Futurist

Review of Zoltan Istvan’s book The Transhumanist Wager – Part One

It is extremely rare for me to read a book from beginning to end. This book was able to hold my attention and the book was not necessarily predictable, which is a pleasant change of pace. In my opinion, it is a solid book that should be on anyone’s reading list, especially if you are new to the transhumanist movement or thinking.

As far as the content within the book, some of the key concepts are on the point, when you look at some of the deeper concepts on the other hand, it is off by a country mile. What I will cover in part one of this two part article is social and political topics covered within the book. On part two of the review will be the transhumanist concepts described in the book.

First lets tackle the key concepts:

  • The War On Science – Totally and utterly correct within the United States.

    • The United States as a whole, is being dumb down within the education system.

    • You also have a group of Confederate States that have put teaching religious beliefs over non-religious science and technology theory as education to their youth.

    • The rest of the States within the Union has cut educational funding of the sciences and arts to a bare minimum. On top of that, students are being taught to a test only, so if the key science and technology topics do not make it onto that grading test, then it is simply not taught.

    • It has become acceptable within the United States to ignore, criticize and discriminate against proven science and technology theories in favor of religious teachings, socially, economically, and politically.

  • The struggle for Transhumanists:

    • The funding issue on the most part is correct. Funding of transhumanist projects socially have been limited. The governmental funding on the other hand is not quite right as written in the book. The Military Industrial Complex would never let religion or any other political ideology get in the way of a new technology that could advance their cause.

    • The organizing of transhumanists as listed in the book is on the money. If the weather is good, it is possible for different scientists and technologists to work together for a common goal. If the weather is bad, they would run and hide, I do not believe that is necessarily bad, everyone has to find a way for them as individuals and as a family to survive.

    • The idea of creating a nation or floating city to carry forward transhumanist beliefs and goals as listed in the book is a valid idea, even in the real life of today.

    • The violence as described in the book against transhumanists, works well for the book but would never happen in today’s society. No government or world government would ever tolerate that level of violence, no matter what the current religious or political ideology is.

    • The economic crisis as listed in the book, again works well in the book but in the real world is off by a country mile.

      • The concept of the leading governments forming one all encompassing economic grouping is laughable and unrealistic.

      • The economic downturn would never effect all nations, throughout the world. That is a singular Anglo-Saxon view of the known world. You may point to other times in history but again, you need to look outside of the Anglo-Saxon view of the world.

    • The World and United States politics:

      • The concept within the book that a religious entity could force religious rule over the United States is possible as listed within the book.

        • Stating it is possible, does not mean that it is 100% correct. The idea that Catholics in the northern states en mass are going to convert to a form of born again Christianity is pure and utter insanity of epic proportions. The sun will never rise on that day.

        • Now, in the Confederate States of America, it is easily possible for a religious leader to influence politics and elect politicians.

      • The concept within the book that an American religious leader could force religious rule over the rest of the Worlds governments is off by a country mile.

        • It would never happen in China. The leadership in China would look at the United States religious leader as if he was insane.

        • It would not happen in the majority of the Catholic Latin governments for the same reason listed above. Catholics rarely convert to born again Christianity.

        • Europe is mostly secular.

        • Russia / Slavic states would never tolerate an American religious leader.

      • The concept within the book that the Worlds governments will join a military arrangement with the United States leading the way, is off by a few galaxies or even a few alternate dimensions.

        • The military in China hates America in every way possible and would never take orders from an American government. On top of that the politicians within China would see a benefit to negotiating with the floating island. China makes plans 50 years in advance, they are not focused on today, they are fully focused on tomorrow.

        • The BRIC Nations and the majority of European Nations would have negotiated with the floating city on day one. The war first option is an American trait.

        • The USA / UK would end up following what the Military Industrial Complex wanted. Leaving out the MIC from the book is a mistake.

Yes, I have done a bit of nitpicking on the social and political items described in the book. A portion of it is on target, while other parts are off by a country mile. I believe the majority of this is the authors focus on Western Society and not considering other cultures point of view. Even with these items, the story works for the book, as a purpose to an end.

You can purchase The Transhumanist Wager by clicking this link.

Mike Dodd

I have a wide range of views and opinions. I have worked in a number of industries some of them are: Banking, Dairy, Health Insurance, Education and Government. I am the owner and editor in charge of a number of websites and message boards. The crown jewel of the websites is WaveChronicle.com which covers a wide variety of content. The Wave Chronicle is a site built to put forth thought provoking information, which can range from activism, politics, technology, philosophy, climate change, education, futurist / transhumanist theory and some fun articles that tend to be on the conspiracy theory side. Finally, I am also an accomplished no limit holdem poker player who sadly does not see enough time at a poker table.

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I have a wide range of views and opinions. I have worked in a number of industries some of them are: Banking, Dairy, Health Insurance, Education and Government. I am the owner and editor in charge of a number of websites and message boards. The crown jewel of the websites is WaveChronicle.com which covers a wide variety of content. The Wave Chronicle is a site built to put forth thought provoking information, which can range from activism, politics, technology, philosophy, climate change, education, futurist / transhumanist theory and some fun articles that tend to be on the conspiracy theory side. Finally, I am also an accomplished no limit holdem poker player who sadly does not see enough time at a poker table.

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