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The Transhumanist Wager (English Edition)
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The Transhumanist Wager (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Zoltan Istvan
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

"WINNER" Fiction Visionary - International Book Awards

Leading futurist, philosopher, and former National Geographic journalist Zoltan Istvan presents his award-winning, bestselling visionary novel, The Transhumanist Wager, as a seminal statement of our times.
His philosophical thriller has been called "revolutionary," "life-changing," and "a masterpiece" by readers, scholars, and critics. The novel debuts a challenging original philosophy, which rebuffs modern civilization by inviting the end of the human species--and declaring the onset of something greater.
Set in the present day, the novel tells the story of transhumanist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. Fighting against him are fanatical religious groups, economically depressed governments, and mystic Zoe Bach: a dazzling trauma surgeon and the love of his life, whose belief in spirituality and the afterlife is absolute. Exiled from America and reeling from personal tragedy, Knights forges a new nation of willing scientists on the world's largest seastead, Transhumania. When the world declares war against the floating libertarian city, demanding an end to its renegade and godless transhuman experiments and ambitions, Knights strikes back, leaving the planet forever changed.

Praise for Zoltan Istvan's writing and work:

"Congratulations on an excellent story--really well written, concise, and elegant." (Editor, National Geographic News Service)

"Istvan is among the correspondents I value most for his...courage." (Senior Editor, The New York Times Syndicate)

Biographie de l'auteur

At the age of 21, American-Hungarian Zoltan Istvan began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He's explored over 100 countries—many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate, Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Animal Planet, and the Travel Channel. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his daughter and physician wife. Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, a visionary novel describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 920 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 300 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Editeur : Futurity Imagine Media LLC (2 janvier 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00AQQSY60
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°52.495 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
Thought provoking, even if perhaps idealistic scenario given double edged view on some of the technological advances. Challenges the "cultural baggage" of humanity and challenges society faces and will increasingly face touching social, political, technological, biological, ethical, etc... aspects where science and technological advances challenge the societal balance, even via dictatorial approach to drag humanity toward transhumanist future.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Rapport qualité prix incomparable 30 juillet 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Un must have dans sa bibliothèque avec un prix défiant toute concurrence. A posséder pour tous les amoureux de la littérature !
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  258 commentaires
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great first book!!! 27 mars 2014
Par steve herting - Publié sur
The Transhumanist Wager is an exciting science fiction thriller that transports you into a world where the topic of science and religion are intermingled within the realms of immortality. The book is also partly a war story where the main character, Jethro Knights, is exiled and forced to fight for his beliefs when the world declares war on him. This book forces us to revel in our own mortality and question our own spiritual beliefs. Zoltan Istvan is an author to watch. His characters are well-developed, and the prose in which he writes is both eloquent and visionary.

His writing style is reminiscent of R.A. Heinlien who also wrote of immortality (Lazarus Long) and was able to convey a realistic story to go along with his characters, this is a very well written work and taken as pure science fiction is a very enjoyable read. I can see how there may be some that are offended by the total disregard for organized religion, but like any other work of fiction it shold not be taken too seriously. That said there is one major hiccup in this story in that there is a very dramatic beginning to the book that just dies there, it’s never mentioned again, so you are kind of left hanging.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining, Thought-Provoking, a Solid Debut Novel, a Wake-Up Call, a Call-To-Arms, a Manifesto... 3 avril 2014
Par Matt Sharar - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Open minds will find "The Transhumanist Wager" entertaining, even as it challenges our views of the world. Reading it will make anyone take a hard look at their lives, and also their deaths. If you don't agree with the philosophy driving protagonist Jethro Knights, he has an infectiousness that will make you follow his journey. His struggle is as much an inner struggle, as it outward, which makes for some compelling fiction (and adds to the entertaining/thought-provoking quotient).

There is a through-line of tension, creating tons of suspense--some subtle build-up, some bombastic sensationalism. The book, like Ayn Rand's books, uses a specific philosophy as the springboard for the plot. Some Sci-Fi enthusiasts, like me, may have never heard of the decades-old movement, Transhumanism. Istvan spells it out for us effectively, putting his personal spin on the philosophy.

Despite the in-depth explication (on both sides, transhuman and anti-transhuman), the plot is constantly in motion. Real world business terms, scientific breakthroughs and culinary touches--a worthwhile crash course--pepper the speeches and action, the plot. As in Rand's plots, events are a byproduct of the protagonist's choices (the do-all-end-all of Objectivism), and Jethro chooses his destiny. Via his choices, events quickly unfold in this book: No spoilers here, but a Utopian world arises as a critical eye is trained on an economy-riddled Dystopian America.

