Jay's Reviews > The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil
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Apr 22, 2012

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bookshelves: futurology, business, audiobook
Read from April 08 to 21, 2012

I remember back in 87 going to an Apple event to see a video about a system available in roughly 2011, called the Knowledge Navigator. After the video, Apple's engineering manager talked about how close they were to having the technologies depicted, and the farthest fetched idea was a foldable screen. Today I read headlines that a foldable screen is coming from a supplier this year. Not bad at estimations. I appreciate estimations on technology coming from engineers. Kurzweil's book takes a more academic approach, based quite a bit on rates of innovation seen in some areas of technology and applying those rates to other areas. This argument feels too broadly applied, and although he threw lots of pages at it, it didn't resonate. I did like Kurzweil's contemplation on where the trends are taking us -- I found it very interesting, like an academic discussion of science fiction stories describing how we could get to those future states. But I'm not sure about the timeline. Compared to the Knowledge Navigator, Kurzweil has us living in the Matrix in 25 years...The book meanders through a ton of topics, hardware, software, nanotechnology, biotechnology, religion, large systems, and more. That's a lot, but within the topics the discussion was verbose. Tighter focus would have helped.
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Reading Progress

04/09/2012
5.0% "Cringeworthy audiobook mispronounciation: In talking about how fast computers process in the future, speed is measured in "terror-hertz""
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