Peter Hiller's Reviews > The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect

The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect by Roger    Williams
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 21, 10

it was amazing
Read in December, 2010

This book is a very good read. I'd call myself a trans-humanist with vague singlatarian leanings(I have a tattoo on my arm, which includes a V 1.0 on it.) and this book was something that i felt I had to read if only to challenge my own beliefs to see if they were bullshit.

Why? because it really gives me the thought. "Oh fuck...things aren't going to be the awesome thing that I hoped for huh?" This book basically gives one of the best possible solutions that i could think of for a singularity event, yet the future still kind of sucks.

The violence is extreme in it's own way. It is probably the most extreme that I have read. My reference for violence in a novel is "the real story", a book so horrifically violent and sadistic that me and my partner refer to it simply as "the rape book". But this book just balances out the violence and plot needs right. Yes there is extremity, but they are clearly for illustration purposes, and I don't feel that it is being dragged out for no reason. Any reader should be forewarned, but know that on the other side is something more profound.

The book ending is itself depressing. Caroline solves her own problem, but possibly induces massive destruction on all those around her (numbered in the trillions by then) in doing so just to end her own personal problems. The ending it's own way reminds me of the final scene from the evangelion saga. It is fundamentally not satisfying, but only insomuch as no ending which isn't happy can be satisfying.

It's a pity that I had to get this book personally printed for me from lulu.com(and exceptionally fast service though if I may say so), but I can see that no publisher would produce a book with such graphic opening chapters. Either way, I strongly recommend that people read it, especially those who think about the singularity and machine ethics. Yes, it's a hard slog, but it is basically worth it.

As a related note, I recommend that someone who reads this also reads accelerando, which posits an equally interesting and somewhat depressing ending.
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message 1: by Ezo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ezo Hm, for me Accelerando's ending wasn't depressing. The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect ends with complete wipe of technology/civilization. Accelerando ends with humans as not most intelligent species anymore. I don't consider it depressing.


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