From: Dani Eder (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Apr 29 2006 - 05:02:55 MDT
> Now *that* is not business as usual. For the first
> time, the technology
> changes the generator of new technology. Never
> happened before. Not
> just more of the same, but a whole new ball game.
> That is what the Singularity is all about, and why
> it makes no sense to
> say that new technology is not such a big deal.
In their aggregate impact, the invention of
teaching and one-to-many copying have been very
By the former, I mean teaching in schools like Plato's
Academy, then re-developed in cathedral schools and
universities in the Middle Ages. This is in contrast
to the apprenticeship system where knowledge was
By the latter, I mean first block printing, then
movable type printing, versus manuscript copying.
Both developments made the transfer of knowledge
exponentially faster. Since they started from a
very small base, it has taken centuries to build
up literacy and large libraries.
The internet/web/google/word processing, etc. type
tools I estimate has made me twice as productive
in the kind of knowledge work I do, relative to
before the advent of desktop PCs, but that improvement
has come in a couple of decades.
Given the spread of literacy and university-level
education to more countries in the past 20 years,
it's arguable whether the PC-based improvements are
the dominant effect yet, but at some point it
Meanwhile, in the physical realm, manufacturing
productivity has doubled in 13 years in the US:
I think we're well on our way to a fully-automated
production environment, shortly to be followed by
automated transportation and retail delivery
(think shelf-stocking robots and automated french
fry and hamburger machines).
What are all those low-skilled people going to be
doing in that environment?
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