This is not the first time we refer to this issue, but from time to time it is interesting to make a comparison in the context of the current situation.

By Javier Belda

By way of introduction, we will make a brief note of what the Singularity is about, leaving aside the more technical details, which have already been exposed in other publications (IHPS, WCHS, etc.) [1].

We write Singularity in capital letters because it is a term that refers to a historical time, such as the Middle Ages; a coming historical time.

The Point of Singularity is enigmatic. It means that a multitude of phenomena of great magnitude occur at a given instant. In the graphs of the analysts of historical processes, it can be observed that the events on the vertical axis “crisis” are accelerating, while the horizontal axis “time” is practically at a standstill, i.e. all the different crises occur at the same moment.

It is known, graphically and mathematically, how the Singularity occurs, but it is not known in detail what it will consist of, how such a whirlwind will occur in events and in our particular lives?

Last Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “The world is entering an era of chaos”, referring to the lack of cohesion of nations to move towards a sustainable evolutionary process.

On Thursday, it was Donald Trump who warned that “the world is in tremendous danger” from “a possible World War III”.

Whether we like or dislike these characters, we note that their statements would have been implausible only a short time ago.

Are these pronouncements a sign that we have reached the point of Singularity?

We think so, yes, although what we define as a point could span a period of perhaps 10 years.

We are now reaching this point in terrible political, psychosocial, environmental, humanitarian, etc. conditions. So it would seem possible to say that the Singularity has a destructive connotation. However, such a view seems to us too inertial.

To digress; as Mario Rodriguez Cobos (Silo) explains in Psychology Notes: to every stimulus corresponds a more or less reflex answer, but also subsequent non-immediate elaborations, which are more complex and interesting. By exercising reversible attention, the subject discovers the possibility of controlling mechanical answers. This is of vital importance in order not to create a greater evil with immediate answers and, among other things, to produce profound transferential elaborations. End of digression.

From there, we resist a “reflex” inevitability that would lead us to equate Singularity with the end of humanity.

We have several authors who have addressed the Singularity as references – among them Alexander Panov and Akop Nazaretian of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as the American David Christian, a renowned historian of Big History – but it is especially Silo’s postulates that seem to us to be the most appropriate for interpreting this fundamental moment of human civilization.

Silo, without venturing to specify a specific date, anticipated in his vision and definition of the Singularity. He established a scheme of evolution based on generations, moments, epochs, ages, civilizations, and periods.

The Argentinean thinker focused his doctrine on what must be done to face this critical threshold of the human species.

“…you can only put an end to violence in yourself and in others and the world around you, by inner faith and inner meditation.” [2]

He said many things that are worth remembering and quoting in context. On positioning oneself in one way or another and the choice that we each have, the following comments come to mind.

So, sense and nonsense are parts of the same reality, and arguments can be found for one or the other perspective since both have real existence and are in a complementary relation.

Before each step that is taken in the world, the YES and the NO appear as real possibilities, and with their arguments, emotional climates, and motor attitudes, which correspond to the positive and the negative of the individual confronted with a contradictory reality.

Everything can be and not be, or even more, everything is and is not.

The environment of Being is Non-Being, without which it could not exist.

The recognition of the real existence of both poles implies the possibility of choosing one or the other path: that of faith in the plan of the Universe, of enthusiasm and creative activity, of the self-affirmation of Being in oneself and the World, or the path of paralyzing skepticism, of doubt in one’s creative possibilities, of meaninglessness and apathy.

If we consider the time of the Singularity as something exceptionally violent and convulsive, we are making a mistake, because extreme violence has been taking place “in the wild” in the preceding centuries -however- going almost unnoticed by many people, who did not have the slightest perception of the events that occurred in other latitudes.

We have, for example, the case of the Congo, where a genocide took place that annihilated more than 15 million people by Belgian colonists between the 19th and 20th centuries. Another illustration of the end of the world “for some” is the Charrúa people, who inhabited present-day Uruguay, which was destroyed last century. According to experts, of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of the Americas, less than 2 million remained just a century after their “discovery” by Europeans.

The world has been stable and comfortable depending on how lucky you would have been at birth.

What disappeared in the time of the Singularity is the false idea of stability to which “some” of us were accustomed.

Anything that seemed immovable to us, such as human rights, the defense of childhood, the economy, private property, the self-management of your body, with its manifestation in the world, etc., can nowadays be smashed. Either by the fall of socially sustaining values or by the technological possibilities of deepfake.

As for the evolutionary aspect of the Singularity, Silo spoke of the advent of supraconsciousness.

The image of the Universe is the image of the transformation of time. It can only be drawn when the present man is transformed. The optic to be used must not be the one that interprets the past but the one that interprets the future. Everything in the Universe tends towards the future. The sense of freedom towards the future is precisely the sense of the Earth and the world. Man must be overcome by the future of his mind. This overcoming begins when man awakens… and with him awakens the whole Universe. [3]

In reality, our categories of good and evil are all too human. We are accustomed to life on planet X, but beyond it, all our notions of the habitability of space and the same gravitational and space-time references change. Outside our planet, the concept of day and night, or the assimilation of life to the rays of the Sun star, simply does not exist.

With this exercise in abstraction, we seek a twist that allows us to represent ourselves beyond the immovable. It will be from a new location that we will be able to imagine possibilities that go beyond, to leap over our all too human-earthly conceptions.

The Russian analysts cited above imagined three possibilities after crossing the point of Singularity:

1-a downward gradient, pointing to the end of the life process on the planet,

2-another horizontal one, which would point to the virtualization of society (Mátrix-like)

3-and a third vertical gradient, which would mean a qualitative leap for the continuity of the evolutionary process.

For our part, we humanists subscribe to the third hypothesis. Not just because we like it better, but because in the light of all the data and our intuition, it seems the most complex-evolutionary, provided we can take a broadly focused look.

About this third possibility Eric Chaisson formulated the contrast between the “thermodynamic arrow of time” and the “cosmological arrow of time”, “which constitutes the main paradox of the natural sciences in the current picture of the world”, said Nazaretian.

The existing empirical material allows us to trace the process from quark and gluon plasma to stars, planets, and organic molecules; from Proterozoic cyanobacteria to higher vertebrates and complex Pleistocene biocenoses; and from Homo habilis herds with sharp stones to post-industrial civilization. Thus, over the entire available retrospective viewing distance – from the Big Bang to the present day – the Metagalaxy was coherently shifting from the most probable (“natural”, from the entropic point of view) to the less probable, but quasi-stable, states. [4]

Chaisson refers to the vertical gradient as the inrush of the cosmological arrow of time, which Akop cites in his book Non-Linear Future.

To put it in plain words: the interesting thing will be what we can imagine… As soon as you get up from your seat and take two steps if you pay attention to yourself, you will realize that everything is imagined. It is from imagination and our register of full freedom that we will be able to project ourselves into a new world without violence. Such a world would be an unprecedented paradigm in the evolutionary history of the human species.

1: For a more in-depth study we recommend David Sámano’s book, A Narrow Path in Theoretical Anthropology, among others by the same author, recently presented at the UACM.

2: Silo. The Healing of Suffering”, 1969.

3: Silo. Philosophy of the point of view, 1962

4: Akop Nazaretian. Non-Linear Future. Ed. Suma Qamaña. Buenos Aires, 2005.

The original article can be found here