"Ray Kurzweil's vision of the future strikes me as very sad. We will live forever, we will adopt new gadgets mere moments after they are invented, and we will have nanotech solar panels that are, well, really awesome.
You know what? I don't care. TV, cellphones, email, nanotech, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering: are any of us made happier by all this? I think the opposite is true - we are increasingly isolated, alienated and neurotic.
While we draw ever-closer to Kurzweil's singularity, the horrors of the world continue unabated, and Kurzweil seems to have next to nothing to say about that. His vision of the future is devoid of humanity, even as he insists that being human is defined by 'going beyond our limitations'. The tragic point that escapes him is that our most important limitations, the ones we really need to go beyond if we are ever really to be happy, have nothing whatsoever to do with technology".
Ben Haller, Menlo Park, California - Letter to New Scientist magazine, 15 October