Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

Upgrade Me: Our Amazing Journey to Human 2.0

An ideas book. Think natural selection. Posit a contention the human animal is basically unchanged for 100,000 years. Take the sidetrip to the Singularity, the idea that knowledge is increasing at an increasing rate, and that rate of increase is nearing a vertical slope. Now the two main points: first, humankind has altered itself using external means that are something like evolution but essentially cultural and knowledge based. Think textiles for warmth (not fur), glasses for vision, vehicles to move loads and go fast, computers to process information faster. Second big idea, what if knowledge has progressed to the point where those sort of artificial, self performed, quasi-evolutionary improvements soon begin to be internally rather than externally based? What if intriguing but also scary "Human 2.0" possibilities can be implemented through genetic change, or by integrating bio-mechanical devices? What would it mean to plug in a jack and download high school? There is an old saying, if something can be imagined, it can be done. This train of thought leads off on enough ethical, spiritual, medical, and bio-engineering tangents to keep our PhD candidates occupied for years to come.




Great post! I remember writing this title down when I read a review of it awhile back, so thanks for prompting me to check it out now that its here. I know that many find this subject kind of frightening, but the way that technology works its way into our daily lives subtlety but persistently over time has always fascinated me. Just think how a citizen of just 50 years ago would feel about tech. like corrective eye surgery or any of the other bio-medical procedures that we take for granted today. What will we take for granted tomorrow?Internal Bluetooth here I come!
This looks like a good one for my nonfiction book group. Thanks for the post.
we take for granted today and just ask what will we take for granted tomorrow. Internal Bluetooth here I come!
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