Monday, December 08, 2014

Waiting for the Singularity

Nearly there. 
It's been a long ride. We nearly didn't make it so many times. We still might not get there, but we can see the ribbon stretched across the track now. 

I's a relay race that's lasted thirteen billion years. Physics of gravity, nuclear transmutation and supernovae, to chemistry of elements becoming molecules and complex hydrocarbons, to biology's replicating strands and evolution, to the oxygen-making algae, complex multicellular organisms, that first step out of the ocean, the hand and the opposable thumb, sparks from a flint into fire, charcoal marks on the cave wall that told stories and sang songs, from the domesticated wolves to the invisible virii that delivered gene-modifiation therapy, to silicon minds and global networks... 

We nearly didn't make it so many thousands, millions of times. That bacterium smashed into space under a world-ending cosmic bombardment, only to return aeons later. That specific configuration of planets. The asteroid that hit, and all those that missed. The Ice Ages, the Black Death. A Nuclear Winter that almost happened. Maybe others that did. 

A dying planet unable to cope with the demands we make of it, a species ripping itself apart and all others around it in paroxysms of imagined slights and self-destructive responses. 

We've danced on the edge of the cliff for millenia, and it's second nature now. 

Just another generation, maybe two. Then we can hand over the baton, sit back, and settle peacefully into history as our successor solves all our problems once and for all and goes ahead with Life. 


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