The Lie of the Technological Singularity
Everybody has a doomsday.
Christians have their baroque delusions about the Rapture. Liberals have global warming scenarios where Manhattan ends up looking like something out of anime. Conservatives fixate on immigrants flooding our borders until we're all speaking their devil tongue and voting for brown presidents.
For the 100 million atheist thyroid cases that live on the Internet day and night there is the concept of the technological singularity. The idea is that at some point in the future technology will become so advanced that mankind will be irrelevant. It's a cross between your usual end-of-all-things doomsday scenario and an orgasmic apotheosis wherein the Asperger's sufferers get to leave behind their troublesome flesh and be downloaded into a greeting card microchip.
Wired tends to write an article about the approaching technological singularity whenever it's a slow month in Second Life. Their theories range from super-intelligent AIs taking over the world and exterminating mankind, to cybernetic upgrades creating super humans, to all-consuming swarms of nano-machines that devour and multiply until there is nothing left alive on earth.
One of the concepts frequently referenced in technological singularity theories is that of "Moore's Law." To grossly simplify Moore's Law it is the rule that every two years, thanks to technological improvement, the processing power of a computer doubles. Eventually it doubles enough and computers get fast enough that the world ends or we're in the Matrix or something.
I find it difficult to believe anyone could reach this sort of conclusion logically. If someone told me race cars doubled in speed every two years my conclusion would not be, "Eventually they will kill us all!"
Despite what Wired may think, mankind will never face a technological singularity. Why? Computers are dumb assholes.
The Internet Makes You Stupid
Ah, the Internet, centerpiece of the information age, the interactive ideascape where great minds come together to create a collective consciousness. Surely the Internet represents the most likely vector for the coming technological singularity.
Wait a second. Do any of the people talking about a technological singularity actually use the Internet? It's a maelstrom of idiocy and moral decay. The triumphs of the Internet like Youtube and Wikipedia? They are shining examples that when a lot of people put their heads together the result is Chocolate Rain and its corresponding 1,200-word Wikipedia article.
If the collective mind of the Internet somehow becomes self-aware it's probably going to spend the next 10,000 years perfecting its Prince of Tennis wiki site. Like the gelatinous human minds that gave birth to it, Internet 3.0 will have zero interest in doing anything productive or destructive, thus proving the old math theory that zero multiplied by any number still equals a collection of genetic rejects, sexual deviants, and sociopaths obsessed with minutiae.
21st Century AI is 5,000 Zombie Computers Sending Dick Pills Spam for the Ukrainian Mob
This one is pretty self explanatory, but of the two most powerful computing systems in the world one is devoted to trying to find space aliens and the other is owned by the Ukrainian mob to send spam emails for unscrupulous clients. Even the military and intelligence super-networks are just Google Earth with a crosshair and maybe Jason Bourne's bio in a tabbed window. Modern processing power is distributed and used for really stupid crap that will never result in Skynet launching nukes.