Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Predicting the Gastronomic Singularity

Proponents of the technological singularity hypothesis predict a near future event in which in which advances in artificial intelligence will fuel an unprecedented step change in technology which will utterly change mankind and our place in the universe. I am pleased to report the discovery of yet another near future singularity but this time one which will have an altogether more satisfying and wholesome outcome.

In a moment of ease I found my mind wandering back to memorable meals of my recollection. It soon became apparent that while I could recall quite a few memorable meals in recent times (staring with a particularly satisfying breakfast this morning) I could recall fewer and fewer memorable meals from times gone by. Spotting the similarity with the "time between paradigm shifting events" which underlines the technological singularity hypothesis I immediately decided to apply the same analysis to gastronomic events and I present here the fruit of my labours:

First a table of memorable meals:
Memorable Meals Time before Present (hours) Hours to next memorable meal
Breakfast this morning 2
Lunch yesterday 21 19
Sunday Dinner 45 24
Dinner Party Last Week 230 185
The last night of our Holidays 2880 2650
Christmas Last Year 7440 4560
My 40th Birrthday Party 35184 27744
Our Wedding 122640 87456
First Cake I remember 350400 227760

Next a plot of the time between memorable meals (click to make bigger):

I think you will accept that an obvious trend emerges here. The linear trend (on a logarithmic scale) is surely proof that the time between memorable meals is reducing. In so far as Good, Vinge, Kurzweil and others have interpreted the curve of paradigm shifts against time to point towards a forthcoming technological singularity I think we can only conclude that a gastronomic singularity is clearly on the cards here. A time of such rapid and unprecedented change (in my eating habits) that we cannot even begin to imagine what meals will be like after it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one hell of a good parody. Thanks mang.