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390 pages, Hardcover
First published July 5, 2005
’Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time. If you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy.’
It's the agalmic future. You're still locked into a pre-singularity economic model that thinks in terms of scarcity. Resource allocation isn't a problem anymore -- it's going to be over within a decade. The cosmos is flat in all directions, and we can borrow as much bandwidth as we need from the from the first universal bank of entropy!
A singularity is another name for a black hole: a stellar object so massive that its own gravity compresses it to such density that it, in some sense, “breaks” time and space. Like “infinity”, it is something about which we cannot know. The Technological Singularity (aka “Rapture of the Geeks”, cf. wikipedia) is a metaphorically similar event postulated to be in, perhaps, our somewhat near future. The idea is that we will eventually create artificial intelligence that is beyond our own capabilities, which will then create its own successor (or upgrade itself). Repeat this process, and the result is an exponentially accelerating (ergo, the title) intelligence that quickly grows beyond our control or even our ability to comprehend. We cannot predict anything about our future beyond the emergence of that intelligence: we may be pets or pests.Accelerando is about the lives of a few individuals just before, during, and for some time after that event.