If you’ve spent much time with me in real reality, then you’ve probably heard me go on and on about Ray Kurzweil and his transhumanist theory of “the singularity,” sometimes amusingly referred to as “The Rapture of the Nerds.” Back in the mid-nineties I read Kurzweil’s book The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, and then two years ago I read The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology and became a Singulatarian.
The singularity is a point in the near future (a few decades at most) where the exponential accelleration of our technology approaches infinity… when the computational capacity of computers meets and then exceeds the total computational capacity of all human brains combined. Like the event horizon of a black hole, we can perceive the edge, we can calculate its distance from us, but we have an extremely difficult time conceptualizing what may lie beyond.
Kurzweil believes that in about thirty years humanity will exist in a “permanent virtual/real-reality hybrid world” where “everyone is a hyper-intelligent, shapeshifting nonbiological entity that can live forever,” (as summarized by user majestic on disinfo.com).
Anyway, if this is all new to you and you’re the type that enjoys a gentle mind-fuck, watch the video. If your insatiable mind craves a more extreme, hardcore mind-fuck, then skip right to the books.