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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.


The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Breakpoint -- a Possible Breakthrough...

In what will no doubt be one of the most widely read popular books featuring transhumanism, Richard Clarke (formerly the U.S. counter-terrorism czar) discusses a clash between terrorists determinted to stop transhumanist research and -- well -- a world ill-equipped to stop them. His book, Breakpoint, could be described as follows (on a dust jacket, say...):

In Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke warned about how we were conducting the war against terror. In his bestselling first novel, The Scorpion's Gate, he demonstrated what could happen. And now, in Breakpoint, America's preeminent counterterrorism expert and #1 bestselling author shows us all what might come next.

The global village--an intricately intertwined network of technology that binds together the world's economies, governments, and communication systems. So large, so vital--and so fragile. Now a sophisticated group is seeking to "disconnect the globe"--destroying computer grids, communications satellites, Internet cable centers, biotech firms. Hard to do? If only that were so.

Quickly, a dedicated team of men and women assembles to try to track the group down, searching through right-wing militias and Russian organized crime, Jihadist terrorists and enemy nation-states. But the attacks are coming more swiftly now, and growing in destructiveness. Soon, they will reach the breakpoint--and then there may be nothing anybody can do.


Reviewers everywhere praised the suspense and pace of The Scorpion's Gate, the vivid depictions of war, espionage, and bureaucracy, but most of all they hailed its authenticity. "Unlike most novelists, the man has been there and done that," said The New York Times Book Review. "Some of us," added The Washington Post, "have learned to listen when Richard A. Clarke has something to say." And we'd better hope they're listening now.

Clarke himself describes the gist of the novel, and the stakes that are at play in his story (and, some might say, in the real world) in this video clip.

He also explains why "sometimes you can tell more truth through fiction."

Given that Richard Clarke just promoted his book on the Colbert Report, we can safely assume this novel will make a bit of a splash and, more importantly, get some of the issues of human augmentation, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and so forth out before the larger public. Instead of remaining the playthings of tech enthusiasts and various bio-conservatives and neo-Luddites. I believe the quality of these debates can only benefit from greater and deeper public awareness.

You can get a copy of Breakpoint on Amazon.

AI, Bio, Cyber, Nano, Soc
Future Imperative


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These silly little boys calling themselves 'The Transhumanist Association' or 'Institute of Ethics and Tehno.. I can't even be bothered to remember their name - nor can anyone else on planet eart6h, for a damn good reason. They're pathetic wimps who should go out and get a proper decent job, and give up the sort of delusions of grandeaur we all had aged 14. Silly, silly, boys. Do you have no father to tell you howto grow up into a man? Maybe that's your problem.

January 18, 2007 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree totally. I could winge about the problemsof looking aftera disabled child who's now anadult - but these people -they make me puke - whop the hell do they think they are?. They should get back to teaching basics - not 'ethics' - what the hell dotheyknow about that! It's so obvious looking at them that they're all sad, lonely 'young'; men who been too arrogant to find a wife.

January 18, 2007 7:32 PM  
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