"Soft Singularity"

by Derek C. F. Pegritz
(McClellandtown, PA, USA)

A "soft" technological singularity can be defined by any technological development whose evolution and derivative developments cannot be predicted with any real accuracy.

These kinds of singularities happen all the time: the development of the telegraph is one such. Not even the most advanced Victorian futurists could have predicted that the telegraph would eventually lead up to the development of the Internet.

The creation of the early Internet itself in the form of ARPANet represents another soft singularity whose impact none of its creators really could have predicted with any reasonable degree of accuracy.

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Interesting Point
by: Socrates

Very interesting Derek,

I like your point about the unintended and unpredictable consequences of technological inventions and especially the way you connect the telegraph with the internet...

On the other hand, isn't the lack of any reasonable predictability the reason why we call it the "singularity" in the first place?! ;-) If that is true, then, a singularity will be soft by definition, wouldn't it?

Emergent Singularity
by: Singularity Team

The emergent singularity's simple rules spawn highly refined complexity, which can be captured only in the phrase "pure benefit". The singularity sumbsumes current knowledge and language structures in a more comprehensive order and augmentation of intelligent entities which are inexhaustibly beneficial.

by: Herminio Martins

"sumbsumes" is incorrect: I take it you meant "subsumes".
The whole sentence is ungrammatical, perhaps missing an "in".
If there are many "soft" singularities, is there just one "hard" singularity, or more than one.
Why is a "soft" singularity defined solely in terms of the unpredictability of technological developments. Scientific developments in pure theory may be unpredictable, eg the General Theory of Relativity (as distinct from the earlier Special or restricted theory of relativity, which might have been formulated by several other mathematical physicists besides Einstein, according to some accounts.
And why not soft singularities in terms of great world-historical events which were both unpredictable and highly consequential, such as the October Revolution in Russia in October 1917?
One could imagine soft singularities in any major field of human endeavour, though the unpredictabilities in question would have to be worked out with care ( a lot of the research on counterfactual thought-experiments in comparative political science would have a bearing on these issues)

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