Member 3
22 entries

Rene Daalder
Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Jan 18, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 1

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    SpaceCollective’s first steps
    Recently I came across an interesting argument between Kevin Kelly and Ray Kurzweil wherein the two men discuss the foreseeable future when exponential change will have given rise to computers with superhuman capabilities, unleashing unimaginable levels of intelligence. Whereas Kurzweil sees this event, known as the Singularity, as a technological big bang beyond which everything will change, Kelly suggests that this evolutionary growing spurt will occur more like a phase-shift that won’t appear discontinuous to us. In his opinion we’ll “sail through this transformation without really noticing it.” Kurzweil admits that when the Arpanet went from 10,000 nodes to 20,000 in one year, and then from 40,000 to 80,000, it was of interest only to a few thousand scientists. It would take at least a decade before the internet’s true potential started to sink in, by which time it had already changed the world as we know it to an extent most people have yet to grasp.

    Even though Kevin Kelly recognizes the exponential growth of the different aspects of information technology, he is skeptical of Kurzweil’s Techno Rapture which by 2040 is supposed to change our lives to the point where all bets for the future will be off. Writing about similar transformative events in his essay We Are The Web, Kelly observes that historically such pivotal moments are only recognized in retrospect:
    “Every few centuries, the steady march of change meets a discontinuity, and history hinges on that moment. We look back on those pivotal eras and wonder what it would have been like to be alive then. Confucius, Zoroaster, Buddha, and the latter Jewish patriarchs lived in the same historical era, an inflection point known as the axial age of religion. Few world religions were born after this time.”

    A similar example of such a transformative event is the convergence of the inventors of modern science in the 17th Century.

    It is Kelly's belief that “three thousand years from now, when keen minds review the past, our ancient time, here at the cusp of the third millennium, will be seen as another such era,” when linking the world’s minds into the machine will have provided us with a radically new way of thinking. He maintains, however, that once again people alive during such an axial age - which in this case would be us - won't be able to acknowledge the transformative nature of their era.

    Ironically, as we are well on our way along the impending trajectory delineated by Kurzweil, Kelly seems to ignore the fact that the same exponential rate of change hurtling us towards the Singularity, has long since provided us with the collaborative interfaces that allow our networked communications to travel at the speed of light, collapsing his 3000 year timeframe into a few fleeting nanoseconds.

    As a case in point, it has been very exciting upon the recent launch of SpaceCollective to all at once come in contact with many thinkers who are perfectly attuned to our moment in time and ready to catch up to the future. It's been great to see the variety of their inquiries pushing the envelope in one post after another. To learn more about the Singularity, for example, I recommend reading Wildcat's post on the subject. Other topics range from Virtual Worlds, the New Space Age and various scenarios for enhancing the human mind and body, to the founding of Online Societies, our ongoing separation from the natural world, and - perhaps most surprisingly - the shortcomings of human language, considered by some the very foundation of consciousness itself.

    It has been very encouraging to read posts of numerous members for whom English is a second language, appropriately providing our online brainstorm with a global point of view. Meika, 3LSZVJA9, Wildcat, Spaceweaver, monolith, Megan, Al, Duly, Sjef, Dimitrib, FrankLloydWrong, Richard and many others contributed posts and comments that deserve to be archived for future reference in the Project spaces which will soon be in place. Nina kicked off a transhumanist debate that will no doubt get a lot more attention once the project is properly featured. Students of design and architecture schools are proving that in the internet era the dynamic of education is changing to the point where students are teaching students and their own teachers no less than teachers are teaching them. We particularly enjoyed the work of Norah G., Sarahs, Lisa Hogberg, Henry, Joshua and Can. With a number of new academic projects to start off 2008, we’re eager to explore how interdepartmental, cross-institutional courses, paired with the interaction between students and public members may suggest different educational models for our time.

    In the few weeks since our launch, we have received several hundred thousand page views. However, since we unanimously appreciate everyone currently contributing to the site, we are leaving the initiative to grow the collective at the discretion of our members, each of whom may invite whoever they believe can play a role in establishing SpaceCollective as the viable think tank it aspires to be.

    Mon, Jan 21, 2008  Permanent link

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    Zukzuk     Thu, Jan 3, 2008  Permanent link
    As a recent sibling of this Collective I must say I'm impressed with the level of sophistication on this project. Truly amazing content in a truly amazing shell. I'll have to push my own boundary to keep up with the lot of you.

    The future looks amazing!

