SEE IMPORTANT POSTCRIPTED APOLOGY (otherwise, this post remains the same)
Regular readers of this blog will know that I've posted several times on economic growth in the 21st century. My last several posts unrelated to economic growth have had comments by a fellow who goes by "GK," asking me (and not politely either) when I was going to update my predictions for economic growth in the 21st century.
I forget what led me there, but I came upon a post at a blog called The Futurist that dealt with economic growth in the 21st century. Eventually, I realized that the blog was run by "that guy"..."GK."
Well, to make a long story short, apparently I've been banned from ever commenting on The Futurist again...apparently for "excessive disagreement." Not that any of my comments were offensive...just that they did not agree with The Futurist or include any comments on how brilliant he is. Before I'd realized I'd been banned, I'd composed a comment. I hate to waste writing, so here it is. The quotes are of GK:
"The big assumption here is that these 'human brain equivalents' will function in the same economic way as present humans. There is no basis to support this assumption."
Actually, there is a firm basis to support the idea that a computer human brain equivalent will actually have a bigger impact on economic growth than a human brain. Computers never sleep. They never are addicted to alcohol or drugs. They never go to work distracted by their marital/relationship problem. Etc.
"Aha! But you cannot ignore software."
OK, so don't ignore software. Provide your estimates for when 1 million, 1 billion, and 1 trillion HBEs will be added, including software. (And also not including software, since that is the only way to give an apples-to-apples comparison with my estimates.)
"Again, I am generally in agreement with your December 2003 numbers, so whatever you thought until then has more corroboration that what you think now."
Corroboration, schmorroboration. The accuracy of predictions isn't a function of how many people agree with the prediction. The vast majority of economists agree that economic growth in the 21st century won't be substantially higher than economic growth in the 20th century. This includes Nobel-prize-winning economists such as Robert Lucas Jr. The future will show they are wrong (or else computers will take over the world, and then all bets are off.
If you do your own analysis of the number of human brain equivalents (excluding or including software) added each year up to your predicted time of the singularity in 2060-2065, I think you'll see that the number of HBEs added each year are not compatible with the low rates of economic growth you're predicting.
Or another way of looking at it: If computers are 50% of the economy at the time of the singularity, and computers are increasing in capability by 78% per year at that time, how is it that the overall economy is only growing by 6.5% per year?
P.S. IMPORTANT NOTE: As noted in the comments by GK (aka, The Futurist) I was indeed not banned. There was just some sort of snafu, which was probably my fault. My apologies to GK. However, my point still stands that The Futurist's (GK's) predictions for future economic growth are incompatible with predictions for computing power, since human brains are what cause economic growth. Further, GK's obsession with my re-predicting for 2000-2010 was kind of crazy. If I over-predicted slightly for the period 2000-2010, that really has no effect on my predictions for the 2020s, 2030s, and 2040s, when I expect economic growth to be spectacular...far beyond any historical levels.