“The fact is, I don’t think SF can be really utopian. I mean utopia presupposes a pretty static, unchanging, and rather tyrannical world. You know: ‘I know the best way to live, and I’m going to tell you how to do it, and if you dare do anything else…’”

- Samuel R. Delany, interviewed in 1986, “On Triton and other matters” (via notesonresistance)

There are already entities with vastly greater than human intelligence working on the problem of augmenting their own intelligence. A great many, in fact. We call them corporations. And while we may have a variety of thoughts about them, not one has achieved transcendence.

Let’s focus on as a very particular example: The Intel Corporation. Intel is my favorite example because it uses the collective brainpower of tens of thousands of humans and probably millions of CPU cores to.. design better CPUs! (And also to create better software for designing CPUs.) Those better CPUs will run the better software to make the better next generation of CPUs. Yet that feedback loop has not led to a hard takeoff scenario. It has helped drive Moore’s Law, which is impressive enough. But the time period for doublings seems to have remained roughly constant. Again, let’s not underestimate how awesome that is. But it’s not a sudden transcendence scenario.

—Ramez Naam