by John Shirley
The following is the complete text of the speech the author had originally planned to give at TEDx in Brussels (November 2011). The speech he gave used high points from this off-the-cuff essay, but, of necessity, only half as long. He prefers this version.
It’s a contradiction in terms—two singularities. But there are two, there’s the fanciful technological singularity of the imagination and the singularity that’s likely to come about. The false singularity, supposed to come between 2035 and 2045, is almost a “supernatural event” in the minds of many people. With its dream of technologically achieved eternal life, it has the reek of religious mythology about it, the unconscious fear of mortality; the second singularity is the real singularity—it is more modest but impressive enough… Read more “The Next Fifty Years: Why I’m Optimistic Because Everything Will Be Terrible…”