Story 3. Ray Kurzweil is the author of The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology and the subject of an upcoming film, Transcendent Man
Ray Kurzweil: “…in about 40 years the pace of change is gonna be so astonishingly quick that you won’t be able to follow it unless you enhance your own intelligence by merging with the intelligent technology we’ve created.”
He wishes. The so-called intelligent technology we’ve created, even 40 years from now, is no match for the capabilities of the actual human brain. And it’s created as imitation of what is known yet about the brain. Smell a shill…? Uh-huh. And he was wearing a bluetooth on his ear for his Skyped in “live” discussion on the show – I guarantee that bluetooth was costume jewelry for the show. (I couldn’t find video.)
Kurzweil: “…We’ll be having computerized devices the size of blood cells in our blood stream keeping us healthy.”
“Healthy” here is a euphemism for a non-flourishing, controllable state. Computerized devices in the blood stream do not keep one healthy, they keep one from deteriorating beyond the point of usability, on the one hand, and on the other keep one from flourishing beyond the point of willingness – keep one from developing actual free will through the progressive expansion of consciousness. Now, if you want to talk about actual health & heathiness, you’ll be talking about Nutrition and variably intense physical activity, experience.
Kurzweil: “…They’ll basically enhance who we are. They’ll make us smarter, be able to remember things better, solve problems more intelligently – so it’s gonna extend our own intelligence.”
This guy knows full well that if these are the actual goals, there is no better way to achieve them than to exercise and nutritionally enhance the brain we already have. Also, doesn’t it sound like he just described the role of a teacher? Hmm, I wonder why millions of teachers aren’t teaching this but rather producing the opposite.
Josh Zepps: “The next step beyond just melding man and machine – you talk about actually uploading our consciousness – our minds – to computers one day. What does that mean? How would it be done?
A good first step is filtering all our communications through computers for data collection and re-organization as has been done since at least 9/11. Also helpful is to have masses of individuals describe their interests and such on places like Myspace & Facebook. These, of course, are not our consciousnesses though; they are but our Pop DNA. In other words, it’s being done today in many different ways, as we build the Gorgonet. The so-called conspiracy theorist might wonder if these two are discussing these things in this futurist manner almost to distract us from the clear fact that it is happening right now – standard.
Kurzweil: “We ultimately will be predominantly non-biological. And we know that that non-biological intelligence we can back up just like we back up the files in our personal computers today. And we’ll be able to re-create it if it gets destroyed.”
It would seem a major issue to overcome here is the powering of this non-biological aspect. Right? Isn’t getting power to technology, electricity still quite a problem in the world? Maybe not. And maybe this non-technological aspect will be able to live off the biological’s natural electrical field? Who does he mean by ‘we’? Everyone? Or just the masses of robot butlers?
Of course the Self Builder, especially the Timeline Project aspect, is all about backing up our life-experiences by sharing them with computers, the internet, soon the Gorgonet. But that’s more of a friendship-type relationship, co-evolution. His view is perverted.
Josh Zepps: “So you actually believe that we could achieve immortality by backing up the data in our brains and that that data in those machines would have the same sense of me-ness that same sense of perceiving the world through my eyes that I currently have, and that could last for thousands of years in a computer?”
Ahhhh, immortality – finally, the password for entrance into the halls of the perversely powerful. So this is all about the search for immortality then? Oh, but of course.
What is actually worth having a blown-mind over, is the fact that the process of self-reflection actually backs up the data in our brains and uses it to construct an energetic cohesion of Self, which actually is immortal in a way these non-biological computationals never can be.
Ray Kurzweil: “Right now if our hardware crashes, the software, our mind file – all our memory, skills, personality – all that information dies with it. We’ll be able to actually capture that information and preserve it. People will think it pretty amazing a hundred years from now that people in today’s era went through the day without backing up their mind file.”
It doesn’t “die with it”. It is recoverable. You have to look beyond Pop science somewhat, but the scientific evidence is a-plenty.
Hey, Ray, is it still for sure cool to call these predominantly non-biological beings people? Would people of today call these non-biologicals people? You’re particular about some of your terms but not others, tricksy.
Zepps: “The question ultimately is a philosophical one, isn’t it? It’s a question about whether if we took all the data & information that currently exists in my brain and put it onto a computer, if there was a computer that sophisticated to be able to handle it, and then my physical body died, even if all that were there, is there nothing more to my brain, to my consciousness, to my sense of myself, to my taste of and sensibility of experiencing the world, than that data? Is that enough?
Kurzweil: “Well, to your friends it’ll be enough because it’ll seem very much like you. But, to you? That’s a – i mean – it’s a philosophical issue but it’s a very important one because our whole moral system and much of our legal system is based on the issue of consciousness. So there is actually room for philosophy, uh, of life beyond science will have to decide what is human and what is not. But it is the nature of human beings to change who we are and extend our reach. Ever since we picked up a stick to reach a higher branch, we’ve been extending ourselves with technology. If we had not done that very few of us would be around. Life expectancy was 23 a thousand years ago; 37 in 1800. We’ve already gone beyond the limitations of our biology. That’s what humans are all about.”
They both call it a “philosophical” issue. They seem to imply with this classification that the question, though important, is perhaps ultimately unanswerable. Or to be answered by each individual according to their bent. Of course, with everything else said, Ray is speaking to the inevitability of this becoming. In other words, the philosophical issue has already been decided by those (monies) powering this transition. (Either that or this is happening of its own accord somehow..?) The rest of his answer is blatant avoidance of the question, talking instead about the question rather than offering answer.
His life expectancy numbers are baloney and mean nothing, especially not what he is claiming. Again, though, if your one goal in life is the power of immortality, as it has been for the slave-owning, war-making rulers for thousands of years, then statistical life-expectancy is a potentially useful means of manipulation.
We haven’t gone anywhere near the limits of our biology. Nowhere near. Well, actually, some have.
I could just go on & on. The guy gets away with psychological murder just because he’s talking about things which others will accept they do not know anywhere near as much as he. Reminds me an awful lot of that Noam Chomsky everyone so loves to be subtly manipulated by.