February 16, 2007

Anyone go to the Vernor Vinge Non-singularity talk

If anyone has heard the Vernor Vinge talk of non-singularity futures, please provide information in the comments here. He spoke in San Francisco Feb 15, 2007.

Update: I guess a podcast or other recording of the talk will be up or is up on the longnow site

Update: The text and slides from the speech are online
He lays out the first stage where we fail to achieve a singularity [the age of failed Dreams / bad software] and then three scenarios [Nuclear war scenario, Golden Age and the Wheel of time].

Vinge advocates longevity research and space research as vital for positive future scenarios. [I agree]

“What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen?” Vernor Vinge, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, San Francisco, 7pm, Thursday, February 15. The lecture starts promptly at 7:30pm. Admission is free (a $10 donation is always welcome, not required).

Science fiction writer Vernor Vinge invented the concept that dominates thinking about technology these days. He called it “the Singularity”— the idea that technology (computer tech, biotech, nanotech) is now accelerating so exponentially that it will lead to a massive, irreversible, and profoundly unpredictable transformation of humanity by mid-century.

This Thursday evening Vinge will challenge his own idea for the first time: “I have some plausible, non-singularity scenarios that get us into a human-scale world with long time horizons. I’ll describe the near-term peculiarities I see for such scenarios and then discuss what such a world might be like across ten or twenty thousand years. Finally, I’d like to talk about dangers and defenses related to these scenarios.”

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