Category Archives: Singularity

Manna by Marshall Brain, real life in the gig economy and the era of exponential change.

For the past several years, I have been interested in all things that fall under the general heading of the Singularity. This has lead me into explorations into many aspects of the societal and technical changes that the singularity will bring on.

One of the best sources of information on all aspects of the singularity is a blog and series of podcasts by Nikola Danaylov,  that can be found at  Singularity Weblog. To quote Nikola, it is “A Conversation about Exponential Tech, Accelerating Change, Artificial Intelligence and Ethics: Because technology is not enough!

2 days ago I was listening to a podcast of an an interview with Marshall Brain conducted by Nikola. Much discussed was the book Manna. I downloaded the book as a free, legitimate pdf and read the short book immediately.

Much to my surprise, I realized that as I was listening to the podcast, I was actually living, in real time, the beginnings of one of the main themes of the book, robotics taking over more and more aspects of employment.  In my case that is because I am a part time Amazon Flex driver. (More on that in a subsequent post).  I was focusing my higher brain functions on the podcast, while Amazons AI, working with GPS through my cell phone was directing my movements from delivery to delivery.

For me this was a rare case of real life exactly reflecting prophetic sic fi. Not only does the book depict that which is actually happening today, but it projects both a very dark outcome and a very positive outcome of exponentially increasing automation.

Following is a link to the Wikipedia Article on Manna by Marshall Brainwhich gives a good overview of the book, though since the book is only 72 pages, why not just download it from the link above and read it.