My Name Is Legion wrote:
The current skiffy fascination with "the Singularity" and transhumanism is just the currently fashionable version of apocalyptic thinking - it's as "inevitable" as manned exploration of the Solar system following the Moon landing was in the 1960s - and it'll date as quickly as anything you can imagine.
It won't because it has it's roots firmly in real world projections based on real world mathematics...and it's exponential..building upon previous advancement, it is therefore self-generating (or re-generating as the case may be) and isn't going anywhere soon. On top of this, there is self-fulfilling advancement based on companies and individuals keen on bringing it to life based on already existing growth, the development "real-world" continues unabated and will likely continue despite economic, gov't and regulatory issues (as it has been shown statistically from past history). Regardless of the actual timeline, such an event is almost a certainty, although the path(s) it will take there are not quite certain--and are ripe for exploration by a forward thinking show. Its time to realize the past paradigms are no longer adequate and these massive changes of the next few decades have implications we can explore now...without such consideration, SF is in danger of becoming old hat and irrelevant, as much of it seems to me to be in the stone age already. You can stay stuck with the quaint notion that the future 100 years from now will be the same but "different", or follow the evidence where it leads.
Also, its not necessarily apocalyptic, Hans Moravec's work could be seen as apocalyptic, transhumanism and versions of the singularity actually allow humans to take control of their evolution as opposed to being subjugated by indifferent machines...to me this positivity is firmly in line with Star Trek, it just takes a different route. This is really the first time ever that SF speculation and technological advancement have intertwined in such a concrete way (the futurists of the 80-90s werent). Previous connections were incidental, singular or linear. Currently SF is behind the curve and needs to do some work to keep up.
When I began writing science fiction in the middle '60s, it seemed very easy to find ideas that took decades to percolate into the cultural consciousness; now the lead time seems more like eighteen months.
Potential outcomes without a Singularity: