The sofa-larity won’t happen

The New Yorker suggested instead of the Singularity there could be a sofalarity, a mindless oblivion where you become buried in a comfy sofa. I will convince you why the sofalarity is wrong. The Singularity, for those people who are unaware, is an technological explosion of intelligence.

Technology can resemble a box of matches in the hands of children. The invention of matches is smart, intelligent, but personal intelligence can take longer to mature. Our cultural intelligence will however catch-up with the smartness of technology. The sofa-larity won’t happen.

Sofa by FASTILY via Wikimedia Commons
Sofa by FASTILY Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Reminiscent of toddlers people may stumble and graze their knees, or burn their houses down, but we will become culturally smart. Many fat sofa-people exist in the year 2014, but there are also a growing number of Jen Selter types. People similar to Jen Selter are using technology to share their love of self-improvement. There are also apps available for people to share their running progress.

Jen Selter: “Train insane or remain the same”

Soon technology will allow our cultural intelligence, our personal intelligence, to keep pace with the smartness of our gadgets. The internet already augments our cultural intelligence, assuming you follow positive people or use Jawbone UP, Fitbit. AI and nanotechnology will boost the augmentation of our minds. It is merely a matter of education. Children need to be informed about the dangers of matches. Thankfully children do learn, thus generally they grow-up to be relatively responsible adults. Technological teething pain exists in 2014, which is understandable because technology is a relatively new thing. We are only just beginning to grasp the power of technology. The Singularity is inevitable despite our pre-Singularity teething troubles. Let’s consider Tim Wu’s New Yorker article about the sofalarity, titled: “As Technology Gets Better, Will Society Get Worse?” Tim sated technological evolution is different to biological evolution. He suggest biology is about survival of the fittest, whereas technology is about comfort. He thinks we are merely “comfort-seeking missiles” focused on an easy-life of anodyne oblivion. By Tim’s logic we should all be heroin addicts, or screen junkies, but there are many examples of people using technology to blog their fitness. Tim Wu wrote: “Our will-to-comfort combined with our technological powers create a stark possibility. If we’re not careful, our technological evolution will take us toward not a singularity but a sofalarity. That’s a future defined not by an evolution toward superintelligence but by the absence of discomforts.” I think Tim Wu is following the wrong people. Consider how Robert Durbin was inspired at age 64 to get fit via a YouTube video. Video technology! Or consider Lucy Mecklenburgh logging her fitness via Twitter:

Consider also Millie Mackintosh using her Xbox One and other methods to get fit, which she shares via technology:


Technology is being used by Kyle Cary Smith and others to promote and encourage fitness:


People can make stupid decisions but I predict technology will naturally lead us towards intelligent decisions. Already, via technology, some inspirational people are showing us how we can improve our lives. Technology is inherently intelligent thus humans will inevitably become intelligent. Think about it, it makes sense. Our brainpower will prevail.



3 Responses

  1. Nicholas says:

    Deep down most people want to be fit for ingrained evolutionary reasons. For the most part people dont enjoy being out of shape but various factors get in the way. I think one of the biggest thins holding back exercise is simple boredom. With our media driven life styles taking an hour out of the day to do repetitive exercises is hard to will. I think making it easier to do tasks while exercising, or making exercising more engaging in and of itself will be a huge boon.

    Of course I’m also a transhumanist so we might just solve this with direct augmentation to render exercise meaningless. Point is we will continue to desire fitness.

    • Singularity Utopia says:

      The desire to be fit or smart is evolutionary. Exercise is not boring once you start to see results. The inspirational people mentioned all state they enjoy exercise, they love going to the gym. A wide range of fitness tracking-sensing devices are currently available. Augmenting our fitness is the future but the important thing is to have passion, a desire to excel. We should NOT rely wholly upon technology to create that passion, I think the passion can and will arise from the mere human brain. Technology provides a safe and supportive medium for people to unleash and enhance their passion. More people will become inspired, passionate, regarding their existence and technology. People will improve themselves in all modalities. Their improvement will NOT be boring in the future.

  1. March 6, 2014

    […] Peter The New Yorker suggested instead of the Singularity there could be a sofalarity, a mindless […]

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