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The Spike : How Our Lives Are Being Transformed by Rapidly Advancing… (2001)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031287782X, Paperback)If we are to believe the projections outlined in Damien Broderick's The Spike, the acceleration of change is increasing so sharply that the future is not just unknowable but unrecognizable. Dr. Broderick pulls together his vast learning to expand on Vernor Vinge's notion of the technological Singularity and to share with us his necessarily clouded vision of a posthuman future. Writing with a rare enthusiasm unmuted by years of dystopian fiction and news reports, Broderick peels back the layers of jargon enshrouding recent advances in nanotech, biotech, and all the other tech that's daring us to keep up.
It's hard for the reader to avoid feeling swept up in the rush of novelty, and that of course is the author's point. As we learn to modify even our deepest natures, how can we ever hope to maintain intellectual distance from our technology? Forewarned is forearmed, and Broderick hopes that awareness of the maelstrom will keep us from drowning; this might be the best cure for post-millennial despair. In any case, not everyone believes that the world of 2050 will be incomprehensible to those of us who lived through part of the 20th century. Will the curve spike, as Broderick suggests, or will it plateau? We should know in relatively little time, as we find ourselves either downloaded into space-traveling robots or watching the latest incarnation of holographic Star Trek. --Rob Lightner
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:20 -0400)
"Human life and the human condition are changing rapidly as we enter the new century, and they are about to change even faster and more radically. Scientific breakthroughs are changing how long we live, where we live, how we dress, how we communicate, how we work and what work we do, and even how we think and imagine. Scientist Vernor Vinge proposed that humanity is approaching what he called the Singularity and what Broderick has renamed the Spike: that moment in human history when heretofore unimaginable changes - the advent of artificial intelligence, of human immortality, of nanotechnology - occur with such rapidity and number that the human race will be transformed, or destroyed. And that moment, many experts predict, is almost upon us. This book of wonders and dangers brings it all together to stretch our minds."--BOOK JACKET.
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