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Reprinted with permission Mises Institute George Ford Smith
Futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil wrote an essay in 2001, "The Law of Accelerating Returns," that describes an exponential path to what for many is an unimaginable future.
How certain is the exponential he describes? "We would have to repeal capitalism and every visage of economic competition to stop this progression," he says.
In today's world of collapsing currencies and anticapitalistic agendas, that repeal is well underway. Will the exponential be allowed to benefit mankind or will we regress to stagnation and slavery under globalist rule?
According to Kurzweil:
Exponential growth is a feature of any evolutionary process, of which technology is a primary example. One can examine the data in different ways, on different time scales, and for a wide variety of technologies ranging from electronic to biological, and the acceleration of progress and growth applies. Indeed, we find not just simple exponential growth, but "double" exponential growth, meaning that the rate of exponential growth is itself growing exponentially.
Moore's law—the exponential shrinking of transistor sizes on an integrated circuit—is thought to be nearly synonymous with this observation, but in fact, it is only one example of what Kurzweil calls "a rich model of technological processes." This has been ongoing "since the advent of evolution on Earth."
His analysis shows that although "exponential trends did exist a thousand years ago, they were at that very early stage where an exponential trend is so flat that it looks like no trend at all."
Humans live in a linear world, he reminds us, and often believe progress will continue at the present rate. This is not surprising, since any sufficiently short period on an exponential scale will be experienced as linear. "Even sophisticated commentators, when considering the future, extrapolate the current pace of change over the next 10 years or 100 years to determine their expectations."
The full impact of exponential growth can be seen in the tale of the inventor of chess and his patron, the emperor of China.
In response to the emperor's offer of a reward for his new beloved game, the inventor asked for a single grain of rice on the first square, two on the second square, four on the third, and so on. The Emperor quickly granted this seemingly benign and humble request.
One version of the story has the emperor going bankrupt as the 63 doublings ultimately totaled 18 million trillion grains of rice. At ten grains of rice per square inch, this requires rice fields covering twice the surface area of the Earth, oceans included. Another version of the story has the inventor losing his head.
Where does exponential growth take us?
It will appear to explode into infinity, at least from the limited and linear perspective of contemporary humans. The progress will ultimately become so fast that it will rupture our ability to follow it. It will literally get out of our control. The illusion that we have our hand "on the plug," will be dispelled. (my emphasis)
He calls the point of explosion the Singularity:
It represents the nearly vertical phase of exponential growth where the rate of growth is so extreme that technology appears to be growing at infinite speed. Of course, from a mathematical perspective, there is no discontinuity, no rupture, and the growth rates remain finite, albeit extraordinarily large. But from our currently limited perspective, this imminent event appears to be an acute and abrupt break in the continuity of progress.
However, I emphasize the word "currently," because one of the salient implications of the Singularity will be a change in the nature of our ability to understand. In other words, we will become vastly smarter as we merge with our technology. (my emphasis)
How imminent is the Singularity? In his magnum opus The Singularity Is Near Kurzweil sets the year 2045 for its arrival. "The nonbiological intelligence created in that year will be one billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today…. Despite the clear predominance of nonbiological intelligence by the mid-2040s, ours will still be a human civilization. We will transcend biology, but not our humanity."
Advancements in nanotechnology will bring tools to "rebuild the physical world—our bodies and brains included—molecular fragment by molecular fragment, potentially atom by atom."
By creating universal abundance, nanotech will diminish the reasons for "breaking the peace."
For those wishing to assign Kurzweil the status of crackpot, check out his "How My Predictions Are Faring," which he published in 2010.
Of the 147 predictions, Kurzweil claimed that 115 were "entirely correct," 12 were "essentially correct," 17 were "partially correct", and only 3 were "wrong." Combining the "entirely" and "essentially" correct, Kurzweil's claimed accuracy rate comes to 86 percent. (Wikipedia).
Read it and judge for yourself. There are good reasons why he's received twenty honorary doctorates. He became a successful entrepreneur by applying his knowledge of exponential trends.
Students of revisionist history and free-market economics understand what's at stake in today's world. The actions of governments in accordance with Event 201, which inflicted a globally totalitarian response to a virus; the stated aims of the World Economic Forum, in which by 2030 what's left of humanity will become happy slaves of an elite; the extinction of fiat monetary systems brought to ruin by central bank counterfeiting; governments defaulting on their debt and unable to pay their employees—all of this and more will create a world of opportunity perhaps never before seen.
Freedom and free markets will emerge by default if not by intention.
Market-chosen money (or monies) will help rescue the world economy.
With the need for defense of private property, the market will provide solutions in accordance with treatises such as Hans-Hermann Hoppe's The Private Production of Defense and others.
I need to mention that these are my views, not Ray Kurzweil's.
The future will not be man versus government terminators, but rather technologically enhanced humans prospering together.
The state, which will still exist only if we fail ourselves, will be relegated to the dark chambers of history.
George Ford Smith is a former mainframe and PC programmer and technology instructor, the author of eight books including a novel about a renegade Fed chairman (Flight of the Barbarous Relic), a filmmaker (Do Not Consent), and an advocate of stateless market government. He welcomes speaking engagements and can be reached at [email protected].
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