The Singularity and getAbstract

If you don’t come here often, every month the nice people at getAbstract allow all MobHappy Readers to download one of their products – absolutely free. As a reminder, getAbstract produce really excellent 5 page summaries of leading books of interest to business people. I’ve avoided saying “business books” as their portfolio is much wider than that and today they have over 4,500 titles, normally only available on a subscription basis.

This month, I’ve chosen what might appear to be a slightly strange choice of title, given our mobile technology focus. It’s called “You: Staying Young” by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. The idea is that by doing certain things today, you can stay physically young and healthy for a lot longer. You can download your free copy here (expires 20th May 2008).

This means that you could be immortal, depending on your age and future choices.

This might sound an extravagant claim. But there’s a bunch of ridiculously bright people working on the fringes of AI right now, who are confident that an event called “the singularity” will take place in the next 50 years or so and maybe a lot less. You can read a lot more about it on Wikipedia, but the idea is that The Singularity will happen when computers’ intelligence greatly outstrips man’s and they decide to take over.

This need not be as sinister as it sounds and indeed, many thinkers agree that they’ll probably do a much better job of running the place than we would. No more wars, famine, car accidents and a lot of other cool things.

Other features of The Singularity, could be the end of death and eternal youth. So all you need to do is stick around long enough for The Singularity to kick in and you’ll be there for Mankind 2.0 – which has got to be a fascinating, if very scary thing, to experience. So read the Abstract and act upon its ideas.

If you’d enjoy reading more about The Singularity, there’s lots of links in the Wikipedia article above. But a classic, free short novel is The Metamorphis of Prime Intellect, by Roger Williams. Although is does have some extreme sado-masochistic sex scenes – nowhere near as bad as 2 girls, 1 cup stuff, thank goodness.

Cameron Reilly’s Podcast also has some great interviews with various Singularity folk, such as Roger Williams (above), Vernor Vinge, Jamais Cascio, Eliezer Yudkowsky and Aubrey de Grey, not to mention Ray Kurzweil himself.

So get healthy people, and hope to see you in Mankind 2.0.

—–>Follow us on Twitter too: @russellbuckley and @caaarlo