The Spike by Damien Broderick
How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies

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The rate at which technology is changing our world--not just on a global level like space travel and instant worldwide communications but on the level of what we choose to wear, where we live, and what we eat--is staggeringly fast and getting faster all the time. The rate of change has become so fast that a concept that started off sounding like science fiction has become a widely expected outcome in the near future - a singularity referred to as The Spike.

At that point of singularity, the cumulative changes on all fronts will affect the existence of humanity as a species and cause a leap of evolution into a new state of being.

On the other side of that divide, intelligence will be freed from the constraints of the flesh; machines will achieve a level of intelligence in excess of our own and boundless in its ultimate potential; engineering will take place at the level of molecular reconstruction, which will allow everything from food to building materials to be assembled as needed from microscopic components rather than grown or manufactured; we'll all become effectively immortal by either digitizing and uploading our minds into organic machines or by transforming our bodies into illness-free, undecaying exemplars of permanent health and vitality.

The results of all these changes will be unimaginable social dislocation, a complete restructuring of human society and a great leap forward into a dazzlingly transcendent future that even SF writers have been too timid to imagine.

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About Damien Broderick

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DAMIEN BRODERICK is a Fellow in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne.
Published February 10, 2001 by Tor Books. 384 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Broderick's freewheeling analysis of the "spike"—a phenomenon already dubiously questioned, he admits, in otherwise sympathetic scientific circles—may help bring this debate to a more mainstream audience, although his writing, despite its conversational tone, may still have too specialized a scie...

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