Edward Tenner at the Atlantic finds a fun set of paired quotes:
Singularity fans might counter with one of the great science fiction writers and futurist Arthur C. Clarke‘s most famous laws:
“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; when he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong.”
But given popular responsiveness to features about immortality and the Singularity, we should also bear in mind the corollary of Isaac Asimov:
“When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion — the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right.”
Of course, the weasel word for Asimov is “lay.” Who, exactly, is the lay public? And what do we do when most of the “lay” public are horrified by the idea?
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