Lessons from life (right) before the Singularity

FYI: This 5-minute post about true desires, work ends in nano wars (albeit no super AIs, diamond rope elevators to space and such)

The only take away from the article is asking “What would you do if you didn’t have to work at all?”


You know Moore’s Law

(basically that computer technology improves exponentially, i.e. by a certain factor per unit of time)

no more full retard monsters and UFOs


picture from xkcd


Moore’s law is not new

It’s not alone

full retard view of moores law

It’s part of a longer trend of technology used to make better tools, in turn used to make even better technology, that forms the basis for ever more advanced tools and technology, each new step building on top of the preceding one. It’s the essence of investing.

It started with life itself (or even before that, with increasingly complex sub-atomic and atomic particles), including inventing the DNA and much later the brain, all the way to language, writing, the printing press, punch cards, transistors and so on. The silicon paradigm is not the first, and far from the last in the chain of increasingly effective information management.

It’s not just about computers, it’s prevalent in all information based technologies (which when it comes down to it are all technologies, including genetics, software algorithms, artificial intelligence, and with time and smaller scale even matter itself)

If trends continue we will soon routinely sequence every living person’s DNA down to the base pair, we will develop strong nanotechnology atomic manipulators, map the connectome and so on. And as Ray Kurzweil has pointed out since decades back, the rate of acceleration is itself accelerating. The latter fact has been hard to detect until now; even the first order exponential growth was difficult to identify until Moore made his observation in the 1960s; but it’s there.

The reason is that not only does one technology create tools for its own next generation, other technologies feed into each other, not to mention more and more people (and soon AIs) work on the same tasks.

full retard law of accelerating returns


Please note that the accelerating curve above is on a log scale, meaning accelerating acceleration

Imagine miniaturization leading to ultimate control over the bits of matter with the same precision as current control over virtual bits. Measuring, mapping, mimicking and improving nature down to the atom (deeper still?) will be as natural as recording, sampling and mixing a tune or creating a Minecraft universe on your computer.

You could build anything with the help of free solar power (made by same nanobots) and free source material (carbon and silicon straight from the crust and air). You would become immortal and freed of the need to do work for a living.

Remember that all issues associated with the material world would be solved: pollution, global warming, disease, hunger, water, power and death.

Assume the Singularity holds off for a while; that crossing the threshold into ever improving and accelerating superhuman intelligence proves a little more difficult than anticipated, thus giving us all some time (all the time until the end of the universe?) to live in the perfect retirement scenario of ultimate abundance…

What would you do as a full retard?

What do you think others would do?

I’m personally currently in a preparation camp of sorts for the full retard world, making connections in a network, bartering virtual goods, exploring my own true values, needs and desires – as if all my and the world’s material issues were already solved. I’m not working, I’m socializing and living.

I happen to enjoy learning and challenging my brain and body, then sharing as much of it as possible. I also adhere to a kind of Ahimsa anti-violence (initiation of…, but if you start then 3 lefts make a right in my book) philosophy.

Abundance won’t stop the fighting

Not everybody are like me, however. Some want to stay ignorant, refuse to give up their ingrained medieval habits (as if the eval=evil didn’t give the underlying truth away); some simply like mayhem and destruction. Stop here for a while to ponder that economists used to talk about the homo economicus as if he were real… No, man is rational given his own personal and impossibly complex premises, but he is nowhere near anything that could be called economically rational.

Botnets, religion, civilization and nano wars

The ongoing virtual war of viruses, worms, trojans, botnet domination etc. is nothing compared to the coming nano wars. Hopefully, the attacks will nevertheless be fewer since all economic sentiment will be null and void. Ah, if it just weren’t for the religious and fanatics… – Do you remember when some still could say “Without religion there would be no civilization” with a straight face? It’s a miracle (sic.) that civilization prevails despite religion.

What if you stopped dreaming about what you want to do in the future and did it right now instead?

Why not have some fun, or at least steer your skills in a direction that gets you fired up?

Again, what would you do if you didn’t have to work at all? Maybe the answer makes you realize you could work less already, and focus more on what you actually want.

ibiza pool jump



  1. You already answered your own question, Mikael.

    As far as other people are concerned.
    Maybe this is going to be what people will do in a world full of abundance:

    Think it’s far fateched?
    Look around.
    What are people doing when they don’t work?
    Now imagine what would happen if they didn’t have to work at all.

  2. What would you do if you didn’t have to work at all?

    Asked myself the same question some years back.

    Answer? Exactly what I am doing, but with a LOT more courage (putting my name out there, getting involved, doing NEW THINGS etc).

    When you ask these Q’s, you begin to see past the bullshit; you want to experience the tough shit.

    Your “true” self wants to go without food, even shelter, because you’re looking for the thrill; the ZEST. Everyone wants it. We’re all adventurers. In England, we’re practically taught it in the more prestigious schools.

    The difference is how much you are willing to go with it.
    It’s brutal on your mind then your body. If you get through, you’re God. You get to go to the next quest.

    The biggest problem is fear. Fear of what others will think. Fear of holding your own. Fear of relegating yourself below your station. Fear of what people will say. Fear of loss of means.

    Wars / problems arise from someone who's too scared to do it themselves, so they resort to taking off someone else.

    The real question you end up asking, is What would you do if you were always going to succeed?. The ones who do simply focused their energy on the creation of new circumstances (IE growth).

    Your world might not be the perfect biosphere your grey mush imagined when you saw the ad, but if you keep proactive, you’ll eventually reach a Utopia most will be too distracted to imagine. A Utopia driven by passion/growth/creativity.

    And yes, all this applies to someone who’s retired at 42. Death beckons… the biggest crime in life is not sharing your growth with those who will benefit most; keeping it to yourself, entrapped in the mesh of fear most call their mind.

    • “What would you do if you know you’ll succeed?” – Brillant! Think about that, then do that – without fear of losing.

      Fear of trying and doing: I read an interesting piece on how to control and conquer fear in practice yesterday: It’s about reimprinting your behavior by controlling your neurotransmitter balance

    • Excellent post.
      Reminds me of a quote from Dune.

      The Litany Against Fear:

      “I must not fear.
      Fear is the mind-killer.
      Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
      I will face my fear.
      I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
      And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
      Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

      As far as the video, i.e Idiocracy, is concerned, you’re welcome.
      It’s definitely a pretty interesting movie.

  3. Same as always, I’d play videogames. I’ve been doing it for over two decades now and it’s been tons of fun, I’d say it’s likely to just get better as technology advances.
    The best part about our world is the endless amount of sub-worlds it holds — while it is true to some extent for any work of fiction, I feel like videogames of all mediums have done an absolutely excellent job at holding such concentrated value and opportunity for thought, that one can truly call them worlds of their own.

    At the time, I only work to survive, really. Thinking back on my summer vacations as a teenager, immersing myself into videogames for hours on end… I think I could deal with an endless summer vacation when I no longer have to work. It would be fun.

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