How loudly should I complain that the Guinness ad doesn't actually follow an evolutionary lineage back from H. sapiens, instead including species (dolphins, dinosaurs) outside our line of ancestry?
(Unrelated.) What do you think of Dvorsky's list of "Must-know terms for the 21st Century intellectual", which I discovered via Mind Hacks? In general, it seems to hit the high points, although any mention of Moore's Law and its Kurzweilian offshoots naturally sets my teeth on edge. PZ Myers, back in the pre-ScienceBlogs days, gave a few reasons why; I've also ranted myself at least a few times.
Yes, we seem to be descended from dolphin-like creatures, among things, but I'm not going to take that too seriously. I still think it's a cool ad.It also helps that I love Guinness. I'm going out for drinks tonight, so I might have some. Yum.
I think that George did a good job, but that isn't to say that I agree with Kurzweil's graphs and timelines. I did review Kurzweil's book somewhere, but don't think I expressed a view about the various curves and so on.I have gone on the record somwhere, I think, as being a mild singularity sceptic. (After a while, you can forget what you said where, I'm afraid - or maybe it's just me.) That's not to deny that there will be big technological changes through the 21st century, or that they will change the look and feel of modern societies, as happened in the 20th century, or even that they will involve technology going into us and making changes to our biology. I actually think all those things will happen, and that it will probably be for the good, on balance (this gives me some moderate transhumanist credentials). But I don't think the ways in which they will happen are predictable, and I don't expect to see technological change advance to something like a singularity point.
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