Don’t Accept Me to Singularity University: My Top 10 Reasons Why I Should Not Be Accepted

by Socrates on March 13, 2011

I am just about ready to submit my application to Singularity University.

Without any doubt, this phenomenal institution offers a totally unique and absolutely bleeding edge, intensive learning program about the exponential growth in a whole spectrum of pioneering technologies and fields such as: AI & Robotics; Nanotechnology; Networks & Computing Systems; Biotechnology & Bioinformatics; Medicine & Neuroscience; Futures Studies & Forecasting; Policy, Law & Ethics; Finance & Entrepreneurship; Energy & Ecological Systems; Space & Physical Sciences. (For more download this brochure).

It is no surprise that thousands of people are applying for it.

Here are 2 minutes of video highlights from the 2010 Graduate Studies opening ceremony:

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As part of the application process, one has to submit a short video explaining why one wants to be accepted. However, being a Socrates, I decided to submit a video presenting My Top 10 Reasons Why I Should Not Be Accepted.

This way, if the application committee really heeds my advice, then, there will be one more space for someone else. (If they don’t, then I’m going to have to go)

But, really, who can be better than you?!

However, in order to take advantage of this amazing opportunity you will have to, at the very least, make sure you submit an application before the deadline — March 31st. (You can’t win the lottery, if you don’t buy a ticket, right?)

So, in short: If you want to learn about cool new technologies, meet amazing people, have fun and change the world — don’t waste your time — go send an application! And good luck!

My Top 10 Reasons Why I Should Not Be Accepted

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Video Transcript:


My name is Nikola Danaylov and I am applying for the 2011 Singularity University Graduate Studies Program. I really appreciate your time and consideration, so I thought I’d make things easier for you and give you my Top 10 Reasons Not To Be Accepted to Singularity University.

So here are my top 10 reasons why I should not be accepted to Singularity University:

10. I am not a scientist. People who know me say that I am good at pattern recognition, strategic analysis and negotiation but chances are I am not going to reinvent the wheel or win the Nobel Prize in theoretical physics.

9. Money: I can’t pay for SingularityU. So why shouldn’t you get someone with equal (or better) qualifications who can actually pay tuition?!

8. Accent: As you can see, English is not my first language. I was born and grew up in Bulgaria but now I live in Canada. The problem with my accent is that sometimes my jokes don’t work. Other times people think I’m joking when I am serious, and this could be a problem.

7. Hard to fit: I don’t always fit. By nature I am a contrarian. A Socrates. A gadfly. Sometimes even a trouble-maker. So, why not get someone who always fits?

6. Scarcity: Let’s face it - despite everything, spots at SingularityU are very scarce. Scholarships are likely even more scarce. Thus if you give one to me you will be taking it away from someone else. Do you really want to do that?!

5. Sense of Humour: Now, perhaps you think I am not so funny, sarcastic or original. Well then, of course, make sure you do get someone who truly is.

4. Age: I am 34 years old but please don’t get me wrong. When I say “Age” I mean to say that deep inside I am still a ten-year-old-kid. So perhaps you ought to wait until, maybe, someday, I will finally grow up and become an adult.

3. Imperfect Record: I have had great academic, professional and other accomplishments in a spectrum of diverse disciplines. But if you look closely you will find out that I don’t have a perfect record.

One of my philosophy professors at the University of Toronto noted that I have a very strong response towards good teaching. The thing is that it goes both ways. That is to say that I have equally strong negative response to poor teaching. So accepting me would involve taking a substantial risk. Why not accept someone who is a sure bet instead. Someone with a perfect record.

2. Leadership: I am often conflicted between being a born individualist and a natural leader. On the one hand, as Mark Twain put it, I feel uncomfortable and begin to reflect whenever I find myself on the side of the majority. On the other hand, I have a record of being a successful leader for a small motivated group of people such as an army platoon or a business team. But I am not a good leader for really big groups. So clearly, this is something I need to work on.

1. Passion: It’s been said that most people live their lives in “quiet desperation.” I believe that the reason is that most people hate what they do. Now, I didn’t start and for money, or to get accepted to SingularityU. That is why I am going to continue working on those no matter what. But accepting me, would mean that yet again, I will end up doing something that I truly love. Isn’t it time that I learn to do something that I don’t enjoy?!

So, those were my top 10 reasons not to be accepted. Of course, if you decide to disagree and argue that none of the above ought to prevent me from coming to Singularity University, then, since I’ve already given my best shot at convincing you otherwise, I will have no other choice but to oblige.

Thank you for your time!


So, what do you think? Should or shouldn’t I be accepted to Singularity University?


  • Aubrey de Grey

    11. I had the temerity to take ownership of a URL that SU would obviously have liked for themselves but were too slow to take, and I haven’t even offered it to them as part-payment for my place on the course :-)

  • Matt

    I think you’d make a great candidate Socrates.

  • Socrates

    Thank you Aubrey and Matt. Hope it works… Though my video production value clearly sucks… ;-)

  • Julie Danaylov

    I love reason #1!!! You would be perfect for SU!!!

  • Socrates


    What is even worse is that in 2007 or so, when I was working on my MA, I went ahead and purchased a few dozen singularity domains such as etc. So now, all those are hooked up to point to either or

  • Socrates

    Perhaps it is the person you love and not so much the reason ;-)

  • CMStewart

    12. I can make a meal out of air. I cut it with a knife and fork, eat it, and enjoy it. I even have the swagger to pose for a picture while doing so. How crazy is that? It’s that kind of radical, out-of-the-box, revolutionary self-phenomenalization that just may pull the Singularity closer than . . oh wait. ;)

  • Socrates

    Hahaha, I can’t stop laughing…

    Cynthia, that is the best encapsulation of my profile picture from the footer of the blog - perhaps I should frame it… or start a testimonial page with your quote at the very top!!! Awesome - thank you so much for all the support!!!

  • CMStewart

    Feel free to take my quote and do what you will. :)

    And you’re welcome!

    And I sincerely hope you are accepted to the Singularity University. You’d be a great unifying asset to any Singularity institution. Congratulations on making the top 50 of the Technorati Top 100 Science Blogs!

  • Gavin DMello

    Thank you for your contributions on youtube and the blog.

    Your interviews are an inspiration.

    Keep up the good work and you will find success in one form or another.


  • Socrates

    Thank you Galvin, to me, comments such as yours (both here and on YouTube) are clear evidence that my efforts have not gone in vain and in that sense are evidence of success… Thanks again!

  • Sunrider

    You go Nik! It’s not for nothing that you fought your way out of Bulgaria, through US tuition and through two good degrees in Canada. Excellence also comes from ambition and perseverance… And brains don’t hinge on one accent or another.


  • Socrates

    Thanks for the support Sunrider! I really appreciate it!!!

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