleanly shaven five days a week. I can open my head enough to wonder and worry about the world. Proliferation to the rest of the universe, I can't be troubled with that. The whole universe, when I don't even have my elliptical trainer yet. No, not for me."


Anonymous said...

I think that if you're only reading to page 14, and obsessing about those two sentences, you're causing yourself more worry about the universe than if you'd just read past that point and see what Kurzweil has to say.

But, who knows, reading past that could unlock something so overwhelming that you never get the grant proposal written or step foot on the elliptical trainer.

tina said...

and I folded 6 loads of laundry this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Just don't forget to get that picture of your brain taken to share with us.

That is gonna be fun.