Podcast 260 – “The Great Crescendo” Part 2


Guest speaker: Bruce Damer


[NOTE: All quotations are by Bruce Damer.]

“I would say it’s no more than 500 people in the United States who cause a vast amount of the grief.”

“A crescendo involves everyone. The singularity seems to be this nerd idea of reaching some kind of Omega Point. It’s very much the Christian idea of the second coming. It’s apocalyptic, etc., a bit of a downer because everything comes to an end, but it’s incredibly unlikely.”

“The crescendo will throw off all the old religions. It will throw off the conspiracy theories. It will throw off crusty old corporate jobs. And replace them with self-sufficiency, direct communication with nature, with other human beings, with media, and the creation of opinions directly.

“So if you think of the computing, it’s not really computing, but the computing nature is doing all the time, it outstrips all our largest supercomputing grids.”

“So if we can’t do even one neuron [computer simulation] how are we going to upload consciousness exactly?”

“You’re here not because something put you here and fabricated you and guided the evolution and created the whole planet. It’s an emergent phenomenon and so are you. And you are an ongoing story, and the story is written in your genes, but it is also written in your mind. And you have responsibility for this amazing emergent phenomenon.”

“You don’t need religion for miracles. The fact that you exist in all this existence is stacked upon miracles, turtles all the way down. So if we grok that, we don’t need religious stories any more.”

“The virtual worlds and avatar spaces and multi-player games of now are the Keystone Cops of what virtual worlds will be in twenty or thirty years through AR [Augmented Reality], and big home holodecks, and stuff like that.”


PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option

Posted in Bruce Damer, Consciousness, Creativity, Evolution, Future, Imagination, Science & Technology.


  1. quote:“So if we can’t do even one neuron [computer simulation] how are we going to upload consciousness exactly?”

    Well for one thing, technology is slowly evolving to who knows what exactly. I don’t buy this argument which I heard before from Dahmer: Because we are not able to simulate one neuron on current technology, we can start to think about consciousness.

    The problem with this reasoning is that current technology is outdated the day before it actually comes out. We now have artificially created ratbrains steering around little carts (http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/10/07/040255/Robot-Controlled-By-Rat-Brain). We can restore crude vision to the blind by connecting a cable to their visual cortex connected to a cam they wear on glasses (very interesting docu on discovery years ago).

    Sure you can’t simulate one living cell on a quad core modern computer. I bet it won’t be any problem for the artificially grown dolphin brain running Quantum OS 1.03 in a ‘few’ years from now.

    If consciousness runs on a bio computer, another biocomputer seems a logic candidate to upload that consciousness into.

  2. Wow! Another great talk! Bruce is SO good at explaining things.

    For the very first time though I have one small criticism… I think that the focus on W’s alcoholic history is a bit problematic. Yes, he was a complete idiot (not many disagree about that), but I’m not sure how much that had to do with his use of alcohol.

    Yes, alcohol sucks, and yes, it is a HUGE problem, and alcoholism a good reason not to support someone who is running for any office. (Actually bush was not even elected the first time anyway–so I guess the screening panel should definitely come PRE-campaign).

    But in all fairness, it has been my understanding that even one admitted LSD trip will disqualify a person for being a pilot. I know being President is even more sensitive a job. But it might be difficult indeed to find a concensus upon which drugs are OK to have been exposed to, to become President. Personally, a psychedelics’ user would be my preference over an alcohol user. However…

    My point here is simply that, putting aside all drug use, shouldn’t the person themself be judged aside from their drug use? If this were the case, I think Bush would have been eliminated quickly from the process…maybe not. Maybe I just missed the point in the beginning of this talk.

    Anyway, everything else seems spot on in this talk. And I could be wrong for how I see this point above. I just know quite a few former alcoholics who have switched to Cannabis, Salvia and even LSA, and are exhibiting the greatest parts of themselves now, with complete comfort in their decision to quit alcohol. They are good, smart people.

    It is the person, perhaps, and not the history of drug usage that seems to hold the cards.

    Lot’s of Love and Thanks!

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