Singular chat with Kurzweil and Vinge

Last nightmonth (thanks, cypherpunks!), Raymond "Spiritual Machines" Kurzweil and Vernor "True Names" Vinge met online and discussed the Singularity in a chat hosted by Here's the transcript.

Gardner: Seems unlikely to me that EVERYONE will have an equal capacity for keeping up with it. There are people today who have trouble keeping up even with the 20th Century, like the Amish.

RayKurzweil: The Amish seem to fit in well. I could think of other examples of people who would like to turn the clock back.

RayKurzweil: But in terms of opportunity, this is the have-have not issue. Keep in mind that because of what I call the "law of accelerating returns," technology starts out unaffordable, becomes merely expensive, then inexpensive, then free.

vv: True, but the better analogy is across the entire kingdom of life

vv: When dealing with "superhumans" it is not the same thing as comparing — say — our tech civ with a pretech human civ. The analogies should be with the animal kindgom and even more pershaps with things enve further away and more primitive