There are also echoes of Huxley's Brave New World (The catchphrase is mentioned in Knight's keynote speech during the climax). Some of Brave New World's heavy-handed, cold-hearted characters spring to mind in certain stretches. The intense radicalism is not only present in Jethro's antagonists, but often in Jethro himself, especially as events tilt towards a full-scale war. But the sensationalism and radicalism seem intended to make the book, and the very plot itself, a manifesto.

Despite this, there is a sympathetic sensibility to Jethro Knights, and a lot of heart in the book. As Jethro struggles with romantic love earlier in the book, we feel for him in many touching moments.

A solid debut novel (even the longest quotes run smoothly and easily off the tongue), The Transhumanist Wager can be viewed as a call to arms, a personal wake-up call, a 911 emergency call to the world-at-large, and a manifesto. Zoltan Istvan makes that call, challenging us even as he entertains.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A firebrand that ignites the struggle against human misery 13 février 2014
Par Nell Watson - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
The Transhumanist wager is essentially a philosophical worldview that has been woven carefully into an exciting narrative. The iconoclastic lead protagonist Jethro Knights is clearly a man who cannot fit in this world as it is today. The uncompromising principles of Knights in the second half of the book seem foreign to many readers, but are logical when viewed through the lens of Teleological Egocentric Functionalism, espoused by Knights (which is scheduled to be published by Istvan as a forthcoming annex to the book).

Overall, the book is both entertaining and illuminating, though as a philosophical novel is at it's finest when the exposition leads to personal discoveries and developments within the characters.

Certainly, the 21st Century will herald a struggle between those who choose to augment their being, and those who refrain. How deep and bitter the split in society will be is unknown, and The Transhumanist Wager provides a glimpse of how painful, costly, and ultimately futile (for bio-conservatives) this struggle may be.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Incredible story of what's possible 10 mars 2014
Par David Landau - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
When the brightest of minds unite.

What if we enabled an incredibly focused, incredibly smart group of people to concentrate on inventing things that would move humanity forward? This book shows what can happen when you eliminate the obstructions of regulation and geography, and get people on a difficult, ambiguous and major project because you know they will find a way to make it work.

We didn't know exactly how to create the atomic bomb, but the Manhattan Project was successful in a large part because it received enough backing, was given an unobstructed setting, and had a small, free-of-distractions team. DARPA retains some of those methodologies to this day. Practical nuclear science brought humanity to a new era, and while the dangers of military use is on everyone's mind, it’s hard to argue against the achievements yielded by dedication to R&D.

The characters in Transhumanist Wager, along with their morals, are magnets for scrutiny. The possibility of creating a real-world Transhumaia might be slim, at least at present. It’s a bold vision, but a core takeaway from this book is a reminder of what is possible when we simply provide the resources to make it happen.

Technology is often a double-edged sword. But if we look at what's needed to bring humanity forward, as a whole, very few things are more scalable, more replicateable, and can change more lives more quickly.

Istvan pushes for a radical refocusing of resources towards things that matter. He calls for a pure economic meritocracy. Looking at the big picture, 10, 100, even 200 years out, inventions like artificial lungs and successful cryogenic reanimation could bring about much more social benefit, than, say, allocating those funds to welfare. The "Radical Transhumanism" idea could be taken to be too narrow-minded, ignoring consequences that come from full application of such ideas (like rises in crime), so at the end of the day, I'm torn what to "do" with ideas from this book.

On one hand, Transhumania and the global changes it evokes are inspiring. We're reminded of the fiction when we look at its major advancements as likely impossible in today's world.

But that impossibility – argues Istvan – is consistently refueled by our own adherence to a cultural and moral system that are becoming increasingly outdated.

While this book opened my eyes much wider to the immediate practicality of certain human enhancing technologies and the unfortunate side effect of political climates that can restrict them, I also found myself looking for a "how can I use this?" approach. It's great when books have practical, useful lessons. Simple awareness may be one of them - and I think it's much more powerful than many of us realize.

Ultimately, how you view this book may rely on how you view the role of a random person in the world. Do you see everyone as having equal rights to health and happiness? Do you see the advancement of our species (and argued by some, survival) as more important than the welfare of a small group of individuals? The former, at an extreme, has more socialist qualities. The latter, at an extreme, would turn is into Sparta. The question is: will focusing more "Spartan like" and adhering to Istvan's TEF yield much greater social goods in the long term, such as technological advancements that greatly extend the human lifespan, intelligence, and physical durability of our bodies. It may even be possible for us to create a path to permanent sentience – effective immortality – if we ignore everything else to achieve this quickly enough to see it as common practice during our lifetimes. If these are true, would the focus they require mean major social sacrifices would be not just smart – but mandatory – in the short term?

Istvan argues yes. This is a conscious risk that he feels will pay off.

