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 thoughts on “To Be a Machine, by Mark O’Connell”
thanks, sounds good
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.
Well, it’ll turn out the way it turns out, and then it will seem normal. 🙂 People of the future may seem horrendous to us, but think we are backwards for having that prejudice.