Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

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If you listen carefully to what Jared Diamond is saying in the TED video above, he is describing not a five part, but a six part power curve into a systemic singularity. This has been one of the core themes of discussion of this blog.  We all seem to be too close to our problems to see the commonality.  The interrogatives come into play here:

  1. Goals
  2. People
  3. Functions
  4. Forms
  5. Times
  6. Distances

Times and Distances being the basis on which the higher orders are built.

When we look at the recent economic “crisis” we see 300 trillion in currency circulating and roughly 1 trillion to 2 trillion shifting suddenly and unexpectedly.  We witnessed a systemic collapse, a singularity, a tipping point, a power curve, an exponential change, a phase transition or whatever label you want to call it.  These have been happening everywhere since Time and Distance began in different contexts and orders both in human and non-human systems.

What Jared Diamond and other alarmists are implying is that human society is now a system approaching its final singularity in this century on this planet.  We are implying that today we are experiencing a less than one percent crisis on a power curve into a singularity.  How many more iterations will the global system withstand?  Will humanity make the step into space successfully before we experience a global dark age?  How will the six or more factors in the power curve play out?

The truth to me appears to be that power curves whether they play out or not result in either a systemic climax or anti-climax followed by a systemic collapse.  Would it not be better if we experienced a systemic climax that led to us expanding into the solar system?

Systemic collapse seems to be the fashion of this generation.  Every generation looks with fascination at its own youth, maturition, reproduction and acceleration into mortality.  Some die early, some die late, but all die.  It is an irrevocable law of nature.  It is not about self-interest.  It is about what self-interest is defined as.

Related Posts:

Beyond the Singularity

Servitas and Libertas

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If You Don’t Like the Speed, Get Off the Ride

We have lived in “exponential times” since the big bang (if there was one)

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Science: Gradual Ascent Into the Singularity

bengoertzel.jpg

I just watched this interview with Dr. Ben Goertzel from the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. One of the issues of prime concern for me when I have participated in SIAI forums online was the willingness of some of their thinkers to develop an AGI without built in controls. To me it was like willingly starting an atomic chain reaction without control rods. In this interview, Ben states plainly that an uncontrolled “takeoff” AI is not acceptable that he plans to create an architecture where “ascent” is gradual.

I am grateful that leading AI thinkers are addressing this.

I also think an AGI should be contained. Certainly it should have all the web available to it, but a copy of the web without external access. Google has made a copy of the web on its servers, why not for the first AGI capable of surpassing human intelligence?

We isolate and contain Nuclear, Chemical and Biological agents. Why not intelligent agents?