To Be a Machine, by Mark O’Connell


Summary: Believe it or not, transhumanism (the alteration of humans using technology in order to improve upon the human in some way), is becoming more and more mainstream. In this well-researched book, journalist Mark O’Connell records his journeys through transhumanism conferences, meetings with rich, well-connected transhumanist individuals, and a crazy bus-ride with a person who was “running for president” and wanted to make people live forever.

My thoughts: Like the author, I am skeptical that transhumanism is really a great development for mankind. It feels a little – well – wrong to change one’s body to “improve upon it.” And I don’t want to live forever. However, I think the book was very interesting and expressed some interesting arguments in favor of transhumanism. Despite the author’s skepticism, he portrayed transhumanists in a positive light, and remained impartial. The book was well-researched, and I certainly feel more educated on the subject now. I would suggest this book to people who are interested in technology waves of the future with a dash of philosophy.


3 and half snowflakes

3 thoughts on “To Be a Machine, by Mark O’Connell

  1. I tend to be very interested in these technological/Philosophical looks at the future. I also worry about this trend. I remember that Steven Pinker wrote about it in a couple of his books. In his usual optimistic way he argues that it will mostly turn out positive.


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