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Old November 17 2012, 06:22 PM   #160
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Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
It is true I post pop-sci information, mainly because these keep pace with developments faster than most other forms of reporting
But they don't, though. They keep well ahead of developments, projecting the most extreme and most successful applications of that technology to predict how it might manifest if everything comes out alright. They do this specifically to keep their readers interested -- readers like you, who turn on their every word and never look back at old pop-sci magazines to see if the projections actually came true.

Look back, if you will, at the PopSci archives for a blast from the past. A 1995 issue of Popular Science features wirelss phone jacks, portable refrigerated beer coolers, a self-driving truck with an inertial guidance system, an experiment to produce acetylinic carbon as a possible clean-burning (and stealthy) aviation fuel, a two-in-one washer/dryer (WTF?! I want one!) and a VERY BRIEF article about the development of the P6 microarchitecture.

Pay close attention to two things in this magazine. First: of all the technologies and devices showcased in the articles, the only one that actually took off and saw widespread use was the P6 (it eventually evolved into the Pentium Pro and the Pentium III), and second, that this magazine is about 40% ads. More importantly, some of the actual articles aren't articles, but more ads disguised as articles by startup companies hoping to hype their products in a pop-sci magazine (the P6 article, ironically, is one of them).
Didn't address the issue at all, you neatly skirted it by saying "It'll just paradigm shift and go back to being exponential."

IIRC, the followup questions were a half dozen variations of "Based on what?" to which you answered by quoting more pop-sci articles.

Christopher points out that your prediction of a steady exponential growth is over simplistic.

Your response: "But we have so much to learn and I have so much optimism!" followed by more popsci articles.

Christopher explains that you cannot project a short-term trend indefinitely.

Your response is that even Kurzweil acknowledges this... but what about paradigm shifts?!
Christopher points out that people who actually work with AI on a practical level don't take much stock in singularity theory (which is true).

Your response: "That's true, but they're just being pessimistic!"

Basically, all of your responses hinge on many subtle variations of "Cool technology is cool! Here's a hyperlink! I'm sure it'll keep getting cooler if you just give it a chance!"

I refer you back to the pop-sci magazine from the archives and the fact that the majority of the technologies showcased there either failed or vanished into obscurity. Why did this happen, RAMA? It happened because TECHNOLOGY isn't the only thing we need to be looking at when we make those kinds of predictions. Technology isn't developed in a vacuum, there is also politics, finances, wars, disasters, personal disputes, legal disputes, random chance and a fickle consumer market that doesn't always reward innovation with success (seriously, where the HELL can I get one of those two-in-one washer/dryers?!?!?! I shouldn't have to move my laundry from one door to the other between cycles... what is this, Soviet Russia?!).

You're trying to project the singularity by JUST looking at the technology. It's not merely that this is an oversimplification of the way technology works, it's not merely that the logistic curve is implied in the cyclical development model that YOU YOURSELF suggested (and there's no reason to assume paradigm shift you keep mentioning would be in any way useful to computer technology). It is the fact that not everything that is POSSIBLE is actually practical, and not everything that is practical is widely done or used. Projecting the singularity would require one to recognize not only that a certain technology is achievable, but to determine to what extent that achievement will be distributed among society and whether or not it will be adopted by consumers or governments at all. If it DOES happen, it's not something you'll be reading about in pop-sci magazines; the first that most of us will know about it is when sentient androids and/or helpful AIs start showing up at Best Buy, asking us to buy them.
Sorry but the issue was directly addressed. You stated simply that exponentials don't continue indefinitely to which I reply this is true, but they develop to the point where a new paradigm takes over, and this is not fantasy, there are already 5 demonstrably true levels of paradigms that have taken place, Moore's Law is the 5th. An extension of Moore's Law takes place with the 3D chip example I gave, and nanotubes are also developing apace. These will be the 6th paradigm. It is also true that exponentials are not infinite, however the upper limit is often so far above we have now that it hardly makes a difference. How does this skirt the issue in any way? It shows the main thrust of the curve(s) still continue.

The second issue, is that such exponenetials are not a natural law, which is also directly addressed in the Kurzweil quote I posted.

The third, is Christopher's (supported by several software posters from this board) suggestion that software has not kept pace with this info curve, which is also demonstrably untrue based on the two articles I posted.

Conclusion: the criticsm by exponential not being natural law or finite in info tech (and by extension anything that becomes an infotech) is not valid.

Edit: Continuing this post now as I was busy earlier:

You mention I cite pop-sci articles, which in itself usually quotes experts, but I also refer Christopher to Hans Marovec's work, which as I state is more detailed than I can get here, and is almost completely freely available online. The proof I cite foir software's expoenetial comes from an industry report as well as a government report. One pop-sci page I assume you are talking about is Kurzweil's own page, which is a site that collects information and info exchange on the subject, since Kurzweil is a major expert on many of the subjects he discusses, and has worked in multiple fields himself, I can consider him a good source of quotes on the subject, therefore I don't consider those "pop-sci".

At this point, the meme for the Singularity is picking up amongst scientific circles, and usually there first. Economists, educators, and a very small trickle of politicans following behind. As I have argued with you on other threads, I point out where political roadbloacks(mostly useless and backwards), war (the Pinker statistics that suggest violence is decreasing and eaths in wars are lower as wars are lower scale), poverty(the rising billion--based on hard UN data), technological limitations(AGI specifically, which is now past it's "sticking point" period), innovation limitations (there are now major forums for those involved to make this stuff happen in reality not least of which is Singularity University) and funding limitations (the explosion of DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist and projects like xprize and kickstarter; also the fact that we are going to turn to exponential economy, as the stock market is undervalued) can be mitigated or why they are not a hinderence to the continued acclerated change leading to a SIngularity. In fact, the curve continues upward even through economic blips like recessions, wars etc. It is very far from a one dimensional development, and as some of our conversations revolved around this, I'm surprised you're even bringing this up again or maybe you didn't realize why I was establishing those conditions allowing for the change. Disasters are always a possibility, but that's always the case, and I always said these could affect future history no matter what our path is.

As part of this info availabilty change, I don't just have to stick with magazines that are months out of date, I get multiple feeds of info especially on technological change right to my smartphone, literally thousands of articles through apps, email, etc. When I look deeper, then I go online to research it. It's ironic this fundamental change is also an example of the potential of exponential tech.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities".

Last edited by RAMA; November 17 2012 at 08:35 PM.
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