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Dauphin, V.B. Abell, S. (2010). Infinite Adolescence: A Psychoanalytic Exploration of Tantalizing Promises Inherent to the Singularity. Psychoanal. Rev., 97(4):579-605.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Review, 97(4):579-605

Infinite Adolescence: A Psychoanalytic Exploration of Tantalizing Promises Inherent to the Singularity

V. Barry Dauphin, Ph.D. and Steven Abell, Ph.D.

Recently, many biomedical and computer scientists have suggested the heretofore unattainable. Namely, advances in computer power, basic science, and health technology will transform the current state of human mortality into near immortality and that extraordinary powers will soon be within grasp of us all. These claims are not simply being made by crackpots and charlatans, but rather by scientists who are often at the cutting edge of research and theory development. There are many ways to conceive of this transformation, but no concept captures this quite as well as the Singularity, a term originally associated with mathematician and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge (1993), but more recently popularized by computer scientist and philosopher Ray Kurzweil (2006b) in his book, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Such ideas attract exceptionally talented scientists and engineers and spawn gatherings such as the Stanford Singularity Summit (2006-2009), which has become an annual event. This is part of the larger Transhumanist movement that envisions a posthuman future for humankind in the years ahead (e.g., Bostrom, 2006), notwithstanding seasoned skeptics who question whether such possibilities in this paradigm are even theoretically feasible (e.g., Modis, 2006).

Vinge (1993) borrowed the term singularity from astrophysics. A singularity describes the event horizon around a black hole, the gravitational pull of which is so powerful as to preclude anything (even light) from escaping it.

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