Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On The Event Horizon

I had the good fortune of seeing Ray Kurzweil speak last night. He presented on his theories of technical evolution which were presented in wired and can be found on his website http://www.kurzweilai.net/pps/NMS. His singularity theory models human evolution and development and graphs it. This theory speculates that humans are approaching what he calls the singularity. A point where technological development will reach a point of continuos and instantaneous change.

I found his use of the term "singularity" to be apropos as it is term used in black hole theories. In discussing blackholes theorists talk about the event horizon, which is the point, as you approach a black hole past, from which light cannot escape because of the acceleration and pull of gravity.

If his theory is correct, it would make sense to me that because change is so rapid, not every person will reach the event horizon of evolution at the same time and, due to the effects of experiencing instantaneous change and evolution, I postulate that individuals will for all intents and purposes disappear from view. More appropiately they would dissappear from the point of view of everyone who has not crossed the event horizon.

So as this occurs, will we as a species be able to cope psychologically with this change, or will it be that only those able to cope will be able to cross that horizon.

Also, as the rate of change is only approximately linear, on a logarythmic scale, could it be that this point in time is already happening and, if it is, would we notice.

See you on the other side...