A heated discussion raged about when the Singularity would arrive. The believers were quite convinced it was the technological equivalent of the Rapture in Christianity. Someone asked who would take care of all the servers after everyone was gone. Another replied that the computers would take care of themselves at that point. I thought it was hilarious and added that the Amish would not join a Singularity, though they wouldn’t be taking care of server farms hosting uploaded personalities, either. That exchange is what led to my short story “A Post-Singularity Story”.

Who would be left behind as a Singularity arrives, as some choose to upload their minds to “digital heaven,” likely leaving their bodies behind?

The most obvious group of left-behinds consists of those that reject any type of technology like this. I don’t see the Amish, Mennonites or Hutterites joining such a movement. They’re actually growing in numbers because the divide between their society and the rest of the world has stretched into a nearly unsurmountable gulf. It is likely that many conservative Christian groups already ambivalent about the internet will say no to sex bots, permanent connections to an increasingly powerful AI and any uploading of their minds to a faux afterlife. There would likely be similar movements in other faiths that likewise reject joining the Singularity. As the digital world moves far beyond what is seen as reasonable, moral or even human, they’ll continue to develop and reinforce the cultural justifications of their views.

Another group likely to be left behind are those who cannot “migrate”. I remember one story featuring a young man bizarrely allergic to nano-tech, and he became the savior of his world because he was the only person who lacked it and couldn’t be infected with the dangerous strain because his immune system fought it. We do need to consider the risk of nanotech, cybernetics and similar technologies being rejected by a percentage of the population regardless of their desire for it. Someone with nerve damage from MS may want a new retina or spinal cord, but their body may not tolerate it. “H+ Nano” actually addressed the problems created by early adopters suffering failures. Its villain was someone who was left disabled by the early trials, and by virtue of that failure, was also immune to the H+ Nano virus that wiped out everyone carrying the later generation of cybernetics connected to the grid.

We can’t discount the possibility that there are those that the Singularity crowd won’t want. An elderly person with severe dementia may or may not meet their standards for upload, and then there’s the chance the “popular” crowd wouldn’t want someone with such “retrograde” views, anyway. Or do we end up with different digital domains based on your demographics, your belief system, and the size of your investment account? That would be a novel variation on the idea of multiple levels of heaven and hell.


Check out Tamara Wilhite’s Amazon Author Page and see her on Hubpages.


Photo by Ted Van Pelt

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