Sunday, 23 April 2017


Will humanity survive, evolve, devolve or be superceded?

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.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm more inclined to think that, from a moral or philosophical POV, mankind will NOT change that much in the far future. No matter how advanced a technology it masters.

And one rebellious AI in GENESIS brought back the extinct human race. Which I thought was very important!

And I do sympathize with the difficulty you are having "empathizing" with the characters seen in Wright's THE GOLDEN AGE. Yes, I think it would be very difficult for US to interact with effectively "post human" human beings.

But THE GOLDEN AGE is only the first of a series of three volumes. I would expect Wright to plan this largely for setting the stage and background of his story, introduction of major characters and themes, etc. The second and third volumes might make this far future more "graspable."