Having previously noted the techno-/theo- logical dream of transcending death through science, I’m almost pleased to note that some futurists are now throwing cold water on the idea of The Singularity. (That’s the moment when AI surpasses human intelligence, Skynet becomes self-aware, and nanobots give Glenn Reynolds the physique of an American Gladiator.)

A publication called IEE Spectrum, which playfully calls The Singularity “the Rapture for geeks,” suspects that Wired ‘s piece on Ray Kurzweil’s bid for immortality is bosh:

Why should a mere journalist question Kurzweil’s conclusion that some of us alive today will live indefinitely? Because we all know it’s wrong. We can sense it in the gaping, take-my-word-for-it extrapolations and the specious reasoning of those who subscribe to this form of the singularity argument. Then, too, there’s the flawed grasp of neuroscience, human physiology, and philosophy. Most of all, we note the willingness of these people to predict fabulous technological advances in a period so conveniently short it offers themselves hope of life everlasting.

This has all gone on too long. The emperor isn’t wearing anything, for heaven’s sake.

More demystifying follows. This is the techno version of Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great , only funny, entertaining, and incisive. Enjoy.

Articles by Jonathan V. Last

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