For the past week or so I have been reading To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell. The book is a series of essays and recollections that are each trying to understand what it is to be human in the face of modern technology. Transhumanism is the idea that the human body can be freed from its own anatomy so that the mind can live forever by becoming a computer.
I have really been enjoying this book, if not only because it is so interesting (as a lover of sci-fi) to read about real life cyborgs and super AI, also, more simply, because it reads so much like a piece of fiction. To Be a Machine is a piece of journalism that makes O’Connell’s experience with multi-millionaire tech moguls and cutting edge computer scientists feel like a dramatic adventure novel.
This book is certainly philosophical but it is also really funny. Whilst challenging his reader to define where they draw the line on life or death in the face of biotech that in the near future could allow us to upload our minds into software, O’Connell also makes us laugh at the absurdity of it all. To Be a Machine is a refreshing glance into a world of technology and neuroscience that you didn’t even know existed.
Although I haven’t finished yet I think I’ll have no choice but to recommend it!
Keep on reading!
And thanks again Beth.