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Technology was identified as the true official religion of the modern state more than seventy years ago by the late Christian anarchist philosopher Jacques Ellul. A remarkable man, and a leader of the French underground resistance who sheltered refugees from the Holocaust, Ellul survived a global catastrophe that was enabled by scientists and engineers only to find that these same technicians, these false priests, would rule the century. And how he loathed them. “Particularly disquieting is the gap between the enormous power they wield and their critical ability, which must be estimated as null,” he wrote.

If, as Ellul has it, technology is the state religion, Singularitarianism must be seen as its most extreme and fanatical sect. It is the Opus Dei of the postwar church of gadget worship. Ray Kurzweil may be the best-known prophet of this order, but he was not the first. The true father of Singularitarianism is a sci-fi author and retired mathematics professor from Wisconsin named Vernor Vinge. His earliest written exposition of the idea appeared in the January 1983 issue of Omni, an oddball “science” magazine founded by Kathy Keeton, once among the “highest-paid strippers in Europe,” according to her New York Times obituary, but better known for promoting quack cancer cures and for cofounding Penthouse with her husband, Bob Guccione. In this esteemed journal, amid articles on “sea monkeys, apemen and living dinosaurs,” Vinge forecast a looming “technological singularity” in which computer intelligence would exceed the comprehension of its human creators. The remarkable exponential growth curve of technological advancement was not about to level off, Vinge proclaimed, but rather to accelerate beyond all imagining. “We will soon create intelligences greater than our own,” Vinge wrote. Unlike later writers, he did not see this as necessarily a positive development for humanity. “Physical extinction may not be the scariest possibility,” he wrote. “Think of the different ways we relate to animals.” In other words, our new robot overlords might reduce humans to slaves, livestock, or, if we’re lucky, pets.

The so-called "Singularity" is not even close. These people have taken too many designer drugs. I've met a number of them. To read more, click here.

Category: Science