Coincidentally on the same day that scientists announced clear evidence that dark matter really exists, I finished reading Accelerando, a story about the singularity by Charlie Stross. As this interview with the author points out, it’s â€œinformation-denseâ€ (resulting in reading aids like the Accelerando Technical Companion).
Saying it’s dense is an understatement. In the early chapters, my (somewhat annoyed) impression was that “this guy has devoured every Boing-boing post for the past five years, digested and ruminated them, and vomited them onto the page.” As the book moved on and got weirder and more intense, I decided “this guy drops mind-bombs like a deer running through a forest drops turds.” So my mind is pretty well blown at the moment.
The singularity is an interesting proposition, an audacious prediction about the future, and this book gives a lot of ideas on the subject to chew on. While reading it, I found myself wondering “does he really believe this stuff?” In that interview, he hedges a bit, but says “any SF that doesn’t try to address the issue is either a dystopia or a fantasy.” So, yes. He’s a pretty smart guy who’s clearly listening to and extrapolating a lot of trends. And it makes me wonder â€can we create a world too weird for us to inhabit?â€œ According to the book, the answer is yes, many times over.
I’ve heard the year 2040 thrown around as a target date for the singularity. I’ll live that long, most likely. It’ll be an interesting ride.