Buying Gold and Futurist Ray Kurzweil on Melding of Man and Machine

BY Paul Solman  July 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM EDT


Author, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been a key voice in our occasional series on the future of technology. The latest installment on the advent of immortality debuted here on Making Sen$e July 9.

As with economist Paul Krugman, our extended interview with Kurzweil included many fascinating bits that didn’t make the final cut. So we continue Tuesday with one of them — a closer look at what Kurzweil has dubbed “the singularity”: the melding of man and machine to the point where one can’t tell one from the other.

But in the spirit of your-guess-is-as-good as-mine (if not Kurzweil’s), mind telling us what you think? Will we one day be backing up our memories the same way we save photos to the cloud? Will technology augment our vision, our movement, our thinking from here to eternity? If decrepitude becomes obsolete, would YOU like to live forever? Comment below, or to me on twitter: @PaulSolman.

Name: Barbara Dukor

Question: I’m 67, single and retired, and I depend on Social Security and a small pension. Should I buy gold now?

Paul Solman: You mean today, with gold currently floor trading at $1,579.30 an ounce ? Or a few weeks ago, when you asked, and gold was at $1,575? And in any case, how would I know? The price of anything is the collective best guess at that moment of people putting their money where their mouth is. Often, they get carried away and become too exuberant, leading to bubbles; or too anxious, leading to over-corrections. I find it devilishly difficult to spot those moments, however. For what it’s worth, I am neither long nor short gold, and have no sense that gold is at either extreme just now. But a bubble or an overcorrection could prove me wrong.

This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown- NewsHour’s blog of news and insight.