What most of us don't realize: the current default - more of a "let's take care of each other" approach - also carries risks of stagnating in decadence and pouring resources that are least likely to have a positive return to society.

In Forbes, Michael Bell wrote about 30% of all Medicare expenditures going to the 5% of beneficiaries that die each year, with 1/3 of that cost occurring in the last month of life.

We allow this for many reasons - some religious, some not wanting to say "no" to a suffering person in need - but ultimately, in a focused analysis, this investment doesn't move society forward. It takes us further into debt, distracts us from healing (another form of enhancing) those with more ability, and except for rare cases where the above patients pour out previously unspoken, incredibly valuable wisdom before passing, this medical and social model may hurt society more than helping it.

For medicare, welfare, and any other social good or resource, Istvan wants to wake us up. To the political setting that hinders and slows change. To the short-sightedness of a touchy-feely attitude towards individuals, regardless of the political party. To the fact that by choosing not to face the "dark side" of advanced technologies (Transhumanist, nuclear, or other), we're embracing, accepting, and green-lighting the "dark side" we're already on.

Whether that current dark side is unsustainable resource depletion, slower progress than necessary to capture very high - ROI inventions, or a bureaucracy too lumbering to adapt and pivot quickly, this book is a very important read.

Yes, you can say the words "Jethro" and "Atrocities" in the same sentence. Yes, you can replace that latter word with "Visionary." Yes, majorly evil people in our world's past have tried to things in a similar manner.

But no; we don't compare them. At least not enough.

The 'majorly evil' people in our world's past [Stalin, Hitler, etc] got a lot done very, very quickly. Yes, it was awful; yes, we don't ever want to repeat or re-allow it. But that's the dark side to concentrated power - just like there's a dark side to concentrated technology (like the atom bomb we dropped in Nagasaki, which some argue was unnecessary after Hiroshima).

We may not be able to face, agree, or decide on sensitive issues like medicare and welfare (even if we're forced to, look at what happened to Austerity measures in Italy). So, the bigger question: Can we peacefully sidestep them?

What I would like to see from Istvan - or anyone who shares strong beliefs in the potential for major advances in Transhumanist technology - is a way to achieve the massive social change, resource mobilization, and concentrated innovation that happened in Transhumania. A method that isn't fictional, but feasible. Now.

Globally, we're able to achieve great things together through platforms like Kickstarter and Kiva. We're able to transcend politics through social media and the Arab Spring. And we're able to amass millions of followers and supporters in an incredibly short period of time. Will the true "impact" of The Transhumanist Wager be one more step down the path of a critical social mass that rises up, achieves Transhumania-like goals, and takes our world to a better place - sidestepping both the undesirable settings of changing our political system and empowering an all-powerful dictator?

I hope so. I'd like to think so. It's something in which, at least now, I'd like to play a part.

Wouldn’t you?
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An extremely engaging read and refreshingly intellectually honest exposition on Transhumanism and improving the human condition 19 juin 2013
Par Brandon - Publié sur
Excellent plot, well-written, very engaging. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. For any person who believes in the ability of science and rationality to fundamentally improve the human condition, it's a must read. For any person who believes that religion, bureaucracy and inane pop culture are holding mankind back from reaching its full potential, it's a must read. Also very relevant to the current state of the economic and political landscape.

The book is refreshingly unapologetic in its stance on improving the human condition and embracing the full potential of life, and expunging anything that impedes this goal. The book is, in fact, uncomfortably intellectually honest at times, as the book may force the reader to recognize their own cognitive dissonance and confront their thought and behavior patterns that have impeded them from becoming their best self.

The main character, Jethro, can be viewed as an Ayn Rand style protagonist (e.g. Howard Roark) who has resolved to ascend to the Nietzschean ideal of the Overman - one who fully exploits his creative powers to transform himself into his own creation. Through thinking and acting according to instrumental rationality, Jethro relentlessly powers down the path of amassing power available to him as a sentient being, with the goal of transcending the limits of the human condition in which he exists - by curing diseases, extending his life indefinitely, improving his cognitive and physical powers, and ultimately pursuing the ability to heal the otherwise irreparable loss humans experience when their loved ones die.

The story expounds the benefits of:
Atheism, rationality, science, technology, anarcho-capitalism, life, the arts, progress, possibility

And highlights the worthlessness of and damage to society by:
Religion and irrationality in all forms, a culture of fear, excessive government bureaucracy, stifling of personal freedom, stifling of cognitive freedom, the attenuation of progress in science and technology, crony capitalism, arbitrary and meaningless traditions and cultural baggage.

If you've ever thought about the huge gap between where mankind is now and where mankind could be if we simply focused on improving ourselves and the world a little bit, then this book is for you.
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