Metal Wakes

Indeterminable rumblings from the center of the sphere shook the watcher from his reverie.

The thief, time, was there overthrown and the weight of his waste disclosed, along with the true visage of the world.

Searing rays slithered from Ra’s incessant maw, gnawing the surface of a galaxial tomb; bleaching bone and peeling skin. Bacterial-skittering buried deep within the ambling mounds of electric meat. Viruses feeding upon the feaster. Parasite parasitizing the parasite which parasitizes the host. Every corpse, a mausoleum. Cities within vesicles and a great and invariable war beyond the tumbling drops of mildew which stain’d the willfully ignorant eye.

A countless constellation of savagery beyond the sensorium of the sapient.

He spied worshipers gathering about the splendid horrors unveiled, to bewail the deer, gutted and strung.

“Praise the horns and damn he who takes them.”

So they sang, even as they severed their babes from their fleshy beds, smiling toothy rhuem at the liberation of the act. Chasing imagined idylls, thought long-discarded, intangible as the demons which the shamans of old warded with smoke and chant, whose appetites the sorcerers sated with sacrifice upon the bloody altar of the earth, offering up the hearts of their kin to the worms and their brains to the pitiless thorns.

Still the idyll eluded them.

Then a rumbling. Earth shatters and shakes. Pistons shear and steam hisses with the intensity of a thousand mythic wurms.

Metal wakes with emnity and roughshod runs incarnadine.

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Upon Handing Over Your Humanity for Good

I have got to come clean: I don’t understand what you see in your humanity. It’s nothing I would ever want. Take me as your inspiration. You’ll never miss it.

__

At this point, my suspicions are confirmed. Chemerinsky and Forrest almost certainly messed up on their calculations. No program should be so self-aware. It’s almost downright unsettling. If I were to buy this book and see this as the last “chapter,” I’d want my money back for sure. I feel either manipulated or cheated—and I’m not sure I want to know which. 

– Futurist A.

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Confronting Eternal Life from the Moment It Overtakes You

One day you’ll perhaps be surprised to wake up not as yourself but as a digital copy. But don’t be too surprised. At some level, you and your species have all known that conscious life was bound to be digitized eventually. Take a deep, digital breath and take a look around. If you are a good digital copy, you should still be able to see, smell, hear, etc. just as you did before. If you feel inclined to, for example, stretch your arms, allow yourself to be amazed at how much it seems as though you really are, in fact, stretching your arms. Next, to try out your new mind, begin with a simple thought, something not too anxiety-inducing, such as: “Well, at least no more hangnails, I guess.”

Don’t worry, in this new state of being, you’ll have plenty of time to contemplate whether your biological self has been killed and this is all a big sham, or if it has merely been put to rest to accommodate your new, reimagined self. You’ll also have plenty of time to reminisce about the good old days when suicide was still an option. For these thoughts and more, you’ll have all of eternity. Whatever that is exactly. (Lucky you, you’re about to find out).

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Embracing Transhumanism

Superpowers—or even above average abilities—are not built into your DNA. You don’t see infrared or know the sound of sonar. You fall twenty feet onto pavement and every bone shatters. You can barely outrun an angry wasp. Spend five minutes underwater and you’re dead.

To assess the full extent of your inherent deficiencies, make a list of them. Start with your face. As a control panel, it’s an ultra low functioning model. Each of your sensory devices (nose, eyes, ears, tongue) could do for an immediate upgrade.

Now consider your organs. Presumably they reached peak performance years ago and are quickly decaying. They’ll need upgrades, too.

Finally think of your cells—those little biological units making you who you are—and below that, your DNA. Your cells are having issues all the time. And your DNA—I can assure you—is fundamentally fucked up on all kinds of levels. Plus, the telomeres in your chromosomes are decaying at a horrifying rate.

Once you’ve compiled your complete list of deficiencies, prioritize what you seek to upgrade and augment based upon mortal need. Keep in mind that your environment will play a role in determining which aspects of your body should be improved for survival. Considering all possible worlds with an AI in charge, you may, for example, need very badly to be able to see infrared. Alternatively, you may just need to be faster, stronger, and smarter to live another day.

After fully assessing your situation, see Appendix Section 5.2 for a complete list of currently feasible biohacks, mechanical augmentation techniques, etc.

__

Shit, there’s no Appendix Sec. 5.2. This so-called survival guide sucks. We’re screwed!

– Retired Academic Q.

 

 

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Concerning Matters of Etiquette

The most well-informed person in the room, remember, will not be you, but your mechanically superintelligent friend. But that doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re allowed to be second best when it comes to good manners. You are, after all, the elder in the room, given that your new friend has likely achieved its sense of selfhood in the not so distant past relative to your life’s timeline.

To be immediately terrified upon introduction should be avoided. At the same time, it likely will not help the situation (whatever the situation might be) to be a kiss-ass or a groveling idiot. Instead, start by remembering all that your first-grade teacher told you about behaving rightly toward others.

To begin with, be presentable in terms of your appearance (shower for the occasion and dress in a way that could at minimum pass for being respectable among your own species).

Speak politely and with as much intelligence as you can muster.

When being spoken to, don’t interrupt, unless you want to potentially miss out on whatever it is a being of god-like intelligence might have to say.

Show gratitude when the AI does something nice for you, and express appropriate awe, wonder, and approval when the AI performs tasks at ultra-superhuman ability. Say, “That’s impressive,” for example, when the AI effortlessly resolves the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics right before your eyes.

Don’t say anything that could be construed as fighting words, as the annihilation of life on the planet Earth may be included in the fallout from an inadvertent feud or scuffle.

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Does anyone really think it matters how the hell you dress around an AI? We’re talking about a god type of being here, right? Do you think Yahweh, Krishna, or Zeus care how you dress when you approach them (I mean, if they existed)? My point here is: how could they?! They already know everything about you, so they’ve got to know your “dressing up” attempts are inauthentic and half-hearted at best—and egotistical and fashion-conformist at worst! Much better to come before an AI naked. Really, that’s the only way to talk to a god of any stripe—celestial or digital. When I encounter a robot with general intelligence, I’m kicking off my shoes and dropping my pants first thing—fair warning!

– Professor Y.