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Ramez Naam
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Author Questions / AMAs > Questions for Ramez Naam?

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (last edited Jun 10, 2016 03:01PM) (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1680 comments Mod
Next week, we're having on author Ramez Naam!

Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3. He's a computer scientist who spent 13 years at Microsoft, leading teams working on email, web browsing, search, and artificial intelligence. He holds almost 20 patents in those areas.

Ramez is the winner of the 2005 H.G. Wells Award for his non-fiction book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. He's worked as a life guard, has climbed mountains, survived dust storms in the desert, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.

He's also the author of Nexus, Crux, and Apex, among others! Leave your questions below!


message 2: by Sky (last edited Jun 10, 2016 05:23PM) (new)

Sky | 665 comments It's been a while since I read the series so I can't remember the specific terms - but the scenes where all the minds linked up and everyone was on a huge E-like trip together - what was his inspiration for these scenes? They seriously gave me flashbacks. Not to focus on this one narrow aspect of the work, there were tons of awesome ideas throughout the series :)

Also, I can't help but feel from reading the series that you agree in the value of using substances like MDMA and Psylocibin for treating conditions like PTSD?


message 3: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6785 comments Mod
When can I load Nexus into my brain?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments I have always seen him as somewhat of a mad scientist. I would like to know the ways he already has transformed himself into "more than human."

(I'm a huge fan of the books!)


message 5: by Trike (last edited Jun 13, 2016 10:19AM) (new)

Trike | 8503 comments Piggybacking on Roberator's question:

It seems clear Nexus is a fictional extension of your non-fictional book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. Do you see this technology advancing or retreating in the years since you first explored it?

Also, there seem to be physical limitations to nanotechnology that have caused people to sort of backtrack on the near-miraculous prognostications of that tech. Is this just realism setting in after all the pie-in-the-sky excitement of the early days where we were saying, "The end of pollution!" and "Everyone becomes immortal!", or are those promises and potentialities still on the table if we can crack the physics issues with such small-scale engineering?


message 6: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8503 comments Addendum to my first question: the reason I ask that is because gene therapy has gone through a wax-and-wane cycle where it seemed like the cure for everything, only to be displaced by the attitude that it is extremely limited in its applications, then new research seemed to suggest its potential is still amazing.

Similarly, the Bush administration's condemnation of stem cell research had a real chilling effect on the industry, which set us back a couple decades and led to a scientific diaspora. My uncle died of a heart condition that was actually cured in a Boston stem cell trial in 1999, but politics turned the country away from that investigation, and Ron Reagan famously went to the Democratic national convention claiming that stem cell research would have cured his father's Alzheimer's.

So I'm just wondering if the reality of these biological enhancement technologies is as hopeful as they originally were if we can just get out of our own way, or is their potential somewhat more mundane and limited.


message 7: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6263 comments I'm sending you questions directly from my mind. Are you receiving?


message 8: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4144 comments I've never read the books but I get the impression that they're sort of cyber-punky. If that impression is correct, does he draw more from reality (his comp sci experience) or other influences (such as other authors)?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments terpkristin wrote: "I've never read the books but I get the impression that they're sort of cyber-punky. If that impression is correct, does he draw more from reality (his comp sci experience) or other influences (suc..."
I put them in the 21st version of cyberpunk, post human! I wonder if he sees the parallels too.


message 10: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Fister (andrewfister) | 18 comments terpkristin wrote: "I've never read the books but I get the impression that they're sort of cyber-punky. If that impression is correct, does he draw more from reality (his comp sci experience) or other influences (suc..."

The computer science presented(I've only read the first book) is very accurate and clearly comes from someone well versed in the software industry.


message 11: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Fister (andrewfister) | 18 comments What was the inspiration for the very dramatic suppression of the Nexus technology by the US government? Is there any reason to believe this is a likely policy direction in real life?


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