Why are (some) transhumanists such dicks?

In December on the forum biohack.me, there was a fascinating discussion entitled "Why are transhumanists such dicks?" What came out of it was this. Read the rest

Crux, a sequel to Nexus - bioethical technothriller

I loved Nexus, Ramez Naam's 2012 debut novel about biohackers who produce a nano-based party drug that installs a networked computer inside your brain, and quickly turns into a war-on-drugs bioethics thriller about the free/open transhumanists and mirthless, ruthless drug enforcement agents.

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Hands Fixing Hands: transhumanist Escher remix

"Hands Fixing Hands" is Shane Willis's clever and well-executed transhumanist take on Escher's "Hands Drawing Hands," with lots of crunchy little details to dote upon, including the underlying work-surface, which has the look-and-feel of a real maintenance engineer's well-used case.

HAND FIXING HAND (via IO9) Read the rest

Geekdad on Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

Erik Wecks has a thoughtful and smart analysis of my little book The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow in Wired's GeekDad today (spoilers ahoy!) Read the rest

Machine Man: a discomfiting novel about the antihuman side of transhumanism

Max Barry's Machine Man is a disarmingly funny and light-feeling novel about an antisocial engineer who decides to create his own prosthetic leg after he loses his own in an industrial accident. Charles Neumann is an antisocial, technology-dependent scientist at a top secret military contractor's skunkworks. Dissatisfied with the prosthesis he is fitted with after he accidentally crushes his leg in a materials-testing machine, he sets out to create a better leg -- a leg that's so good you'd chop your own off to get it (this is also the battle-cry of the real-world open-source prosthetics movement). Which is precisely what he does.

What unfolds is a superficially simple, absurdist tale about a misfit geek who pursues a relentless and seemingly logical program of amputation and replacement. Barry uses this narrative to smuggle in a sly and insightful critique of the anti-human edges of the transhumanist movement, the place where transcendence of nature meets mortification of the flesh.

As with all of the best thought-provoking sf, Machine Man pulls this off without slowing down the action -- which involves some properly cinematic cyborg duelling and such -- and without sacrificing characterization. This is a really fantastic read and a thought-provoking one, too -- a great companion to such books as James Hughes's Citizen Cyborg. Read the rest