Keith Swenson's Reviews > The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil
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For anyone whose job depends upon an understanding of the trajectory of technology, Ray Kurzweil has carefully formulated a clear vision of the future, including some pretty fantastic possibilities. We all know the future will be strange. Look back at the 1950's and see how futurists of that time completely missed most of things we take for granted today, and how surely those people would have been shocked if someone had accurately projected the future. Nobody, of course, can predict the future exactly, and Kurzweil is no exception, but he does have some very sensible projections which are well supported, and quite shocking. It is a wild roller coaster ride over the nature of intelligence, the meaning of life, and the consciousness of the universe. Heady stuff to say the least.

This book is a compendium of evidence to support his projections. The breadth and detail of this evidence is overwhelming. The way he delves into so many subjects: from the structure of the brain and nerves, the way DNA replicates, and surveys of current nanotech experiments, and too many others to mention here.

The book gets three stars because it is a very good and interesting book, but it is probably not the best book for the casual reader. He has presented the core concepts elsewhere and in more succinct form. This, however, is a study guide for the student of the singularity. You know who you are, and if you want the details behind how he came to the ideas, it is all here. If not already a fan of Kurzweil, you might find this book too encyclopedic.
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Reading Progress

August 15, 2011 – Started Reading
September 9, 2011 – Shelved
September 9, 2011 – Finished Reading

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