    Zombine     Thu, Jan 3, 2008  Permanent link
    Zukzuk, it'll be amazing if mankind will care about it.
    most of us care only about themselves and money, and power, and other such things.

    i hope places like this will help us.
    AtomLittle     Fri, Jan 4, 2008  Permanent link
    I agree that the level of sophistication on this project is impressive. Although at first I think some of us will be intimidated by this, I think it is important to realize that everyone, no matter their level of knowledge on a given subject, can and should contribute to the Collective. If we are truly chronicling our life and times with an eye towards the future of our species then we need as many perspectives as we can get! I am honored to be one of those perspectives and I look forward to exchanging ideas with all of you!
    Lateralis     Sat, Jan 5, 2008  Permanent link
    Indeed. I found out about this project through a friend, and I must say, I wasn't too enthused at first. Upon reading the first few posts I came across, however, I realised that this was, in fact, exactly the place I've been looking for; I don't pretend to be special, but I've always felt different from friends and people I met in the world, that I and the thoughts I held within me didn't quite fit in with the consumerist system of our society. This project is a breath of fresh air. I hope it continues to grow and evolve, and eventually assist us all in discovering our true potential.

    Long live the intelligence and perseverance of us all.
    sightbyvision     Sat, Jan 5, 2008  Permanent link
    Reading the post and the first four comments ignites within me that tingly sensation of inspiration, wonder, and bewilderment.
    I feel I can connect on so many levels with just the five of you, and this is the first post I've ever read on the site. Compared to other communities, it has taken months to find a post of such substance.
    I first read about the Singularity a few years ago in high school, and I've since asked around about it, but no one ever says "Oh yea, I know what that is!" So it's good to finally hear about it from someplace else than websites devoted to the topic.

    I totally agree with you Zukzuk that this place has amazing content, and the shell—the medium—is an online community! How amazing indeed.

    And Zombine, how right your are. Apathy is the enemy. In our democracy, which hinges on people actually caring enough to vote, voter turnout is declining. Voter turnout has recently been around 50%. What does it mean when the majority of people in a democracy don't vote? And this is just an example of the larger problem that people don't care. Like you said, the future will only be amazing if people care about it.

    AttomLittle, I'm am definitely intimidated by this, but your post encouraged me to write this, so thank you.

    Lateralis, this project is a breath of fresh air, as was your post. You're dead on in saying we are by no means above others. But there's definitely something that sets us apart, and I have only ever recognized it just as you described, "...I've always felt different from friends and people I've met in the world..." Reading that was eerie, but refreshing.

    I'm so excited for this project and this community. So excited I don't even know what to do... I'm overwhelmed with the potential here. So great, we've found all these like-minded individuals, but what does that mean when my feet hit the floor in the morning? How does this change our daily behavior? What should we be doing?

    And I guess the great thing about this shell is that it is a community, and this means that I'm not just sending notes in a bottle out to the æther. No, there are real people here who can give real answers. We're not alone on this. We're a collective.
    meika     Sat, Jan 5, 2008  Permanent link
    Scientists have known for some time that most major groups of complex animals appeared in the fossils record during the Cambrian Explosion, a seemingly rapid evolutionary event that occurred 542 million years ago. Now Virginia Tech paleontologists, using rigorous analytical methods, have identified another explosive evolutionary event that occurred about 33 million years earlier among macroscopic life forms unrelated to the Cambrian animals. They dubbed this earlier event the "Avalon Explosion."

    This came out on the same day as your post. I smiled on reading the two almost one after the other. Sigmoid curves or 'explosions' or 'singularities' or spikes precede us too, on this side it looks like a thousand plateaus, terraces of them, in an ever increasing steepness of steps. From down there it's one spike.

    So, then,

    Whereas Kurzweil sees this event, known as the Singularity, as a technological big bang beyond which everything will change, Kelly suggests that this evolutionary growing spurt will occur more like a phase-shift that won’t appear discontinuous to us.

    "Discontinuous" for some, while for others completely unnoticeable? A matter of perception, depending on perspective, from one's place in the world.

    It would take at least a decade before the internet’s true potential started to sink in, by which time it had already changed the world as we know it to an extent most people have yet to grasp

    "Discontinuous" for those left out?

    For it's a spike to those left behind.

    Who shall we leave behind? Who shall have that choice? Who shall not pass? Who will choose to remain behind? Who shall we abduct? Who shall we put in reservations and cultural museums. One on each step perhaps?

