Technology culture celebrates "the crazy ones," those who expand our understanding of life, who can forge new realities out of their own imagination. Then again, sometimes "the crazy ones" come up with things that are just plain crazy.

I am thinking of Ray Kurzweil. No doubt he's brilliant. He's the inventor of the flatbed scanner and an innovator of many other technologies, including those involving character recognition, text-to-speech, speech recognition, and the music synthesizer. Currently head of engineering at Google, he's working on natural language recognition for the company, and he's a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Despite these accomplishments, however, Kurzweil is perhaps best known for his science fiction-sounding predictions about the future, as described in his book, "The Singularity is Near." ...[Continue reading on Pando]