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.
In Crux, the sequel that comes out today, Naam rips through 550+ pages in about ten minutes flat, with a blisteringly paced technothriller that dives deeper and even better into the chunky questions raised by Nexus. Crux tells the story of Nexus's inventors in exile around the world, or jailed by drug-enforcement spooks, or, in one case, uploaded into a physically isolated underground quantum supercomputer controlled by the Chinese politburo.
In Crux, we see a world where the first stirrings of a global revolution in computer/human cognition are taking place. It's a weird political matrix with the pro-Nexus side composed of extremist posthuman Nietzschean terrorists; desperate parents of kids with austism; liberated clonal warriors; children of networked sex workers who were born with nanocytes already in their brains; slavers; drug lords; billionaire would-be saviors; Buddhist monks, and bioenhanced ninjas.
On the other side: scheming politicos; concerned bioethicists; horrified technologists; brutal cops; patriotic spooks; Chinese power-brokers; and a thousand kinds of reactionaries, from Buddhist abbots to bigoted American blowhard politicians.
Naam's special talent is raising important and thorny bioethical questions that have no pat answer, making them part of an action-adventure plot, and infecting your brain with his ideas. This is a fabulous book, and it ends in a way that promises at least one more. Count me in.
Remember Mason Ramsey, the 11-year-old yodeler who was discovered in an Illinois Walmart? Well, now thanks to artist Dano Brown, the “Walmart yodeling kid” has become an action figure. You won’t find this “Walmart Legend” being sold at the chain though, because it’s not mass produced. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of art. There is just […]
ToS;dr is a crowdsourced database of website terms of service; install the associate plugin and your browser will display a letter grade (from A to F) for every site you visit, with subcategories for things like data-retention and the rights the site asserts to your contributions.
Ben Cartwright-Cox observed that he could modulate the bass frequencies in electronic dance music/dubstep in a way that was easy to detect with a signal processor and inaudible to his unaided ears, so he wrote some code to hide messages in the wubwubwub.
Another year, another iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone—except this time around Samsung sought to redefine what a smartphone can do completely. Boasting a 6.2″ Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960×1440) infinity display, and an elite 10nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor with 6GB RAM, the S9+ is an absolute powerhouse with a price tag to match. However, you […]
Competition in the job market is getting stiff, and while experience and a four-year degree can put you on the map, most employers prefer applicants versed in the tools that power their industry. To this end, certifying your skills with Salesforce is a smart move. The world’s #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, Salesforce is […]
Warmer weather is coming, and so too is the hankering for iced coffee. But, since most of us don’t have the time—or foresight—to make a batch of cold brew the night before, we’ll be chilling our cups of Joe with ice cubes and watering them down in the process. The HyperChiller Coffee Chiller offers a different […]