Saturday, May 30, 2015
"Transcendent Man": the futurism of Ray Kurzweil's "singularity"
“Transcendent Man: Prepare to Evolve” (directed Robert Barry Ptolemy) is a biography of information scientist Ray Kurzweil, based on his book “The Singularity Is Near”.
The Singularity is that event where machine or artificial intelligence can reproduce itself (without biological sex). He says, God doesn’t exist yet, but will when the Singularity occurs. Biological intelligence, actually starting with information (from reproductive molecules) becomes machine intelligence and promulgates. But of course that begs the question, could this process have already happened on other planets.
The movie opens with a scene from “I’ve God a Secret” in 1966, where a 17-year-old Kurzweil plays a perfunctory piano piece sounding like a Classical period fugato, and the secret is that it was composed on a computer.
Kurzweil notes the amazing miniaturization of computers, and predicts that nanocomputers will eventually move inside our bodies and enable telepathy and mind control, way beyond today’s Internet (although it seems like dolphins can do this now).
Kurzweil invented the flatbed scanner and reading devices for the blind. Kurzweil believes that the original human body is rather unimportant.
His own father died of heart disease before age 60, and he had open heart surgery recently to repair a value. He described the procedure as turning you off and back on again. Of course, you’re cracked open like a lobster. He shows his scars, which are surprisingly small.
Kurzwell wants to transcend death and offer immortality, and doesn’t think it is inevitable. He describes it as moving from empty room to another. But some NDE’s describe a blackness called “The Core”.
The official site is here. (New Video). The score has a lot of music by Philip Glass.
“Technology is an amplifier of what we do.”
The DVD includes a QA from Tribeca Film Festival.