Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Technological Singularity is Bullshit part 2

We are all familar with the futurist  concept  that  Technology is rushing faster and faster. To back up this claim futurists say things like - "the amount of information is doubling every few years and increasing at a far than has ever been previously imaginable" or "there are more scientists and technologists alive and working than in all the pervious history of civilisation" .

These are supposedly indisputable facts but if you are prepared to look up the history of technology you can eassily see that these statements are querstionable or even completly false!  We can't mistake the hectic pace of modern life  considering the amount of effort wasted or duplicated  as rapid change. 
You really have to look at technology in a different way and realise that the most reliable technologies are ancient and now more or less invisible. Think about the stuff you really use - Vaccines, Electricity, drinkwater, roads, houses, more food than you can eat and cheap warm clothing that protects you from the elements.
 Historically Technology seems to come along in leaps and bounds followed by long or short lulls as the technology matures and is more widely used.  Other factors like wars and social systemss can also really slow down technological progress. Why should we assume that the 20th century and early 21st century have been more special than previous " technological singularitys" for example the Renasiance and the industrial revoution? When you look in history there are many "explosions"  of technology in all parts of the world often followed by periods of statis. The Islamic golden age  in mediaval time's also moved pretty fast only to be followed by long decline.

In fact it could be argued that technology slowed down during the entire course of the 20th century and the period 1850-1900 was probably a hell of a lot faster than now. To explain what i mean  Cars  and telephones only became common in 1920's,  Radios and commercial airflight  in the 1930's -  Refridgerators in the 1940's TV's 1950's , Rockets in the 1960's,  Microwaves in the 70's and home computers in the 1980's. All these inventions had been around for a a long while before they got acceptance and were widely used.  I would argue that most innovations since then have only been refinements in existing technoligys they enable us to do things more quickly, precisely or in a gltzy way - BUT not differently. Before you bring up the internet - THINK the internet is just computers attached to the pre-existing phone/telegraph network. THIS was done back in the 50's  for airline companys and then developed by the milarty in the 60's and it took until the 90's before it was widley used.
Some technologies have actually slipped backwards - we fly at the same speed as people in the 1950's supersonic commercial airtravel is now virtually non-existant. Lasers are another great example - invented in 1958 - moved extremely rapidly in the 60's, 70's and 80's and very slow since only one or two notable innovations in the last 20 years.

Computers are supposed to be bringing about rapid change but are they - take a look from a historical point of view the only thing that has really progressed fast is microchip design, software and other bottlenecks have slowed progress down and again I would argue that in a sense hasn;t progressed much since the 1970's. The only real innovation was to link up home computers on the web but as we have already stated that was done before it just wasn;t widely used.

I will finish my idea of the singularity with  a warning - If we as the younger generation are supposed to be inventing the singularity - we are doing a shit job - to spend time philosophising about what may happen instead of innovating we are more likely to regress than progress.  If anything we are the fat contented children of the industrial revolution and we can no way compare our innovations to be on par with inventors of the 1800-1900.  Our best innovation of recent years was space travel and then we got too scared to be pioneers and use it properly - and instead seem to be regressing into a state of techno-dependancy and being suckled like baby's by the technological acheivments of the past. Its even got to the stage when our prophets are telling us that in a few years it will all be over and soon it won;t matter.

That my freinds is BULLS,, i mean BILLLYCOCK - fuck the singularity its a dream -  we should be concentrating on reality..
(Steps off soap box)


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Cryonics UK

CRYONICS UK is a  bullshit non-profit self help group "organisation" set in place to provide assistance as necessary to those within the UK who wish for their body to be cryopreserved upon death. They basically pump you full of antifreeze and pack you in dry ice beofore flying you off to your " cryonics service provider" in the states. They charge from £15 a month to join their gay little club and thankfully to the best of our knowledge they havent desecarted any corpse yet and are 100% inexperienced enthusiasts run by a charasmatic "organiser".

    A ticket to wasting around  £20 a month more like...

Its charitable status is rather dubious as it is basically a self help group run as a non-for-profit company. Non-for-profit companies are not obliged to publish their profits or earnings so it would be hard to find out what they really do with your money unless Graham Hipkiss keep his promise. One thing we do know is that potentially considerable % of  membership money is being invested in the salarys of the organisers and for promotional purposes. Organiser David Styles is often jetting about Europe and the USA promoting this self help group as a abulance service for the dead. Buyers Beware!
The Charity they list on the Cryonics-UK website is called:
Human Organ Preservation Research Trust or HOPRT however there is no home-page or any real information on the internet about this very important sounding charity to be found anywhere? The reason we suspect is that this "charity" is just a bank account used by this "self-help" group to launder membership fees and distrubute money among the directors and for equipment which may look like it works to the layperson.

More skeptical Inormation about Cryonics UK can also be found on The Gaurdians Website who visited the company with Mike Darwin (US Cryonicist): http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/nov/07/cryonics-british-dads-army
He was not impressed with what he found and we quote here: "If I had that kit here, I'd be scared shitless. Shitless. There are some critical things wrong with the setup of that circuit." He tells the team they have made so many mistakes the patient would have suffered irreversible brain damage by now. Darwin suggests technology has regressed since he was in his cryonic prime 20 years ago.

David Styles is the current organiser of Cryonics UK. David’s original academic background is in linguistics,but he is now (apparently) pursuing further degree studies in mathematics. None of his professional qualifications are in biology or even cryogenics (engineering at cold tempretures). On His blog he claims to be a "UK-based life-extensionist, immortalist, cryonicist and Transhumanist". He is very active in PR for Cryonics UK and is often jetting around world promoting this company to the transhumanist/cryonics community he has even been on UK Daytime Television. His mantra. "We're living on a planet with six billion suicidal maniacs."
David Has a facebook page here: David Styles and his blog is here: http://stylesmind.blogspot.com/ feel free to keep an eye on him as we are!

NEW Imaginary video of interview with David Styles made by Jill.

Also Our Rather Lurid Webpage exposing the scams

And of course Cryonics UK where you can see for yourself