Lion of the Blogosphere

The singularity in the Wall Street Journal

CCNY Physics professor Michio Kaku writes in the Wall Street Journal :

One day we might have a “library of souls,” in which we can have a scintillating discussion with our long-dead ancestors or even historical figures. We could talk to a hologram of an ancestor, for instance, which can access all that person’s memories and personality.


Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 21, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Posted in Nerdy stuff, Religion

66 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. One day…

    And one day soon Steve Hsu will breed a race of people like the captors in The Cage episode of Star Trek.

    Scientists have a history of overoptimism. Neither of these things will ever happen.

    Duke of Leinster

    August 21, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    • What about ending the misogyny of the Manosphere? Would sex bots in the future give them the “lay” they need?


      August 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      • Anything that reduces women’s power is misogynistic, therefore sexbots are misogynistic. Heck, disagreeing with a women is misogynistic.


        August 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      • Porn and live strip cams are misogynistic. Misogyny could be an ambiguous word, since less physically attractive men complain about women treating them like unwanted creeps, hence their strong dislike of them other than their sexual purposes.


        August 25, 2014 at 9:07 AM

  2. Michio Kaku was a frequent quest of Opie & Anthony. I find it odd especially for a prole such as Anthony Cumia to have a desire to listen to his geek talk.


    August 21, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    • it’s not just ‘geek talk’ it’s stuff millions of people would find fascinating

      grey enlightenment

      August 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    • Well we don’t have to worry about that anymore, do we?


      August 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    • Anthony’s about as prole as you can get, but he’s still an extremely bright guy.


      August 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      • I guess so, since Anthony did say on air that Asians generally don’t really suffer from discrimination, and they’re just a bunch of boring f*cks who can’t drive.


        August 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    • Michio Kaku is a huckster selling a digital religion. “Step right up! You too can be immortal as a digital copy of yourself! You’ll never have to die!”

      Mike Street Station

      August 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM

  3. The sci-fi writer Peter F. Hamilton dealt with this concept in his series The Night’s Dawn. In essence, a set of humans split off in the future: one, the Adamists, still held on to religion and standard technology whereas the other subset, the Edenists, became devout atheists. The Edenists have a unique gene called the Affinity Gene, which enables them to communicate telepathically with one another. This gene also allows them to transfer their memories into their habitat at the time of their death. Future generations of Edenists can still communicate with these memories of passed elders. Eventually the memories decide to disappear since most living people have forgottem about these dead souls.

    The series is part sci-fi, part horror, and very lengthy: easily over 3,000 pages. The ending was also a copout. Nonetheless I’d recommend it to any hard-core sci-fi readers out there based on the interesting concepts of our future human race.


    August 21, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    • I started reading it, but for some reason I got bogged down in the first book and stopped. Maybe I should try again.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      • Yeah, I get that. The language is verbose in the beginning and difficult to follow. Once you get a hang of his new words that he has invented, the ride gets going. It’s pretty slow though until the possessed hit the scene, which is about page 200 in the The Reality Dysfunction.

        Have you ever picked up Pandora’s Star? Also a fun read, but I find he needs a better editor, and the way he wraps things up is generally unsatisfactory.


        August 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      • The Commonwealth Saga (Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained) is some of the best space opera I’ve read in many years. I do, however, agree with you in re his wrap-ups.


        August 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      • If this happens in Lion’s lifetime, his future descendants can ask him about proles, guidos, and gaining Ivy League admittance.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      • I quit the series about half way through. As one reviewer pointed out, it’s a science fiction series which has been taken over by strange forces from another genre. I’m not interested in reading horror.

        Hamilton’s later work, i.e. the Commonwealth Universe, is far superior.


        August 22, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    • Pandora’s Star was a better story. Though the ending in Judas Unchained was also pretty bad. He did get better ending in his Void Trilogy though. (All books mentioned are part of the Commonwealth Universe.)

      He does do some seriously great action sequences.

      I also started the first book in Night’s Dawn, but didn’t finish.


      August 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      • I agree that Pandora’s Star was the better story. The fact that there were sleeper alien agents spread across the Commonwealth was really intriguing.

        His tackling the subject of longevity was also interesting at first, but was completely unbelievable that these dynasties would form and that they were very stable over centuries. I would think that eventually the offspring would tire of Nigel et. al. and usurp them. Especially if Nigel was tapping the primo ass all of the time and making all of the decisions.

        Do you recommend reading the Void Trilogy? I’m a little gun shy of Hamilton now after being let down by the endings in both Pandora’s Star as well as Night’s Dawn trilogy.


