Beyond the Singularity

I have been doing some work on a new greater-than-social networking concept and was struggling with singularities and the term “religion”. Instead of abiding by the conventional definitions of the term I decided to look into the roots of the word itself.

Broken down, religion means repeatedly binding oneself to what you rely upon. But what is it upon which we rely?

Religion when taken in its 13th century context was synonymous with “conscientiousness”. But what did conscientiousness mean? I decided to dig deeper.

Conscientiousness means living according to conscience meticulously. Now we had the word conscience.

Science, as most of us understand, means “knowledge”. But what does the prefix “con-” mean?

“Con-” as a prefix means “combined”.

Therefore, in its unadulterated form “religion” means “repeatedly binding oneself to one’s combined knowledge meticulously”. Or in otherwords, “Observing all I know”.

This is the true failure of most religions. They limit what they know to a few texts and deny any further expansion of knowledge. Judaism stops at the Old Testament. Christianity stops at the New Testament (No one comes to the Father except through me). Islam stops at the Koran (There will be no prophets after me).

In reality, all the wise men that have existed despite all their conviction were, are and will be wrong. There will always be more knowledge. And what each of us knows is unique to us because every human experience is unique. And no person’s combined knowledge is the same as any other person’s.

To homogenize ourselves by standardizing our conscience, standardizing our organization, standardizing our professions, standardizing our education, standardizing our climate and standardizing our terrain will ultimately lead to a singularity. And we have had countless singularities throughout history. We’ve just used other terms for them.

Facility was a series of singularities produced by the standardization of land from hunting ground, to farm, to storehouse, to factory, to palace, to temple. Chronology was a series of singularities produced by the standardization of time from herd migration, to growing season, to supply levels, to production cycle, to communication cycle, to cognition. Commodity was a series of singularities produced by standardization from sources, to seasons, to measures, to trades, to connections, to conscience. Industry was a series of singularities produced by the standardization of hunting practice, agricultural practice and accounting practice, trades practice, organizational practice and religious practice. Community was a series of singularities produced by the standardization of tribe, village, colony, city, state, empire. Conscience was a chain of singularities produced by the standardization of geographic worship, climactic worship, possession worship, trades worship, organization worship, combined knowledge worship.

We have always been in an age of exponentials. We have always been experiencing singularities. The outcome of any singularity is predictable: A new media is created and moves from Macro (Mainframe), to Meso (Mini), to Micro (Personal), to Nano (Portable). Literacy went through this evolution. The Gutenberg press went through this evolution. Telecom is going through this evolution. Transportation went through this evolution. Computers went through this evolution. The internet will go through this evolution. Artificial Intelligence will go through this evolution.

Looking at a singularity from this perspective it becomes obvious that for every black hole of standardization there is a white hole of diversity beyond. It could be also said that Ray Kurzweil’s singularity is actually Malcolm Gladwell’s tipping point–a transition from scarcity to ubiquity. Kurzweil’s mistake is the same or similar to Zeno’s Paradox.

Imagine a series of professional AI’s giving way to an explosion of amateur AI’s.

Simply put, a tipping point is the transition point where benefit finally comes to exceed cost.

Related Post:

Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

Servitas and Libertas


8 Responses to “Beyond the Singularity”

  1. chris Says:

    What a great post.

    I believe that Religion tends to remain static because its used as a means of control and politics probably for the means of maintaining cultural and social stability.

    The question that I consider as an “agnostic” how does the world that grows closer to closer together (economically, socially)… How does it find stability without the control that religion gives?

  2. Singularity and Plurality Tipping Cycle « relationary Says:

    […] lead me to begin thinking about a pattern that presented itself. In an earlier post here and here I discussed how there had been many Singularities in history. It also lead me to talk about […]

  3. Rita Haehnlein Says:

    Reading the Czereapak article about singularities I have my own thoughts.
    Religion: “the bible stops at the new testament.” Sure, with the book of revelation, a book with seven seals. The book that holds promises for the future.

    Around 900 AD the church preached hellfire and the devil, Haley’s comet was seen as an omen of doom and the Turks were expanding their empire. Every official prayer included: And save us from the devil, the Turks and the comet. That seems entirely appropriate for the times.

    Also, in regards to the contents and ending of the bible, I remembered the apocrypha. Scholars at one point decided what belonged in the bible and what material was to be excluded. It is said that the vaults of the Vatican hold 400 times as much as is included, classified as apocrypha. Apocrypha means ’belonging to’ or ‘relating to’. That is the way I learned it. Wikipedia states the word has its roots in Greek and means ‘those having been hidden away’. Those documents can not be verified and authenticated. Their authorship is uncertain. In Christendom apocrypha are not part of the ‘teaching’. Yet many bibles contain a section called apocrypha, inserted between the new and the Old Testament .During my years of growing up in Europe I saw bibles with more extensive apocrypha sections than I have ever seen in bibles printed in English.
    If we bear in mind, that the bible is a collection of writings of various people at various times, cobbled together they tell a story. The story of the creation of the earth, mankind and his struggles though the passage of time, and a new heaven and earth. Over the centuries the bible has been edited and translated many times. Amazingly the core ‘message’ seemed to have survived. Example: Some years ago in Israel the remains of a young soldier were unearthed. He wore an amulet. It was a piece of silver sheet rolled around a cord. Engraved on it was a blessing. After careful examination and translation by the scholars, it turned out to be the prayer of benedictions found in Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
    I disagree with the writer when he says the wise men of old were wrong. We have to consider their wisdom in the context of time. They were wise in their time. They observed all they knew. It is wrong to apply knowledge retroactively and say those wise men were wrong. They were wise. And the earth was still flat.
    I agree with the writer, that there will always be more knowledge, and believe that for humans knowledge is unending. One of Murphy’s laws states: Any technology advanced enough is indistinguishable from magic.
    Next the writer spins a thread and shows how standardization led to ‘sigularity’ in facility, chronology, and industry. In ‘industry he ends with ‘religious practices’. That does not make much sense to me .Industry and commerce are related, religious practices belong with communities. What Czerepak calls singularities, others before him called evolution; something that developed naturally and emerged over time. I think the writer incorporated the measures of standardization into the gradual development process and
    calls the emerging ‘entity’ singularity as separate ‘units’ within his grouping become more alike. However, as all groups develop at the same time, there is overlap and cross-pollination. Example: With the development of explosives Guns replaced arrows. Guns used bullets. Bullets and guns were fashioned from metal. Explosives are used in mining.
    Nothing happens in isolation. Singularity? …..aha!….”For every black hole of standardization there is a white hole of diversity beyond.”

    Dr. Vern Vinge quotes singularity as “the rapture of the nerds”. He foresees the possibility of artificial intelligence (AI) outpacing it‘s human masters were a machine and tell them what to do, becomes controlling, becomes god like, a singularity, beyond human understanding and grasp. He much favors a scenario of collaboration were humans constantly learn by uploading , even by wired-in brains, and named the process intelligence amplification (IA).


  4. Servitas and Libertas « relationary Says:

    […] writing about the abundance of singularities (tipping points) in my previous post (here) it became apparent to me that in literature both great faction (my word for non-fiction) and great […]

  5. Geodesate Network States « relationary Says:

    […] Beyond the Singularity […]

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