This article by Annalee Newitz echoes some of my thoughts on the supposed coming singularity. Like it or not, the future is driven by business. Now, I believe in the benefits of The Market—it’s given us some great things—but let’s not fool ourselves. The same people who will make the nanobots which will keep our bodies in working order are the same ones who brought us CFCs, bisphenol A, and oil spills. In other words, consumers.
We as consumers make horrible choices, and not just because we are ignorant of the facts. In the relatively short span of the past hundred years, we have demonstrated an ability to make long-term choices without thinking about the long-term. Thankfully, many of those decisions were benign or marginally negative in effect. Many decisions, however, are still complicating our lives and this planet in measurable or unknown ways. Even now, we still make decisions with horrific consequences. Singularity or not, that trend will continue.