April 27, 2012
Max More On Transhumanism And The Singularity
|According to Max More, progress is an essential element of trans-humanism, much like the Singularity. The nature of the exponential change, is quite different in More's view.|
More writes that,
"The Singularity to me seems to be a little bit too ‘singular’. It seems to assume that all these different technologies converge and take off all at the same pace. Whereas in my view, we’re more likely to see a Surge which might trail off, might slow down—in fact, maybe a series of surges."The Surge, More writes is, "a part of what’s usually called the Singularity where we see a rapid increase in the growth rate of a technology, a kind of an exponential growth. But it kind of includes the idea, if it’s a surge that implies that it doesn’t last forever and it kind of gradually tails off or it flattens off. Whereas a Singularity, if you look at the curves, they seem to be exponential until they become vertical and you get an infinite rate of change in a finite amount of time."
Ray Kurzweil has said,“Max More's ideas are very influential among other "big thinkers," who in turn are influence leaders themselves. Max's writings represent well grounded science futurism, and reflect a sophisticated understanding of technology trends and how these trends are likely to develop during this coming century.”
More writes that transhumanism offers a optimistic, vital and dynamic philosophy of life.
We behold a life of unlimited growth and possibility with excitement and joy. We seek to void all limits to life, intelligence, freedom, knowledge, and happiness. Science, technology and reason must be harnessed to our extropic values to abolish the greatest evil: death. Death does not stop the progress of intelligent beings considered collectively, but it obliterates the individual. No philosophy of life can be truly satisfying which glorifies the advance of intelligent beings and yet which condemns each and every individual to rot into nothingness. Each of us seeks growth and the transcendence of our current forms and limitations. The abolition of aging and, finally, all causes of death, is essential to any philosophy of optimism and transcendence relevant to the individual.
Rather than a unified version of the future, More chooses a 2 x 5 matrix that generates 10 distinct scenarios. The “5” part of the matrix refers to five degrees of change, from a regression or reversal of technological progress at one extreme to a full-blown Singularity of super-exponential change at the other. The “2” part of the matrix refers to outcomes that are either Voluntarist or Authoritarian. He makes this distinction in terms of how the trajectory of change (or lack of it) is brought about—either by centralized direction or by a primarily emergent or distributed process, as well as by the form it ends up taking.
Max More, and his wife Natasha Vita-More are currently writing a book on the subject tentatively title,"The Transhumanist Reader."
SOURCE Exponential Times
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