The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies

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Macmillan, Feb 10, 2001 - Science - 380 pages
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The rate at which technology is changing our world--not just on a global level like space travel and instant worldwide communications but on the level of what we choose to wear, where we live, and what we eat--is staggeringly fast and getting faster all the time. The rate of change has become so fast that a concept that started off sounding like science fiction has become a widely expected outcome in the near future - a singularity referred to as The Spike.

At that point of singularity, the cumulative changes on all fronts will affect the existence of humanity as a species and cause a leap of evolution into a new state of being.

On the other side of that divide, intelligence will be freed from the constraints of the flesh; machines will achieve a level of intelligence in excess of our own and boundless in its ultimate potential; engineering will take place at the level of molecular reconstruction, which will allow everything from food to building materials to be assembled as needed from microscopic components rather than grown or manufactured; we'll all become effectively immortal by either digitizing and uploading our minds into organic machines or by transforming our bodies into illness-free, undecaying exemplars of permanent health and vitality.

The results of all these changes will be unimaginable social dislocation, a complete restructuring of human society and a great leap forward into a dazzlingly transcendent future that even SF writers have been too timid to imagine.
 

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Years before Ray Kurzweil's book on the projected (2048? Maybe earlier.) technological singularity, there was this one by Aussie author Broderick. The extensive stuff on nanotech seemed dubious to me ... Read full review

Contents

The Headlong Rush of Time
11
Most Everything for Free 5 7
57
Little Things
96
Minting the Spike
129
Climbing the Slope
167
Uncoupling the Flesh
202
The Interim Meaning of Life 2 36
236
Earth Is but a Star
274
Paths and Timelines to the Spike 3 1 7
317
Afterword
344
Suggested Reading
366
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About the author (2001)

Damien Broderick is a noted Australian critic and scholar with an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in literature and science. He has published several SF novels and another important speculative science work, The Last Mortal Generation. He lives in Australia.

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