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Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism Hardcover – September, 1993

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this supremely optimistic futuristic survey, Stock ( The Book of Questions ) argues that a symbiotic union of smart machines and humans, combined with increasingly interdependent global communications, trade and travel, is coalescing civilization into "Metaman," a planetary superorganism. Constantly monitoring itself and its environment, Metaman is responding, albeit slowly, to global warming, overpopulation, the need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and other crises. Combining sweeping generalizations and intelligent forecasts, Stock predicts an expansive future for Metaman, with advances in genetic engineering, computers, space exploration and medicine, possibly including significantly lengthened life spans. Illustrated with photographs and drawings, this wide-angled report fails to convince the reader that Metaman is anything more than a metaphor.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A surprise from bestselling novelty-book author Stock (The Book of Questions, 1987, etc.): a jolting but seductively hopeful perspective on the future of human beings when the species is viewed--along with its culture, fellow species, and technology--as a superorganism. Though by no means original--the idea of society as an organism has its precedents in Lovelock, Teilhard de Chardin, Spencer, and innumerable science fiction novels, all the way back to medieval and ancient Greek thought--Stock's presentation of the superorganism ``Metaman,'' supported by scads of data, a winning style, and a sharp and powerful logic, has the potential to attract readers and believers. Though occupying the same intellectual ground as the Gaia hypothesis, Metaman has differences from Gaia that will strike some as dangerous and some as a welcome corrective to Green ideology. Where Gaia places humanity as one of many components, to be eliminated if its depredations grow too great for the superorganism's good, Stock places humanity at the core and soul of the Metaman superorganism, its purposes of paramount importance. Thus the author makes politically incorrect assertions like ``there are scores of matters more important to humanity than the loss of the snail darter,'' as well as arguments like his contention that individual privacy must yield to the data- collection needs of Metaman. Stock says that Metaman, the collective organism, is the next logical step in evolution, following three major transformations in levels of complexity: from biochemicals to primitive bacteria; from bacteria to animal cells; from those cells to multicellular organisms. With commerce and transport its circulatory system, telecommunications its nervous system, and potential space colonization its reproductive system, Metaman offers a coherent format for our future. Engaging and informative--but whether Stock turns out to be starry-eyed dreamer or hard-headed prophet remains to be seen. (Photographs and line drawings--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (September 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067170723X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671707231
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,294,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F. Kohler on March 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked this title for my review because this happens to be the title of a book I wrote 58 years ago. Stock writes pretty much what I would write if I were motivated to write a new book on the same subject. I am an old man by now, with diminished motivation. Stock reaches the same conclusion that I reached, but with extensive documentation and current evidence. I wish Stock had picked a different title for his work and also stressed to a greater extent that the emergence of a Global Super Organism is fully in line with the evolutionary process. I highly recommend this book to all those interested in the human future.

Fred Kohler [..]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't be happier to have stumbled apon this book. The supporting documentation was wonderfully rich and complete and the book itself was both interesting and positive. Anyone interested in gaining perspective on their place in life or the directions in which change is pulling the world should give this a read.
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Format: Hardcover
Yvette Borcia and I review business books relating to our consulting practIce. But I had to tell you about Metaman, which I read a few years ago. It remains clear in my mind, as few books ever will. If you seek knowledge and true insight, Gregory Stock has written a book that I think you will love. I quote Stock in capturing a bit of the essence of this book: "An understanding of Metaman clarifies the fundamental dynamics shaping human society."

I own and cherish my copy, as I believe you will too. In fact I have two copies-one I read and robustly marked up, one in mint condition that I hold for the future. A book of this stature comes along only once in a very great while! Read and appreciate it.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Don Wood Files on June 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Well-researched, densely packed, but highly readable and completely free of academic jargon and New Age leaps of faith. I came away from the book a believer - optimistic for the very-long run, maybe not for us in the 21st century, but for those who will come later on. This is a good antidote to post-Sept 11, 2001 pessimism, but only if you take a long-view.
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