Technological Singularity

Mike Albaugh albaugh at
Tue Jun 9 11:02:35 EST 1998

Richard (davri06-spam at wrote:

: We can allready see a 2 tier society forming between people who
: understand the technology and those who do not.. 

	I promised myself I would stay out of this, but I'm weak at
such promises. I feel the "2 tier society" is a gross oversimplification,
and to say the divide is based on "who understand the technology" is
just wrong. I see at least three groups with regard to technology:

1) Those who don't understand it, at any level, and never will, but
   may crave its (often illusory) fruits.

2) Those who have a "cargo-cult" understanding, and thus can command
   money from (1), on the basis of being able to use regedit :-)

3) Those who actually understand the technology that they find useful,
   well enough to see the silliness of most of what (2) does, and to
   choose which technolgies they will adopt. This often allows them
   to avoid being exploited by (2). Linux users and Plain Mennonites
   fall in this group. But both simply decline to use technology that
   does not "pay the freight" for its use.

	The two _tiers_ of society, in contrast, are composed of:

A) Those who are willing to see their fellow creatures suffer so that
   they can have a big-screen TV. Our society is set up such that
   if such a person gets just a _little_ bit ahead of his neighbor,
   the advantages acruing to wealth will keep him there forever.

B) Those who are not, or who have other ethical reasons to avoid
   squeezing the last bit of advantage out of whatever natural gifts
   they were given.

	(A) folks invoke "trickle down" and "The invisible hand" to
justify their behavior. The more talented (B)s try to help as many
other folks as they can avoid the worst of the (A)s excesses.

	In my own personal circle, B3s are not uncommon, but that's
because I aspire to be one, and like seeks like. B2s are also common,
and keep the world from descending into anarchy immediately. B1s can
be those nice folks who make life actually worth living. A3s are rare,
but very visible. You all know them so I won't bother. A2s are the
sort that become PI lawyers and computer salesmen, while A1s mug
people for a living (or send SPAM) :-)

	To summarize a long-winded note, your position within the
tiers depends on talent, but as (IIRC) Molier wrote "Behind every
great fortune lies a crime"

| albaugh at, speaking only for myself

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