Archive for February, 2006

Do not despise this small beginning

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Sacvan Bercovitch, a scholar of Puritanism and the Myth of America whose first name combines the first syllables of Sacco and Vanzetti, quoted the line above in 1990 as he spoke to a group of college seniors who probably didn’t realize their beginnings would soon again be small. Bercovitch was quoting a Puritan leader who was quoting Zechariah, and I can think of no better way to start what Technorati says is roughly the 29.200001-millionth blog to grace this planet — which may well be, according to Ray Kurzweil, the only one in the universe that supports intelligent life.

In “The Singularity Is Near,” Kurzweil shares his vision of our humanity, flaws notwithstanding, fanning out via immense increases in computing to make the entire universe aware of itself. It’s the most hopeful book I’ve read in years. Kurzweil does not despise our small beginning. Perhaps we shouldn’t, either.

Thank you, Merlin Mann of 43 Folders, for setting me up right. Without you, I’d have been the #33.400001-millionth blog, and would have felt an even greater temptation to despise my small beginning.