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Be nice to your Sims

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. - Robert Frost

Last Sunday, I fussed that Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near was overly optimistic about technology’s impact on the future and I needed to re-read Bill Joy’s Wired article, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.” Once again, I suffer from premature articulation.

Kurzweil addresses Joy’s doomsday scenarios: genetically engineered disease spread (ala Atwood’s Oryx and Crake); nano-tech gone wild (ala Crichton’s Prey); and artificial intelligence that turns against us (ala Simmon’s Endymion).

As a bonus he adds some of his own dark futures, he labels existential risks. And “the simulation will shut down,” is pretty interesting. He writes:
“Another existential risk ,,, is that we’re actually living in a simulation and the simulation will be shut down. … The best way we could avoid being shut down would be to be interesting to the observers of the simulation. Assuming that someone is actually paying attention to the simulation, it’s a fair assumption that it’s less likely to be turned off when it’s compelling than otherwise.”
So please folks, do something interesting this weekend. Humanity may depend upon it!


And be extra nice to your Sims. 

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Reader Comments (2)

If you have not read Killing Time by Caleb Carr, you might want to give it a try. It is wildly reviled by Carr fans and got abysmal reader reviews on Amazon. (tiny url: BUT - it made me see the possibilites of a future world where both historical and political misinformation is disseminated via the internet by accident, carelessness, ignorance and often with all deliberate and ominous intent - rendering it virtually impossible to recognize "truth" in a labyrinth of misinformation and disinformation.
November 4, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie Henry
Hi Jacquie,

It's funny, but I tried Killing Time twice before giving up on it. I really liked Carr's historical fiction (The Alienist, Angel of Darkness), but couldn't get into this one. I see he has a new one out using Sherlock Holmes as his protagonist.

I DO appreciate the recommendation however. I am always on the lookout for good science fiction.

All the best,

November 5, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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