        August 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      • I enjoyed the Void Trilogy and the ending wasn’t completely horrible. It is a bit strange though. It is basically two stories in one book that slowly converge. The story inside the book is set in a medieval period.

        I am looking forward to his Fallers books.


        August 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      • “inside the book” = “inside the Void”


        August 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    • “Night’s Dawn” huh … So “Twilight” was taken?


      August 21, 2014 at 5:56 PM

  4. Even if this were possible, any computer program that could accurately simulate your personality would be self-aware, and a self-aware copy of you would not want to be locked up in a library with no body. A disembodied mind would definitely be unhappy and might go insane.


    August 21, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    • I agree that it would be ethical to assume that such a program would self-aware and treat it humanely. But the computer program simulating your personality could be given a pleasant virtual environment to exist in, maybe something like the holodeck in Star Trek.

      Michael H

      August 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    • I’m sure there are ways to circumvent this by disabling the highest levels of sentience . When you (the physical self) want to become someone else, it can be re-enabled

      grey enlightenment

      August 21, 2014 at 5:21 PM

  5. That’s why even though I’m part of the ‘neo reactionary right’, I’m optimistic about the future of America and its economy. Betting against the best minds in the world is always a losing proposition in the long run (with brief periods of success like in 2008 or in 1929)

    grey enlightenment

    August 21, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    • The Manoprolesphere believes America is evolving into a black america; basically a stagnant country with a culture of misogyny and oversexed cocky behavior/endeavors so one can peacock themselves into a woman’s hole. No one in this country really cares about the best minds who uplifts humanity. That’s for the sexless value creating – beta chumps who has the discipline and strong will to overcome their sexual desires for the intense pursuit of humanitarian ideals. Is America becoming a larger version of the inner city ghetto? You bet, as the other day I saw a White D-bag student at the library wearing sunglasses while staring at the computer screen. Just right before that, he was trying to pickup a female librarian to get her phone number at one of the book stacks nearby, with some hardcore lines of harassing her. This is a true story and we’re talking about an Ivy League setting here!


      August 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      • The library girls at the ASU law library were very hot.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      • The Butler Library at Columbia doesn’t have hot librarians, just plain janes. A significant number of men today are desperate for female attention due to the changing social dynamics of this country.


        August 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      • I saw a fairly attractive lady sitting with a scrawny geeky guy who was below her league. Apparently, he seems to be a classmate of hers and they were discussing about schoolwork. It’s quite interesting to see how this woman just dominated him over the discussion, not giving him a chance to speak and respond, as they were discussing about Freud and Psychology to the point where she sounded combative. This goes to show you how American women have no respect for beta type guys WHATSOEVER. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, you are a 2nd class citizen in her mind.


        August 21, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      • Glengarry — That video is another testament that most Ivy League girls are f—king ugly!


        August 22, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    • O/T – Is America really imploding with its exceptionalism or are we a nation of arrogant, yet dumb downed – incompetent idiots? They could have save James Foley’s life by paying the ransom to the Islamic terrorists like the European nations.


      August 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      • “This might cause outrage”

        Heh! Outrage! Nothing Obama does will cause outrage, because outrage is caused by concerted media effort — what the NY Times used to call “flooding the zone,” a fabulously apt description. And since the media will never “flood the zone” against Obama, no outrage.


        August 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      • “Nothing Obama does will cause outrage, because outrage is caused by concerted media effort.” —————————-

        Yes. This.


        August 22, 2014 at 12:09 AM

  6. I predict we will each be assigned an android “life coach” who will be with us at all times, instilling good values and physically preventing us from doing harm to others or others’ property. It will mean the end of crime and punishment.


    August 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    • It will give you an electric shock when you visit hate websites, like this one, for instance.


      August 22, 2014 at 5:27 AM

  7. The most depressing part was this “The short-term goal is to alleviate the suffering caused by mental illness. (According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults will suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year.) ” If govts fund anything cool, it has to come about as a by product off research to help some victim group.


    August 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    • ,,,some misdiagnosed and overmedicated victim group…


      August 21, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    • The real irony is that they called it the “short term” goal.

      There will never be a cure for “mental illness” because the definition of what is “mentally ill” is always changing. 50 years ago gays were mentally ill. When Democrats are in power, Republicans are mentally ill, and vice versa.

      Bipolar “disorder” is seen as an illness…despite the glaring contradiction with personality as illness in concert with natural selection….obviously a certain proportion of the population increased their fitness by displaying a bipolar personality, and narcissistic, and obsessive/compulsive, and so on. “Mental illness” turns natural human biodiversity into a diagnosis. This is very divisive, and is in no way a short term, and if solvable at all, a VERY long term problem to solve.

