A new draft of Resisting Reduction, a manifesto against the Singularity, for a "culture of flourishing"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/20/emergence-emergency.html

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Ito says that Singularity thinking is at the root of unrestrained pursuit of profit…

“Thinking” is not the problem, because “thinking” does not happen outside of people. It doesn’t exist in the way chocolate exists. The problem isn’t “Singularity thinking,” it’s the people who do the thinking. And not a vague mass of public opinion, but specific people who make the decisions.

Now go back and substitute “powerful people” for “thinking,” simplify the equation, and what do you get?

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Immanentize the eschaton. I’m pretty sure the Singularity when it comes is going to be an emergent property of the flourishing of multiple designs people, groups, mobs, institutions. Not as the endgame of some illuminatus conspiracy of bilderbergers.

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There are goods points here. I concede that there really is a bubble of people who treat the singularity almost religiously, so this isn’t a straw man argument.

But there are also already communities who acknowledge the problem - most possible singularities tend to result in the destruction of everything humans value - and are explicitly trying to solve it, like MIRI and FHI. How do they not get mentioned?

In MIRI’s case, probably because their approach to the problem is largely within the singularity paradigm. So file them under singularity thinkers, but much better intentioned and careful.

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