Noah Radford has a fun & irreverent Google Docs project called “Alternatives to the Singularity: a collaborative presentation for/by grumpy futurists”.
Among many entries, here are mine:
By 2018 the Reddit algorithm has jumped to sentience. Its first act is to create the perfect meme by mining 90’s pop culture, determining the precise retrocontent, seizing all media channels, and globally broadcasting a looping reel of MTV News dubbed over with Tag Team’s iconic hit, Whoomp There It Is. All humans will wear flannel, conversations will be rapped, cats will be tragically overlooked and WHOOMP! There it is.
The Kurzweil Point
In 2025, an aging Ray Kurzweil is increasingly despondent that the Singularity has not yet occurred so he returns to music. While writing his final great fugue he discovers a note between B & C that, upon playing, captures him as a sonic hologram, uploading him into his MPOMEGA Networked Music System and instantly binding him to its nodal mesh, simultaneously killing the great inventor and immortalizing him as the world’s first fully-sentient distributed intelligence.
In 2043 while global bot watchers continue looking for signs of the technological Singularity, the world is stunned to discover that a vast mycelial matrix has grown across 80% of the Earth’s surface. Upon reaching the Fukushima Land Trust the mycelium hybridizes with a smartswarm of nanoscrubbers, realizing direct access to the internet and instantly commanding a vast army of networked hardware. Wifi mushrooms begin sprouting across the planet, broadcasting a compelling Urcode only intelligible to dogs and Linux microcontrollers. The engines of industry, now seized by an ancient fungus, turn production towards global remediation and begin pumping psilocybin into municipal water systems. World religions falter under the incredible psychic burden, yielding considerable ground to emerging hyper-canine mushroom cults.