"Within fifty years life as we know it will have changed completely. Are you ready for it?
"Imagine a graph plotting progress in technology against time. The lines starts pretty flat. It begins to curve slowly upwards as machines are developed in the Middle Ages. Then as breakthroughs take place over the last few hundred yaers - engines, electricity, computing - it turns upwards more steeply. Now continue the curve on from the present: it becomes exponential, roaring upwards into a spike!
"In many fields, the pace of change is accelerating. Faster and faster the discoveries come. If things continue as they are going - and there is no evidence that they won't - within our lifetime we can expect: computers that are more intelligent than us; greatly reduced ageing of our bodies; nanotechnological machines that look after all our material needs; cloning ourselves; even uploading copies of our brains into computers.
"And what happens then? Will we still be human? Will we have reached a transhuman state? Will our species have spiked into something completely new?
"Damien Broderick takes you on the rollercoaster ride of your future. And it's not going to slow down."
"With the brilliant Broderick you'll have nanotech nightmares of artificial intelligence and eternal life. Read the book." - Phillip Adams
About the Author:
Prize-winning author Damien Broderick has published twenty books. He is perhaps best known for his science fiction novels, but he is also the reviewer of science books for the Australian, and he has written for the Age and Australian Book Review. He is a polymath, whose interests span post-modern critical thought to scientific breakthroughs at the cutting edge of research. He has an interdisciplinary PhD in literature and science from Deakin University.
It rushes at you, the future.
Usually we don't notice that. We are unaware of its gallop. Time might not be a rushing black wall coming at us from the future, but by God that's how it looks when you stare unflinchingly at the year 2050 and beyond, at the strange creatures on the near horizon of time (our own grandchildren, or even ourselves, technologically preserved and enhanced), at what we should probably call 'transhumans' or even 'posthumans'.
The initial transition into posthumanity, for people intimately linked to specially designed computerised neural nets, might not wait until 2050. It could happen even earlier. In 2040. In 2030. This is no longer the deep, the inconceivably distant future. These are the dates when quite a few adults today will be packing up their private possessions and leaving the office for the last time, heading for retirement. These are dates when today's babes in arms will be strong young adults in the prime of life.
From the Reed Books paperback edition, 1997.
This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Larrikin Literature Page.
Last modified: September 14, 2001.