    Last night I saw upon the stair
    A little man who wasn't there
    He wasn't there again today
    Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

    It looks seamless to me, but I am alone in this among my friends.
    InfoDux     Sun, Jan 6, 2008  Permanent link
    I think Zombine, you had the truest insight on the subject, saying "it'll be amazing if mankind will even care about it". This is indeed the most crucial of all concerns; How do we get people in on this dialogue and what do we do about bringing the future to all of us.

    I say lets keep perspective and take one step at a time, beginning by engaging others wherever and whenever we can. Remember these are hearty morsels of conversation, they can be the talk of every town.

    A recipie for revolution...
    Conversation -> Active Legislation -> Policy -> Grants -> Inventions
    . lets start talking!!
    aeonbeat     Sun, Jan 6, 2008  Permanent link
    is talk really cheap? spacecollective is a hard time for laziness! act! we are one, no exceptions...
    Rourke     Mon, Jan 7, 2008  Permanent link
    I must echo the thoughts of fellow commentors, it has thus far been nothing but a pleasure to take part in Space Collective. This is not the first time I have come across a communal attempt to debate and examine the interests of 'singularity' thinking, but it is the first time I have come across such philosophically grounded explorations of the subject.

    Human thought is most definitely on the brink of a profound evolution, but to consider its change in a philosophical vacuum is to naively examine the human condition from our present perspective alone. Utopian thinking (and The Singularity is most definitely a utopian ideal) has taken place throughout history and has most often focussed on the issues of the human condition which tended (in retrospect) to stay in stasis. In contrast, the technological aspects of utopian theory tended to strike well short of the mark i.e. they were not profound enough in their imaginings.

    What lies ahead of us is change the like of which we have no chance of comprehending. Space Collective appears finely aware of those aspects of human caprice which bear most strongly on the capacities of our collective dreams. If this community is to make a mark it is in reconstructing each other's consciousnesses from the philosophical bedrock of idealism. If humanity is to collectively alter the nature of reality we need to better understand the reality we already subsist in.

    Space Collective chatter has already begun to recode my perceptions.
    kurt     Mon, Jan 7, 2008  Permanent link
    Like others here reading and talking about the singularity as well as Spacecollective itself, I share this "tingly" feeling of excitement. The level of discourse impresses. Just to visit and read this site is to seemingly watch and to take part in the future NOW.

    It seems that when truly significant leaps happen in the evolution of our species and civilization, few notice. I like so very much the sense that spacecollective allows visitors and contributors the opportunity to not only see the change as it is taking place but to help shape the change itself or at least the perception of change and in this coming world is not perception more and more the true instrument of change?

    I think what amazes me most about this site is that my mind seems to be unbounded here. As though evolution is not something that happens necessarily over time but in the blink of an eye. I hope that in this space I can continue to share with other like-minded individuals and become part of the unbounded global collective that spacecollective seems to represent. I think that this is a very powerful thing indeed, if not essential, for the future of human beings on this planet as we know it.
    Jaman     Tue, Jan 8, 2008  Permanent link
    I was a little reluctant to join up incase i couldnt keep up or may have nothing to contribute but this article and the few ive read before it leave me thinking i made the right decision and look forward to expanding my horizons and maybe everybody here's aswell.
    feanne     Wed, Jan 9, 2008  Permanent link
    Thank you, SpaceCollective admin, for creating and maintaining a webspace for us to share, contemplate, and question our ideas!

    The experience has been amazing so far and this is only the beginning— I'm so excited!
    Wildcat     Wed, Jan 9, 2008  Permanent link
    After a number of weeks of participating in, and sharing with, observing and interacting in the midst of a remarkable group of humans, trading in insights, trafficking in ideas but most importantly, dealing in the market place of forthcoming interesting things, I am now under the impression that space collective has an inherent value in its endeavor.
    The existential intuition, which has brought the life of space collective into being, is overwhelmingly positive and inspiring.
    Though in its infancy, already a glimpse into a possible future of mutually supporting, reciprocally interacting minds is visible, hence the true arisal of a potential collective is positively viable.
    As I see it the main positives are to be found in the fluidity of intelligence and the poetic intellect, awakening and bringing to attention aspects of reality that may otherwise be neglected in the mass of dull information abounding around us.
    En passant, I wish to praise the aesthetics and care invested in creating and maintaining SC.

    So, at present, this is just a short note of appreciation and encouragement.
    Thank you
         Thu, Jan 10, 2008  Permanent link
    This site really rocks. Yeah, I'd like to extend my thanks out to the powers that made this happen. I'm sure this site will bring things far for humanity if we can work to bring it to that point.