Sunday, 23 April 2017
In HG Wells' The Time Machine, humanity devolves into Morlocks and Eloi;
in Poul Anderson's Time Patrol, humanity evolves into Danellians;
in Anderson's The Boat Of A Million Years, immortal human beings and Artificial Intelligences share a nanotech-engineered environment;
in Anderson's Genesis, post-organic intelligences, some incorporating recorded human personalities, supercede humanity;
in John C. Wright's The Golden Age, a carefully protected immortal human being lies in a coma while his computer-enhanced consciousness goes elsewhere and interacts with its environment as filtered through several layers of cyberspace.
Wright's character, whose recorded personality will be re-embodied if his first body dies, mentally accesses Internet information and outwardly perceives not only his physical environment but also various semblances that can be switched off like images on a computer screen. Although I applaud this level of creative imagination and technological extrapolation, I am finding it hard to empathize with these effectively post-human beings and their strange ways of doing business, like voluntary partial amnesia.