He basically just mushed a ton of research into paragraph form, and a lot of it is so hard to follow. And his incessant use of random quotes from random people whom he only mentions once in the entire book It was like he was just trying to fill up space so he searched every possible quote about each topic in google and just threw it in there. So poorly written.
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He basically just mushed a ton of research into paragraph form, and a lot of it is so hard to follow. And his incessant use of random quotes from random people whom he only mentions once in the entire book It was like he was just trying to fill up space so he searched every possible quote about each topic in google and just threw it in there.
So poorly written. In Radical Evolution he tackles the potentially world-changing Radical Evolution is a look at how rapid and fundamental advances in technology could produce enormous changes in human life and even in what we define as "human" in a relatively short time.
Any one of those four fields has the potential to change the world, and the four of them have synergistic effects on each other, so that advances in one can spawn other advances in the others, which create still more advances, and so on in a process of asymptotic technological change Garreau calls "The Curve.
Genetic engineering can make us healthier, longer-lived, and smarter. Robotics and information technology holds the promise of giving humans access to almost infinite amounts of information -- and the possibility of artificial intelligences as smart or smarter than ourselves.
And nanotechnology lets us reshape the physical world down to the level of individual atoms. How will we deal with these tremendous changes? Garreau is a member of the Global Business Network, which is a futurist think-tank kind of like a cross between the Bavarian Illuminati and the Justice League. Their specialty is "scenario planning," a method of boiling the infinite possibilities of the future down into a handful of distinct pathways.
He applies that technique to transhumanism in Radical Evolution, showing us three possible outcomes which he nicknames "Heaven," "Hell," and "Prevail. All the optimistic predictions about increased lifespan, increased intelligence, and increased wealth come true, and soon. Amen and hosanna. The "Hell" scenario centers on the kind of dystopia familiar to readers of cyberpunk science fiction. In the future rich people will have all kinds of neat toys and live forever, poor people will be useless in a world of automation, all this new tech will ravage the environment, and in the background superintelligent artificial intelligences will take over the world and prepare to exterminate us.
Regis looked at both the visionaries and the crackpots, and wondered aloud if there was any real difference between them. It reads like a very long Sunday feature article. Feature-section editors love quotes and biographical details, and descriptions of offices.
In his account of computer scientist Jaron Lanier, Garreau somehow manages to spend more than a page talking about driving around New Mexico drinking in biker bars and eating huevos rancheros.
And like far too much journalism on technical topics, Garreau stints when talking about the actual nitty-gritty details. But the book also feels cursory when it delves into the topics Garreau really is something of an expert on: the political, legal, and social issues at stake in his three scenarios. By relying on feature-section quotes from his interview subjects he misses the chance to present their arguments in detail. This person says it will be good [insert clip], this person says it will be bad [insert clip].
Next up: sports and weather! But it could have been so much more.
BookBrowse: The Future: only by anticipating it can hope to shape it. Current Affairs From the book jacket: Through advances in genetic, robotic, information and nano-technologies, we are altering our minds, our memories, our metabolisms, our personalities, our progeny - and perhaps our very souls. Over the next fifteen years, Garreau makes clear, these enhancements will become part of our everyday lives. Where will they lead us? Or will they lead us, as some argue, to hell - where unrestrained technology brings about the ultimate destruction of our entire species? As Garreau cautions, it is only by anticipating the future that we can hope to shape it.
Radical Evolution Radical Evolution Radical Evolution
Psychology Science Sociology Nonfiction In Radical Evolution, bestselling author Joel Garreau, a reporter and editor for the Washington Post, shows us that we are at an inflection point in history. As you read this, we are engineering the next stage of human evolution. Through advances in genetic, robotic, information and nanotechnologies, we are altering our minds, our memories, our metabolisms, our personalities, our progeny--and perhaps our very souls. Over the next fifteen years, Garreau makes clear, these enhancements will become part of our everyday lives. Where will they lead us?