Radical Evolution by Joel Garreau is a fascinating book that attempts to peer into the technological advancements in the near future. It makes one think and wonder at all the scientific possibilities that he claims might already be in the woodwork’s. In Radical Evolution he covers some fundamental areas in the fields of human intelligence, physical, military, advancements, and market possibilities.
In the beginning he covers the possibilities that genetic engineering shape the next generations. Though we do not know exactly what human intelligence is comprised of, we are told that soon more and more smarter children will appear. Children that are “faster. . . more creative. . . have photographic memories and total recall. . . beautiful. . . perhaps being immortal”, (p. 7) and can also “connect. . . sharing thoughts” (p. 8). They will be a form of super humans.
I believe that it is a fascinating idea, people who are a bridge between the carbon based life form and silicon based technology are a boon to society.
Though the positive achievements will be clear, modifying humans will bring a schism between the old and the new, and this I believe can have undesired consequences.
What Garreau terms as “Natural”, and “Enhanced”, to me is a classification similar to neanderthals and the humans of today. The primitive “naturals” are the “poor dears”(p. 8), because of their poverty were not able to move forward. The disconnect could lead to an oppression of the “naturals”. The evidence of this disconnect is the ominous questioning of the “Enlightenment principle that we hold a human nature in common.” (p.8)
Society is slow to change, and though we may advance technologically it takes generations to adapt to them, to integrate them. The narrator says that “innovation arrives more rapidly than does change in culture and values.”(p. 10) This “Radical Evolution” will be radical technologically and societally. Society will have to face the questions of what does it...
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