Monthly Archives: June 2010

A Fly in the Heart of an Apple

A Fly in the Heart of an Apple
A celibate, like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined and dies in singularity. – Jeremy Taylor

I read in the New York Times where Google’s anthropomorph Sergey Brin inhabited a machine and mingled with the students at Singularity U. – which is a pricey course in the tech and the culture of its namesake, into which I first (belatedly!) got suckered through Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, a heady dose of just a hint of Cory Doctorow’s pure awesome.

The Singularity is a period after which Moore’s Law–where the time it takes for technology to double its power–becomes so incredibly exponential that the world is thrown into a state of perpetual doubling, second-by-second, drip-dripping innovation. A point in time where the definition blurs – the shady distinction between what is Man and Machine.

It’s all very pseudo-fanatical: an almost-religion concocted out of a die-hard belief in the *good* in technology and a back-issue copy of Asimov’s.

I should have been put-off by the dollar signs. A nine-day run at Singularity U. can put an enthusiast back $25K, which sounds like good fare for a scientologist. Unfortunately, I am an unabashed fanboy, so between Google and Doctorow and Vannevar Bush and, honestly, back-issues of Asimov’s, I am increasingly caught-up and cultish …

— and fascinated with the humanity in what would be not all that definably human. Reverse engineer the machine-functional brain and you can digitize consciousness, back it up, distribute copies willy-nilly and not only contain–as Whitman told us–but BE multitudes. Outside of the technological and astronomical singularities, the Singularity of Being is irredeemably blasted.

Here is where the real science fiction comes around: I am incapable of fathoming that I would really have anything to say with myself; rather, unless there is a cohesive network infrastructure with an external sysadmin-on-high, once a “me” is booted-up from some common backup, our paths d i v e r g e.

— speculatively,