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Kurzweil = Criswell

You all remember Criswell, right, the amazing prognosticator of Plan 9 From Outer Space? Ray Kurzweil fits the mold: vague predictions, slippery, fuzzy statements, backtracking and excuse-making. The only differences are that Kurzweil is cold-reading technology rather than people’s personalities, and like most mediums, he tends to make happy optimistic predictions that sell better than…

From John Pavlus: How to make a Singularity Step 1: “I wonder if brains are just like computers?” Step 2: Add peta-thingies/giga-whatzits; say “Moore’s Law!” a lot at conferences Step 3: ?????? Step 4: SINGULARITY!!!11!one There are other, perhaps somewhat more serious, rebuttals at Rennie’s Last Nerve and A Fistful of Science. Now run along,…

Ray Kurzweil has responded to my criticisim of futurist fortune-telling. It really just compounds the problems, though, and gullible people who love Ray will think he’s answered me, while skeptical people who see through his hocus-pocus will be unimpressed. It’s kind of pointless to reply again, but here goes. His first point is silly. For…

There he goes again, making up nonsense and making ridiculous claims that have no relationship to reality. Ray Kurzweil must be able to spin out a good line of bafflegab, because he seems to have the tech media convinced that he’s a genius, when he’s actually just another Deepak Chopra for the computer science cognoscenti.…

Ray Kurzweil is in a snit

I have heard that he is absolutely furious about that Newsweek article on him — he’s harrassing the editors and staff, is demanding that they print his full rebuttal, and is particularly upset that they would question his amazing powers of prognostication. He has put a letter online, in which he claims that all his…

Ray Kurzweil Wants to Be a Robot

I was pleasantly surprised by this Newsweek article on Ray Kurzweil: it’s critical of him! Usually, and especially from the technopress magazines, there’s this kind of fawning attitude towards him, because he really is a smart guy — they overlook the fact that he is also a bit of a kook. You know what I…

Will Smith must be stopped

He has a new movie coming out this summer, After Earth. It looks awful, but then, that’s what I’ve come to expect from Will Smith’s Sci-Fi outings. Jebus. Anyone remember that abomination, I, Robot? How about I Am Legend? I steer clear of these movies with a high concept and a big name star, because…

[I am totally confused. I have not seen the movie Source Code, although it will be playing in Morris next week, yet I have now seen an explanation of the time-travel paradox in the movie by the physicist James Kakalios, and now here is an explanation by an English professor. You guys sort it out.…

Problem diagnosed

We’ve finally received some information from the overlords about the recent problems. We’re being attacked. We have been forwarding reports from bloggers and users to our hosting service, Rackspace, over the past few days. After monitoring our traffic and these reports, Rackspace has determined that ScienceBlogs is experiencing a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack…

Singularitarianism?

Ray Kurzweil is a genius. One of the greatest hucksters of the age. That’s the only way I can explain how his nonsense gets so much press and has such a following. Now he has the cover of Time magazine, and an article called 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. It certainly couldn’t be taken…