- File Size: 233 KB
- Print Length: 79 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: BYG Publishing, Inc.; 1 edition (March 5, 2012)
- Publication Date: March 5, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007HQH67U
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,362 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Manna: Two Visions of Humanity's Future Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
riveting talk to the Stanford Transhumanist Association.
What will be the fate of humanity in a future world
populated by supersmart AIs and robots.
His message: basically, we're toast.
According to Brain, the future will bring increasing unemployment
as broad swaths of humanity are replaced by robots. As a consequence,
wealth will continue to concentrate in the hands of a privileged few,
with the great majority (the 99%) being forced into grinding poverty.
(You've heard this before from, say, Karl Marx - but it gets even more bleak.)
As the AIs become ever more powerful they may come to regard
us first as chimpanzees, then as chickens, and finally as bacteria.
How will the AIs deal with us? Possibilities include extermination,
zoos, prisons, and tailor-made virtual reality utopias
(Heavenly or Eden-like versions of The Matrix.)
Scary stuff, but is it true? Yeah, it might happen.
In a brief chat afterward, I told him the best
I could see for humanity in a post-Singularity world
was planet Earth as a retirement home for humanity - watched over
by "machines of loving grace." Perhaps not the exuberant vision
that you're used to, but not that different from real life.
Now, you get old and die, but you get to see
an improved, next generation carry the torch forward.
Post-Singularity, it's just that the machines are carrying the torch
(directing planetary affairs, doing the real innovation, and going to the stars.)
Ok, now back to the book. Having been primed for a nonstop trip
to Hell, the vision portrayed in the book was actually a relief.Read more ›
An interesting and eye opening trip.
It's not so much that it's badly written (though I can't argue the point) but that it's written in a style that has been out of fashion for about a century. Very early SF stories used to use a very similar format for describing scientific and social advances that would Change the World. "Professor Formison's Fluxo-logic Capacitor, by altering the variations in the ether, allowed an individual wearing it to ride gravity waves, and thus Nathaniel found himself floating in the air, gazing in wonder at the ground below him, shielded from the harmful effects that would have been incurred by a plunge to his doom by the marvelous abilities of the Fluxo-Logic Capacitor."
It was also commonplace in SF in those days to contrast the marvelous wonderfulness of Society A which had embraced Ringolated Tharianism with the awfulness of Society B which had not done so. Society A would often how towering spires of shining glasslike buildings with the inhabitants frolicking happily about while Society B's inhabitants lived in pathetic hovels made of Terrorfoam and grumbled while eating reconstituted cardboard or something like it. 'Manna" pretty much exactly follows this plan.
Still an interesting read. I think what made the first part so riveting was the sheer plausibility of the initial robotic incursion.Read more ›
I've been digging into the whole 'post-scarcity economy' thing for years after having first been introduced to the concept by Jacques Fresco of The Venus Project [...], James P. Hogan's "Voyage from Yesteryear" and The Culture Series from Ian Banks. I've seen the dystopian version from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson and Counting Heads by David Marusek.
But this book Manna, drives the science fiction into the harsh limelight of the soon-to-be future. It doesn't even require real AI or advanced nanotechnology to achieve it. It all starts with a desktop computer in a back office and radio headset like they wear at the fast food restaurants.
After reading this book, you'll never look at those employees wearing those headsets the same way again.
After reading this book, you'll be wanting to find out where you can sign up for the post-scarcity civilization as how it should be.
The book is simple, told in a narrative style by the protagonist much in the same style as Jules Verne, in my view. But that's the point: The plot is only supposed to be the vehicle to show you what is coming and how we can adapt to it as a new phase of civilization dawns on humanity.
Certain details get overlooked in the process, such as how some of the things the expert software system MANNA tells/does to the employees that would get that employer in hot water with the lawyers (especially in California). But then again those details don't really matter, as the reader becomes convinced that the paradigm shift of robots taking away 90% of human jobs will happen no matter what kind of obstacles are placed in its way.
For 99 cents and only 79 pages of reading time, this book is worth its weight in gold.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredibly interesting read on the possible outcomes from advances in Ai and VR. Would recommend to any technologist or entrepreneur.Published 18 days ago by Emile Petrone
It sums up what seems to be the worst possible or the best possible outcome of what may be possible.Published 1 month ago by David Mitchell
good short story that frightens and awakens the reader to possible outcomes of a self aware fast food AI robotPublished 2 months ago by zrouse
An entertaining read though a bit bland. The world painted here is the ideal outcome of the GNR and the Accelerando, but the characters seemed a little flat and the language lacked... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chris
Great book. I work in virtual reality and I think his foresight regarding automation and VR is spot on. Especially for 2003Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Marshall Brain is brilliant and a genius. He gave us a magnificent blue print with the Australia Project. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Agrippa
A very simplistic narrative.
I wasn't much more than a pro & con checklist. I was still looking for the story to begin by the end of the book. Read more
Great story. Not meant to be incredibly rich in detail or character development -- but it certainly drives its point home. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark Bratanov
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