Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Purpose of the Singularity part 5: Just what is it good for?

Ok, back to business... Just what is the Singularity good for? The argument could be made that with regard to actual happiness, less advanced societies do a better job. Perhaps something more like ancient Rome, or pre-Victorian England...

So far in this series, we have looked at the effect of Priesthood keys, how scientific revolutions have come and gone, and why, from a gospel perspective, we are having one right now. If societal attitudes have vitiated scientific revolutions before, then there are some trends amongst us now that bear a closer examination. That, however, will be a future post.

Why do we have computers? Or any other scientific advancement? In short, it is to prepare the earth, and its people for the Second Coming of the Savior, and to accomplish the work we need to accomplish before he comes.

For instance, rise of computers have been tied to genealogy and temple work, which as a Latter-day saint, we feel are part of . The current work in genealogy would be impossible without it.

From the Deseret News - Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve gave the devotional address at the beginning of Education Week at Brigham Young University recently

In the 1970s, Elder Theodore H. Burton presented the concept of computers being used for family records and research. "He was even bold enough to teach and proclaim that the computer technology was given to man for his use to hasten the day of family history, genealogy and temple work."
His proclamation was met with reservations about the size and expense of computers for personal use and how few Latter-day Saints would be able to afford or operate them. Other concerns were the complexity of how to make them compatible with temple records.
"All seemed to be reasonable reservations for their time," he said, yet "today, we are embarking on a new era of family history computer technology."
I have also heard how the 24 temples of the New Jerusalem would be devoted to gaining information about ancestors we now have no record of, but I can find nothing in writing about that.

Now, like any good theory, we can make testable predictions- because of what will facilitate genealogy.
  1. Computers will continue to increase in memory, both RAM and hard drive as well as speed - Good news for Moore's law.
  2. Their searching capabilities will be expanded as well. - this is a good omen for quantum computers because search and sort are some of the things they will excel at.
  3. Communication around the globe will increase beyond even what we have now - good news for the internet
  4. Contrary to some worries, with very real theoretical concerns behind them, Moore's Law will continue to hold its exponential growth. - Exponential growth is the fastest kind of sustainable growth.
Much of this is not unexpected - perhaps though I missed something.

It is a good time for computer lovers.

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