Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bits and pieces/bytes/boutons

With my SfN poster needing to be done this week, I've had little time to post (one of the joys of working with a company that needs to approve disclosures is that unlike everyone else who will be cramming to complete their posters in two weeks, I get to do that cramming two weeks early).

Anyhow, TechRivet has a little ditty on The Singularity worth reading if you are unfamiliar with what that is. Essentially, one of the edicts of transhumanism is that human progress will reach a point where we can no longer accurately predict the next major advancement because breakthroughs will occur continuously. I was all about the Extropianism when I was in high school, but I guess years of academic indoctrination (read: how the world actually works in a practical and realistic manner) has washed that from me, mostly.

For instance, yes the breakthroughs in genetics have been increasing, but the complexity of the breakthroughs and the number of people/resources needed to accomplish these breakthroughs is increasing MORE rapidly. Intellect needed to perform the research and devise the experiments is NOT infinite, and there are easy to recognize speed bumps on the horizon (e.g.-Moore's Law will not hold up forever, biology still moves at the speed of biology - you don't study development waiting for something to develop, reactions take time, and time cannot be ignored, etc).

Anyhow, if it is something of interest, whether as inspiration or amusement, go ahead and check out the Extropy Institute (Wikipedia overview) or Ander's Transhumanism Page (one of the ORIGINAL originals from 'way' back in the early 90's).

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