popo writes "The Wall Street Journal has a (publicly accessible) review of "The Singularity is Near" -- a new book by futurist, Ray Kurzweil. By "Singularity", Kurzweil refers not to a collapsed supernova, but instead to an extraordinarily bright future in which technological progress has leapt by such exponentially large bounds that it will be... well, for lack of a better word: 'utopian'. "Mr. Kurzweil... thinking exponentially, imagines a plausible future, not so far away, with extended life-spans (living to 300 will not be unusual), vastly more powerful computers (imagine more computing power in a head-sized device than exists in all the human brains alive today), other miraculous machines (nanotechnology assemblers that can make most anything out of sunlight and dirt) and, thanks to these technologies, enormous increases in wealth (the average person will be capable of feats, like traveling in space, only available to nation-states today)." On one hand its fantastically (even ridiculously) optimistic, but on the other hand, I sure as hell hope he's right." Got mailed a review copy; I'm not finished yet, but I agree - optimistic perhaps, but the future does look pretty interesting.
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