I had a delightful conversation on a plane (new for me) with a gentleman who was reading about Gettysburg. I was advocating futurism, he was celebrating history, but somehow, we both agreed with Ray Kurzweil. Things change at an ever increasing rate- what will happen when this rate is really, really fast?
Kurzweil's ideas are controversial, and I rarely share my enthusiasm for fear that I'll be labelled a freak. It took a conversation about the Civil War to build my confidence to defend Kurzweil here.
Kurzweil's main point is so simple, and yet so devastatingly undeniable, that even this older Gettysburg enthusiast supported it:
1. Things change. (Undeniable)
2. The pace of change itself is quickening (The Law of Accelerating Returns).
3. Will this continue to quicken? (History shows no significant slow-downs.)
4. What will happen when things change so fast that it's hard to keep up? (Kurzweil's guesses are fun.)
5. When will the pace of change reach this rate? (Read The Singularity is Near for more fun guesses.)
To dismiss these points as unimportant is cavalier. To dismiss those, like Kurzweil, who actively engage these questions and pose answers based on a solid look at evidence is not fair.
Why do I still feel nervous endorsing Kurzweil in public?