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Imagine a person severely disabled by a stroke who, with electrodes implanted in his brain, can type on a computer just by thinking of the letters. Or a man, blind for 20 years, driving a car around a parking lot via a camera hard-wired into his brain. Plots for science fiction? No, it's already happened, according to future technologies expert Naam. In an excellent and comprehensive survey, Naam investigates a wide swath of cutting-edge techniques that in a few years may be as common as plastic surgery. Genetic therapy for weight control isn't that far off--it's already being done with animals. Countless people who are blind, deaf or paralyzed will acquire the abilities that most people take for granted through advances in computer technology and understanding how the nervous system functions. Naam says the armed services are already investing millions of dollars in this research; they envision super-pilots and super-soldiers who will be able to control their planes and tanks more quickly via thought. Some of the author's prognostications, with their Nietzschean overtones of people being "more than human," may frighten readers, but Naam is persuasive that many of these advances are going to happen no matter what, and that despite the potential for abuses, they offer hope for our well-being and the survival of the species.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Naam is optimistic about technological advancement. He surveys applications of genetic and computer engineering to the human body and pronounces them good. Naam notes but does not totally allay the disquiet of critics who think otherwise, so readers more interested in what's happening now in the biotechnology industry will get more from this work than those concerned with the bioethical implications for human identity. Naam is a software engineer, and this is his first book, so his writing about human physiology is predominantly descriptive, albeit enthusiastically so. Naam relates how the technologies--gene therapies, genetic splicing, cloning, and neural/computer interfaces--function at the cellular level and details how they may improve on the injuries, afflictions, and conditions of life (intelligence and aging). Both the researchers and the companies developing biotechnologies receive Naam's positive attention, and he avers that over time their inventions will become widely affordable. This confident, libertarian sentiment suffuses Naam's approach; for a more doubtful posture toward the brave new world, see The Future of the Brain, by Steven P. R. Rose (p.1038).^B Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Very thought-provoking look into bio-enhancements and what they mean for the future of mankind. Why the 3 stars, then? Read morePublished 15 days ago by Monty & Hobbes
Pretty good overview on human enhancements and the potential of future medicine as an elective augmentation rather than a pure therapy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by T J Runkles
Great material, but lots of editing errors and some clunky prose made it a bit challenging to complete. Still worthwhile.Published 5 months ago by HARI A RAO
Like this book so much. It is very helpful for people who start to learn about neuroscience. Many predictions are fascinating.Published 13 months ago by Qianyu Huang
Ramez Naam gives a good overview of some of the more amazing bio-enhancements that are right now being developed and explains them in simple language for the layperson. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Tim Holmes
Ramez Naam did a great job at explaining clearly and in an enjoyable manner what to expect of the future in the years to come, and what is already possible now. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Wilmington
Except for some ethical and philosophical discussions I skipped over, the book delivers a good read from the latest publications and research in human machine interfaces and human... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jacob