      Good luck “solving” mental illness. They must be mentally ill to think it’s just that easy.


      August 21, 2014 at 7:04 PM

  8. Uh…Futurama.

    I’m amazed at how many ‘new’ models in physics and philosophy are really re-worked science fiction ( or older speculative philosophy by non-recognized philosophers outside of academia) insights but without attribution. They then give each other prizes and grants.

    NYT disses Sci-Fi for 80 years, then gobbles it up when some academic repeats it.


    August 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    • Rob, if you believe that you have little understanding of physics. While some theories are unlikely to be proven, many are supported by experiment and physical evidence. The Higgs boson for example was theorized because it makes the standard model of particle physics consistent. When the means became available (Large Hadron Collider), the Higgs boson signature became observable in sufficiently high energy collisions. Science is science, science fiction is just that.


      August 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

  9. Keep in mind that Michio Kaku is a radical, hard-core Leftist. Nothing he does exists outside of an agenda.


    August 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    • I’m not sure an Asian could be viewed as a Leftist. Most Leftists despise Asians as much as proles or Republicans. Anything he does or says would be interpreted as non-sequitur by the Left. De Blasio wants to get rid of entrance exams for the NYC specialized high schools opening a floodgate of lazy NAM minions, which Asians such as the Kaku types, had a chokehold for a long time.


      August 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

  10. Michio Kaku, born at San Jose in 1947, benefits from his Japanese name which gives the impression that he is the mythical “Wise Asian”. He plays that to the end ; even his web page’s illustration shows “M<". M is the first letter of his name, and something which looks like "<" is actually the Japanese letter "ku", which forms the last part of his surname.

    However the Japanese treat him as an American. They have different scripts for writing Japanese words and words which came from outside Japan, and his name is written in the script which is used to write foreign words.


    August 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

  11. The paradox is that the modern scientist aka strict materialist cannot allow for the existence of true singularities. The ability of scientists to measure “things” depends entirely on the reality of redundant phenomena. In fact, our universe consists of nothing other than redundant phenomena. All “things” in our universe are measurable therefore no true singularities exist.

    One can easily observe this belief in the rejection of miracles, revelation, resurrection, conception, objective Supremacy, Truth, Goodness, Beauty, etc.

    The reality is that the scientific singularity = god-like man when all the smoke clears.


    August 21, 2014 at 7:03 PM

  12. The NAMs of the post-Singularity future commune with the wise and profound elders of their race…

    Oswald Spengler

    August 21, 2014 at 9:09 PM

  13. “we can have a scintillating discussion with our long-dead ancestors or even historical figures.”

    WE??? Who is “we”? At best, our great great grandchildren may have conversations with our dead grandchildren. We’ll have long since become worm dirt by then. If, in fact, it’s even possible. I suspect a similar problem from sucking memories out of our neurons as exists with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
    If such ever did happen then why limit it to the deceased? If you can take it out you can put it back in. So why not clone successful living people to implant the original’s memories into them?
    Kaku is smart and all. But his predictions remind me of HG Wells. Of course, Wells was a bright fellow and right about a lot of his predictions. But he was still a clueless fabian f*. Which only goes to show that there’s a lot more to being smart than raw brain power.


    August 22, 2014 at 1:30 AM

  14. “Geek talk” to those who those who don’t understand anything quantitative (eg, Ivy League liberal arts majors). Kaku is a lot smarter than the average Wall St. investment banker or lawyer. Actually I don’t think what he is describing will happen either but those who can’t understand science dismiss those who do as “geeks”.


    August 22, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    • Not always true. I understand science and I dismiss most of those who do as geeks. You see, everyone wants every advantage they can have. Science geeks don’t think of themselves as geeks, they believe that they remind the girls of the Professor on Gilligan’s Island, or of the irresistible Spock at a Pawfaw party or however they pronounce it. Inasmuch as even the best scientists (long-gone soliloquists like Newton and Gauss excepted) understand and contribute a mere fraction to the knowledge of the day, it is safe to say that they are little different than the poets who contribute a similarly small fraction to the knowledge of their day; they are both saddened that the girls do not want to listen to science talk or poetry talk all day, and they both are only happy in this world when they realize that neither science at its height nor poetry at its height, without testosterone and courage, will raise them above geekdom., Of course Kaku does not know what he is talking about, with respect to actual science, if conceived as a way to make our life assuredly better, Nobody does.

      referencing the book of proverbs

      August 22, 2014 at 11:22 PM

  15. A lot of the less ambitious sci fi predictions from the second half of the 20th century have become true. Blade Runner showed a Los Angeles in which whites were a minority. Who would have imagined that in 1982? Or small things like video calling becoming a part of everyday life. Holograms, 3D printed food, etc. But ‘library of souls’ or ‘beam me up Scottie’? Not happening soon, if at all.


