Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Feb 19 16:57:36 UTC 2010

What sense of "singularity" do you wonder has "condensed"?  Certainly
"singularity" is in dictionaries.

For the Wikipedia article "Singularity", I don't find a reference to
a "Verner Vinge", and the article starts with "Singularity may refer
to any of a variety of concepts."


At 2/19/2010 08:40 AM, Robin Hamilton wrote:
>Has the term "singularity" condensed sufficiently to be incorporated in
>dictionaries?  The WIKI article on it, when I looked, seemed to reflect my
>own understanding,   [In Summary]:  "Coined by Vernor Vinge, and since
>generated a fair degree of noise."
>I'd be interested also if anyone has come across extended uses beyond the
>original technological/AI event horizon sense as used by Vinge.  It seems to
>me that in some ways the evolution of both google and Wikipedia itself could
>be seen as mini-singularity events, where the Thing in question experiences
>a (technically catastrophic) state-change.
>Further questiion -- is the term "singularity" (and metaphorical uses
>derived from it) particularly useful when applied to computer systems or
>epiphenomena (the Web, Wikis, Twitter, etc.) built on a foundation of
>computer systems,  and has this anything to do with the way in which
>feedback loops (can) operate in a positively catastrophic way in computers,
>and a negatively catastrophic way in the real world?
>Banks grow too big to fail, but Wiki finally succeeds by virtue of its size
>(so to speak)?
>Does the term "singularity" add anything to previous terms such as
>homeostasis, event horizon, discontinuity, tipping point, change of state,
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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