The Singularity: We've been Swimming in it


I've noticed talk of this whole 'singularity' nonsense for at least a decade, though I'm sure it's been puttered around for as long as the ARPANET was around for nerds to shoot each-other this wide-eyed theory and argue over what it actually is. According to wiki a singularity event is one where those living before this 'event' cannot comprehend the level of change that has come about after. OK fine I'm not sure if wiki puts it quite that way and right now I'm stuck offline and I won't really bother to check after that changes. Idea's close enough though.

So what is 'the' singularity? Depending on who's kool-aid you're drinking it's already happened, is going to happen, is going to cause world peace, is the atheist substitute for the Rapture... In short 'the' singularity seems to be more an excuse to argue philosophy than anything else.

Why am I bothering? Boredom mostly. After all I'm of the belief, by way of discussions with one of my co-bloggers, that we're currently in the middle of 'a' singularity. You're in it Right Now. No really. Metaphysical bunk aside who, in the fifties, could have predicted The Internet would be as huge a part of everyday life as it is? Even William Gibson, the man who coined the term 'cyberspace' and wrote works that the whole cyberpunk mythos is built off of, at first didn't seem to get it. Back before the net got Huge even forward thinkers, with perhaps a few exceptions, seemed to still be focused more on Space than Networking (reserving it mainly to Big Business with maybe college kids or garage-tinkerers patching into the larger networks if local bulletin boards weren't cutting it.)

Think about it. Great. You have a iDroidBerry phone that can stream HD video to the palm of your hand and is at least as powerful as my first desktop (dell somethingorother that ran at a blazing 700mhz and came with a whopping 64meg of ram.) Think that's all there is to the Web and Networking? How many times have you had to call to check for tickets somewhere? Do you do any banking at all? Oh and your medical information has to get from a to b somehow. 

While there are older folk that are technically inclined and have managed to keep up to date with computers and technology most people that didn't grow up with computers around at some level just don't seem to really 'get' how huge networking is.

It's older than most people think too. Sure 'the internet' didn't really happen until the late eighties and didn't explode till the mid-ninties when you had graphical browsers, but it goes back to 1969 (the year Americans walked on the moon and lived under the sea.) 

Forty Two years.... and that's not even taking into account pre-arpanet distaince communication (teletype, morse, radio.)

We're coming up on the century mark on when Congress passed the first act recognizing amatuer radio. Granted they were passing it in an attempt to kill the hobby but water under the bridge.

Look at what communications has given us. We've been in a Singularity event for the past century and a half. Go figure huh?
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