A Singular Discussion

Having just mentioned that I prefer transcript to video, let me cite another case where I would make an exception.

Here’s a quote from an IM chat I was having with a Boston pal last week:

(9:15:32 AM) Chris: Friday  7pm
The Singularity: An Appraisal
Alastair Reynolds
Karl Schroeder
Charles Stross
Vernor Vinge

Arguably the idea of the Singularity — a period where change happens so quickly that life afterwards is incomprehensible to people who lived before it — is one of the few entirely fresh ideas in SF in the last forty years.  Perhaps it is time for an appraisal. Has the idea of the Singularity been a good thing for SF, providing fresh ideas and stimulating great writing or has the notion that the comprehensibility of the future has a sharp (and near-term) limit diminished possibilities?  Has it been a good thing for *your* writing?  How about the Singularity in reality — after twenty years does it look more or less plausible that it is lurking in our own real-world future?  Discuss the interplay between the idea of the Singularity in SF and actual scientific research.  Where are the really exotic ideas coming from?

(9:16:13 AM) Chris: I am jealous that you can attend that this weekend.Man, I hope that panel ends up on YouTube

Well, it didn’t.

It ended up on Vimeo.

If you’re finding the sound a little low there… well, so did I.

So I did a little computer magic to pull out the audio and crank up the volume about 800%. Of course, at that point the audience laughter was annoyingly loud, so I did a bit of manual twiddling to turn down the most significant blocks of that laughter, and threw the whole thing through a bit of filtering to neaten it up.

What resulted was a nice little MP3 where the panel discussion is easily audible, which is suitable to listening to during your commute, or whatever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.