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To Be a Machine
To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death | Mark O'Connell
12 posts | 9 read | 1 reading | 15 to read
Meet the visionaries, billionaires, professors, and programmers who are using groundbreaking technology to push the limits of the human body--our senses, intelligence, and our lifespans Once relegated to the fringes of society, transhumanism (the use of technology to enhance human intellectual and physical capability) is now poised to enter our cultural mainstream. It has found adherents in Silicon Valley billionaires Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis. Google has entered the picture, establishing a bio-tech subsidiary aimed at solving the problem of aging. In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O'Connell takes a headlong dive into this burgeoning movement. He travels to the laboratories, conferences, and basements of today's foremost transhumanists, where he's presented with the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries of new technologies like mind uploading, artificial superintelligence, cryonics, and device implants. A contributor to Slate, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine, O'Connell serves as a sharp and lively guide to the outer limits of technology in the twenty first century. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising, singular meditation on what it means to be human.
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pexxi76
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Seems very interesting and entertaining!

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shanaqui
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Just passed through Hatchard's in St Pancras, and celebrated being back in the UK in the traditional way.

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keithmalek

"Probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive and people who are dead." --Peter Thiel

Suet624 Understatement of the year. 5y
18 likes1 comment
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keithmalek

To be paranoid now--paranoid, that is, as opposed to minimally aware of what was going on, was to be deluded in a manner that had become almost whimsical, like those fond sentimentalists who comfort themselves with folktales about shape shifting lizards and illuminati bloodlines, and to whom the only reasonable response was to say, "Look, pal, you're overthinking it, have you looked into this whole CAPITALISM deal?"

14 likes1 stack add
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keithmalek

Recently, on the website of the World Economic Forum, I had seen a list of the "20 Jobs That Robots Are Most Likely To Take Over." Jobs with a 95% or higher chance of their practicioners being made obsolete by machines within twenty years included postal workers, jewelers, chefs, corporate bookkeepers, legal secretaries, credit analysts, loan officers, bank tellers, tax accountants, and drivers.

Lindy Chefs? 🤔 5y
14 likes1 comment
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CiViiLy
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Mehso-so

The search for immortality isn't a new one & I doubt it will ever stop, whether it will happen through technology has yet to be seen. I found a lot of topics in this well-written book to be a bit mad/weird to be honest. It did stir up a lot of questions about privilege & inequality in the world and for the future for me, especially since the majority of those involved in the movement covered in the book are privileged rich white men.

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CiViiLy
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I'm hitting two birds with one stone with my latest read. First, it's my non-fiction book on technology for Book Riot's 2017 #ReadHarder challenge. Second, It's also a yellow book for Day 2 of #riotgrams. 🎉🎉🎉

6 likes2 stack adds
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AmandaL
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I'm reposting this shot for #artificialintelligence #aprilbookshowers. There are paragraphs describing how little a true artificial intelligence would care about human wants and needs. The author likened it to us not thinking about the massacre of elephants and human suffering that precedes the making of a piano while we listen to a piano concerto. It was chilling and enlightening.

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AmandaL
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Pickpick

Interesting, informative, frightening, and madcap. The author does not take the transhumanist view, but he presents it in a way that is engaging and his own response to it as funny. Buster feels the book makes for an uncomfortable pillow. #dogsoflitsy #pugsoflitsy

Reecaspieces Awe...love that face!! My peanut says 👋 buster!! 6y
AmandaL @Reecaspieces Thank you! Me too. 😊 Buster says hi too. 6y
41 likes2 comments
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charliemarlowe
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Pickpick

I read about this book on Facebook in an ad of all places! I'm really looking forward to it!

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AmandaL
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Guys, this book is so good, I don't know why more people aren't talking about it. It's about transhumanism, artificial intelligence, robots, cryogenics, evolution and the author's experience among thought leaders in these fields. I borrowed this from the library, but I've already ordered my own copy. Also if you're looking for a #technology book for #Readharder2017, I recommend this.

ReadingEnvy I love transhumanism! Have you read any of the books by Ramez Naam? He is a scientist working with these ideas and has published both non fiction and novels on these ideas. 6y
AmandaL @ReadingEnvy I have not! I hadn't even heard the term until this book. Now I am intrigued. I'll definitely check Naam out. Thank you! 6y
ReadingEnvy @AmandaL I think the term posthuman is often used too, in fiction at least. 6y
46 likes10 stack adds3 comments
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AmandaL
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"We exist, we humans, in the wreckage of an imagined splendor. It was not supposed to be this way: we weren't supposed to be weak, to be ashamed, to suffer, to die. We have always had higher notions of ourselves."

Suet624 Man is a god in ruins. 6y
AmandaL @Suet624 I loved that line too. 6y
31 likes2 comments