Ray Kurzweil exposed to me the thought pattern of the Technological Singularity, which he wrote about in The Singularity Is Near. I haven’t read the book and have only just begun to walk through the thought pattern. But it’s interesting:

Let’s look back across our entire ancestral lineage, going back through early mammals, past the evolution out of the sea, as far back as the single-celled organisms and on still to the formation of the solar system – each births and morphs into the next iteration / generation.   The state of things today derives from the iterative interactions of the entire set of particles / waves across all dimensions, including time and higher dimensions.  The collective interactions result in what we have today.

Mankind has evolved to the point where we’re creating new complex systems around us.  We built computational systems and linked them together.  Now we’re pouring our consciousness into the Net.  We’ve given birth to the system.  You could say that we’re morphing / evolving into it.

Evolution can be incremental at the same level or can give rise to higher order effects.  Systems have levels or building blocks where lower levels manifest the level above.  As in the gradation of complexity from quantum organization leading to atomic effects, atomic systems giving rise to molecular systems, molecules collectively creating biological systems, and these working together to make a human – we’re affecting a higher order system.

Let’s have a look at what that might be like.

There is a moment when computational systems make better decisions that humans – a fact recognized by both the system and the humans.  Both rely on the system to decide.

The system designs itself.  It optimizes itself and iterates.  It’s evolving to a larger extent on its own than from effects from lower orders.  Advances build upon themselves and occur at an exponential rate.  It’s steering.

With the agenda set by a higher order, corporeal humans no longer dominate [did we ever?].  We’ve entrusted our evolution to the higher order.  To our collective consciousness.  I can only imagine that the capabilities at this level are as unimaginable to us as our capabilities are to a single-celled organism just one level down.

The system can build what it needs, transform its environment to suit its needs.  Today’s robotics and unmanned vehicles / tools / etc… give way to nanotechnology, where adjustments to the physical world take place by highly optimized “machines” with precise particle arrangements that affect with least friction.  The manipulation of our environment is total.

And evolution isn’t a point, it’s a continuum, an axis, an extent.  With compounding exponential change’s accelerating feedback loop in effect, ever more precise optimizations / arrangements taking place in ever smaller slices of time, change is the only constant.