    August 22, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    • I believe that Logan’s Run had the best predictive power of all Sci Fi movies:

      On-demand plastic surgery
      Health clubs
      Video dating for casual sex
      Ectasy-fueled orgies
      Climate change (no one paid attention to that in the 1970s and now it’s the big thing)

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      • What about “The Time Machine”?

        The concept of Morlocks and Eloi was prescient.


        August 22, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      • Giving voice commands to computers and having them verbally respond (2001 A Space Odyssey’s ‘Hal’, the Federation computer voice from Star Trek TNG) is now reality with Siri and similar programs.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 22, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      • Blade Runner for me.


        August 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

  16. “My son. You do not remember me. I am your Father.”


    August 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM

  17. Running against illegal immigration, Scott Brown is within two points of Senator Jeanne Shaheen:

    If the race is indeed tightening as the latest poll suggests, what could explain Shaheen’s drop? Brown, despite having national name recognition and having represented New Hampshire’s next-door neighbor in the Senate, may have been hurt early on by charges of carpetbaggery. While Brown did own a home in New Hampshire for years, Shaheen is something of a Granite State political institution, having served three two-year terms as its governor. Brown has spent the summer quietly meeting with voters across the state to establish his New Hampshire bona fides, and he’s all but locked up the Republican nomination.

    But Brown has also focused heavily on the issue of illegal immigration in television advertisements over the past few weeks, first highlighting security differences between the airport and the southern border, then hitting Shaheen more directly over her position on the Gang of 8 immigration bill, supported by President Obama. Shaheen, along with every other Democratic senator, voted for the Gang of 8 bill.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    August 22, 2014 at 7:02 PM

  18. There was a YA sci fi series published in the 1980s about a futuristic world where young people had to choose between immortality or artistic ability. Those who chose artistic ability had their personalities and memories stored in a sophisticated archive so that their immortal relatives could visit them after death. It was the only sci fi/ fantasy series I ever read as a kid other than Under Plum Lake by Lionel Davidson which is likewise spectacular.

    slithy toves

    August 22, 2014 at 8:21 PM

  19. OT: The automation/disappearing jobs idea going mainstream.

    The following video, which is reasonably well done aside from the rather pretentious and arrogant tone, has received two-million views in 10 days:


    August 23, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    • I believe America is gradually heading into that direction, where automation will replace human labor. The country needs to thin out its population somehow. NAMs and Proles wouldn’t be able to find a productive outlet, such as self actualization to keep themselves distracted when routine jobs no longer apply to them. The gov’t just can’t release a large sum of basic income for these 2 demographics because they don’t have the discipline to engage in productive pursuits. You could say the same about the Asians who can’t no longer grind on their vocational endeavors, except they are generally passive not to cause any trouble. Perhaps America is a sh*tty 1st world nation because the general populace is undisciplined and barbaric compared to let’s say Europeans.


      August 23, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      • * Asians who can no longer grind on their vocational endeavors


        August 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

  20. O/T – Building affordable housing envisioned by de Blah Sh*thole in NYC seems to be next to impossible.

    Not only do NYC Democrats believe in mediocrity, they believe that uplifting NAMs can be done with waving a magic wand.

    And just look at the comments on the article, America’s serfdom and its obedient prole citizens can never envisioned the future PERIOD!


    August 23, 2014 at 11:39 AM

  21. It seems like a Basic Income Subsidy would be the calling for the problems of automation and unemployment:

    But not many of us are talking about it because we’re are stuck in an industrial age mindset. For sure, America’s prole drift (which includes our rising obesity rates) is evidence that we are not ready for the next level of human evolution.


    August 24, 2014 at 11:22 AM

  22. If I was a library mind, I would rather be permanently drunk than permanently tortured.

    August 24, 2014 at 1:16 PM

  23. > One day we might have a “library of souls,” …
    This sounds like Hell to me. When you die, you will be rendered into an AI and tormented for eternity…


    August 24, 2014 at 6:29 PM

  24. Why not have the souls of philosophers talk to each other? You could simulate millions of years of discussion in a minute Maybe come out with some eternal truths or at least an interesting book.


    August 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: