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Transition Point: From Steam to the Singularity

Sean A. Culey

Top 10 Best Quotes

“The paradox of change is that while everyone says they want change, not many people actually like it, and even less want to lead it.”

“My dogs might believe, in their little doggy brains, that they wield the power in our relationship because I feed them, pet them, come when they bark, pick up their poop, buy them toys and care for them when they are sick. However, if they ever decided to act on their beliefs and try to exert power over me or my family, then their true place in the relationship would quickly become apparent. Likewise, we may feel confident that we are the master of our AI creations, only to be taken completely by surprise when we realise – too late – that we are no longer in control.”

“In many ways, the status quo is human nature; people are often paradoxically afraid of change and also afraid of staying the same – but when push comes to shove, staying the same seems safer.”

“When workers’ jobs are easily sacrificed for short-term stock gains – stocks which the leaders own but the workers do not – then the truth becomes clear: We aren’t all in this together. You’re just in it for yourself, and I’m expendable.”

“What these protestors of Western culture forget is that they are only able to hold their protests, broadcast their views and write their articles because of the very same freedoms they are fighting to suppress. By severing the roots, they will also kill the tree under whose branches they shelter.”

“We should not be complacent and view China’s actions as those of an alien nation; they are in many ways simply more honest about their totalitarianism. To control a population of disenfranchised and divided people, Western governments and bodies like the EU are all following China’s example and calling upon the power of digital and financial corporations to monitor and report on their citizen’s activities both in the real world and online. Their veneer of democratic respectability is peeling away, allowing people to see the truth that lies beneath.”

“This collaboration between global technology companies and the state is enabling a worrying level of draconian oversight into our everyday lives, providing those who wish to control us with the tools to identify, intimidate and incarcerate any wrong-thinkers. Once again, those who deem themselves the most virtuous have little qualms about imposing their virtue onto others by restricting their rights – only this time they are backed up by some seriously powerful technological hardware.”

“The ‘lump of equality’ argument, which assumes that if someone is doing well it must be at the expense of someone else, is both false and has been used to previously justify some pretty dystopian actions. When those with power believe that the end justifies the means, any action to achieve this end becomes viable. We’ve seen multiple variations of ideology-based ‘equality’ solutions implemented in the real world; none of which turned out well for those they purported to help.”

“The near future is going to be defined by the outcomes of a battle between those in control of the machines, and those controlled by them. Corporations have become richer and more powerful than countries, but without any form of societal contract or responsibility to citizens or communities. They are not the Quakers of old. Their loyalty to you starts and ends with your worth as a consumer and as a data provider.”

“The industrial age has transformed our material well-being, but these improvements have come at the cost of our beliefs: belief in our special place in the universe; belief in an omnipresent god; belief in country and community; belief in monogamy and marriage, and belief in our values. What, then, holds up the foundations of society when these beliefs finally fall away?”

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Book Keywords:

freedom-of-speech, corporatism, futurism, business-culture, corporate-greed, freedom, business-leadership, technological-unemployment, society, corporate-culture, freedom-of-choice, technology-existential-risks, rights, artificial-intelligence, dystopian-future, change-management, technological-change, totalitarianism, society-individualism

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