Communion Of Dreams


Learning curve.

As I’ve said before, I’m a late-adopter of tech. I’m probably the last person in the US under the age of fifty and with an IQ above room temp who has made the transition over to Firefox.

Oh, it’s not as bad as it sounds – I’ve been running Mozilla for several years, and Netscape in one variety or another before that, all the way back to when I first got online in about ’93. But with the additional options available in Firefox2, it made sense to make the jump. So, with my good lady wife’s help (she’s the resident geek, not me) I switched yesterday, and then spent much of the rest of the day enjoying the much improved surfing experience, tweaking the set-up, learning the little quirks of the new software.

And also teaching it my own preferences and habits. This was the bit that I found amusing – that in one sense, I’m teaching Seth’s great-whatever-grandpappy his ABCs. Oh, we’re about 30 iterations of Moore’s Law away from the S-Series A.I. I have in Communion of Dreams, and a couple of computer ‘generations’ (if you consider that we’re currently in the fourth generation, that quantum computing will be the fifth, with my Tholin gel tech following that.) But it really does feel like something akin to a baby expert system I’m dealing with here, as we learn from one another.

I still don’t expect that we’ll experience a true Singularity such as Kurzweil and others have predicted, and the novel is in large part an exploration of why that is. But it is certainly the case that we’re moving towards a major threshold of technological change at an ever-increasing rate. Even late-adopters like me.

Jim Downey


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