A comment on: Ray Kurzweil’s new book

October 16, 2012 ivisbodavis Books

From the Michael Oliveira article:

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed

“Nanobots, little robotic computerized devices, will keep us healthy from inside by augmenting our immune system, they’ll go inside our brain, interact with our biological neurons, put our brains in the cloud, on the Internet, and we’ll be able to actually have direct brain connection to artificial intelligence, which will incorporate a synthetic neocortex.”

I, Ivis Bo Davis am a science fiction writer, and a believer.  The scientific achievements envisioned by Ray Kurzweil can and almost certainly will materialize.  Many of them are already on the drawing board with molecular computers utilizing atomic memory leading the way. Micro-miniaturization is opening unbelievable opportunities in medicine, computing power, and breakthroughs once considered impossible.  They aren’t impossible; they just take a bit longer to develop.

While the science is evolving at an unprecedented rate as new breakthroughs make new technologies possible, both Ray and Michael are conveniently overlooking one deadly fact:  the brokenness of man.  While Ray envisions the possibilities of incredible potential for benefits through technology, they are obviating the common retrogression factor.

“Futurist Ray Kurzweil optimistically predicts much longer life expectancies, cures for cancer and heart disease, flying cars and robot butlers.” He espouses the belief that all of mankind will benefit from the advances technology has to offer. Unfortunately, he also overlooks the fact that today, while we have the means to multiply food production, the poor are allowed to starve worldwide because they can’t afford to pay for it, while governments pay farmers not to produce crops.  We can clean up our waterways and oceans… but we won’t because it’s expensive.

Mankind will create these incredible technologies, but who will gain the benefits? Not the poor, nor the general population.  That only leaves the ultra-wealthy to reap the rewards.  Everyone else will be left to die of curable disease, live a short life without the possible life extension technologies.

In my 61 years I have watched in horror as privacy declines, safety from crime has become impossible and moral decency is obsolete.  Every society has become a dangerous place filled with terrorists and thieves, with the greatest criminals in political positions of power.

It’s a beautiful idea Ray, but it is unlikely to materialize in terms of broad social benefit in the face of what some are calling global overcrowding.

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