(2005-09-20) Stross Accelerando Resimulated

There's a fabulous little chunk in Charlie Stross's Accelerando that gives you a sense of post-Singularity potentials.

If you are remembering this presentation, you are probably resimulated. This is not the same as being resurrected. You may remember dying. Do not worry: Like all your other memories, it is a fabrication. In fact, this is the first time you have ever been alive. (Exception: If you died after the singularity, you may be a genuine resurrectee. In which case, why are you reading this FAQ?)... A weakly godlike intelligence is not a supernatural Agency, but the product of a highly advanced society that learned how to artificially create souls and translate human minds into souls and vice versa... The society you have been instantiated in is extremely wealthy within the scope of Economics 1.0, the value transfer system developed by human beings during and after your own time. Money exists, and is used for the usual range of goods and services, but the basics - food, water, air, power, off-the-shelf clothing, housing, historical entertainment, and monster trucks - are free. An implicit social contract dictates that, in return for access to these facilities, you obey certain laws. If you wish to Opt-Out of this Social Contract, be advised that other worlds may run Economics 2.0 or subsequent releases. These value-transfer systems are more efficient - hence wealthier - than Economics 1.0, but true participation in Economics 2.0 is not possible without dehumanizing cognitive surgery. Thus, in absolute terms, although this society is richer than any you have ever heard of, it is also a poverty-stricken backwater compared to its neighbors.... While many things are free, it is highly likely that you posses no employable skills, and therefore, no way of earning money with which to purchase unfree items. The pace of change in the past century has rendered almost all skills you may have learned obsolete... The city is an Agoric-annealing Participatory Democracy with a Limited Liability constitution. Its current executive agency is a weakly godlike intelligence that chooses to associate with human-equivalent intelligence.

Related: Rudy Rucker recently noted By the way, this story is, in a way, an "Answer Song" responding to a concept in Stross's Accelerando that really bugs me, to wit, the idea that it might be "reasonable" to grind Earth up into a Dyson Sphere of nanomachines capable of running us all as agents in a virtual Earth that's "just as nice." After a little more work, I'm gonna send it off to an SF magazine next week.

  • The story is included in The Year's Best SF (SciFi) ISBN:0061252085 .

  • This story is being expanded into forthcoming book PostSingular (Singularity).

    • in his Notes file he says Looking at the swaying willow branches, the wobbly big leaves of the catalpa, the clouds. Computation without the buzz. I see the Vernor Vinge-an singularity as Evil, as an Armageddon where beige, rectilinear machines try to eat the green, vibrant world. I want to dramatize the decisive defeat of the digital demons.
  • Mar'2008: Rudy plumbs the same ground in these posts.

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