Books : reviews

Mark O'Connell.
To Be a Machine: adventures among cyborgs, utopians, hackers, and the futuristic solving of the modest problem of death.
Granta. 2017

What is transhumanism?

Simply put, it is a movement whose aim is to use technology to fundamentally change the human condition, to improve our bodies and minds to the point where we become something other, and better, than the animals we are. It's a philosophy that, depending on how you look at it, can seem hopeful, or terrifying, or absurd.

In To Be a Machine, Mark O’Connell presents us with the first full-length exploration of transhumanism: its philosophical and scientific roots, current importance and possible futures. We follow Mark from laboratories to bars, cryonic storage facilities to basement biohacking labs as he meets the movement’s key players. From charismatic techies seeking to enhance the body to immortalists who believe in the possibility of ‘solving’ death; from computer programmers quietly redesigning the world to vast competitive robotics conventions; To Be a Machine is an urgent, thrilling Adventure in Wonderland for our time.