WikiWhat? I Look Things Up, Then Write About Them (Episode 5: The Singularity/ Cat Memes)

I’m currently writing this from my cubicle.

My cubicle or, ‘Rory’ as I like to call him, is a small square of physical space made of metal and plastic, and covered with a kind of light-beige upholstery normally reserved for low-end fishing boats from the Fifties. Inside Rory, there often sits a 34-year-old Caucaisan-model American unit of the male variety named Kevin Dedes. He is no longer human. He is just another brick in the wall.

Occasionally, this unit of the male variety has to get up frequently to imbibe brown water from leached coffee seeds1, or drain it’s relatively large, depending on your angle and lighting, secretory tube after too much of said imbibition, or to ingest crushed peanut beans2 on toast, or chat with co-workers, or even smoke a cigarette. (sorry mom)

Ok! Just kidding! It’s me! I’m that ‘male unit.’ Gotcha! Haha!

But fer serious…

Lately, I’ve begun to notice that when I finally leave said cubicle, after spending most of the time grumbling about how much I hate being in said cubicle and staring at a screen, I usually, almost immediately, stare at a smaller screen which is my phone. As soon as I get home, I tend to go to a larger-than-the-last-but-smaller-than-the-first, ‘hip’ screen attached to a plastic clam shell designed by a dead guy who wore turtlenecks, which is in turn, nestled in a cozier, warmer cubicle known as my bedroom.

The Singularity hatheth arrived.

“Oh come now, Dedes. That’s not the Singularity! The Singularity is the day when we all get uploaded into the Heavens and the computer network system gets to decide who gets to go and who has to stay with all the people doing bath salts.”

No… that’s Armageddon3.

“Oh. But wait! The Singularity is the time when robot overlords gain consciousness and turn us all into meat-pies for sustenance because we never programmed them to run on solar power!”

Gross.

The Singularity has been a fascinating idea to me for a while, and I don’t think I’ll shake it too quickly. It’s one of those ‘sticky thoughts.’ You know, enigmas of the mind that burrow in like a weevil–at least I think weevil’s burrow–ideas like sex, death and the square knot.

Well, the Singularity will be the time when we can no longer live our lives without computers. When we become our computers. Or maybe when we spend hours and hours watching Nyan Cat and consider it entertainment.4

Seriously, how many pictures of cats can we really look at? (Don’t answer that.)

(I found this the day after posting. I approve.)

According to Wikipedia,

The technological singularity is the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood. Proponents of the singularity typically state that an “intelligence explosion” is a key factor of the Singularity where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds.

Whoah, dude!

Yeah, it’s pretty trippy. But it might’ve already happened and we don’t even know it. Maybe those bath salts people are actually just trans-dimensional extensions of the conscious Internet-hive-mind, the center of which is actually Dick Cheney’s heart.

Or maybe it’ll never really happen.

I mean, I’m not a naysayer, and yes, the Industrial Revolution happened, but it didn’t happen over night, and it definitely didn’t solve all our problem and make human existence a paradise.

Some people think The Singularity will make us immortal and we’ll be able to eat as much as we want like in Defending Your Life.

What they forget is that, inevitably, an eHitler will arise and try to erase all the cookies to make the drive run faster when we run out of disk space.

I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer, I just think, you know, our diodes will still get rusty, and people will still get off on the thrill of unplugging other people. People will still be shits, even if they’re just zeros and ones.

I guess the upside is that war will look a lot like the microwaving steel wool.


1 It’s a seed. Look it up.

2 It’s a bean. Look it up.

3 Sorry, I meant this one.

4 It is pretty catchy.

If you’d like to offer topic suggestions, please email wikiwhatbydedes@gmail.com.

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