extropian and transhuman publicity

Michael Nielsen (mnielsen@theory.caltech.edu)
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 22:27:55 -0700 (PDT)

(Mild spoilers for Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon. Delete this if you're fanatical about spoilers and intend to read the book.)

Neal Stephenson's newly released best-seller "Cryptonomicon" contains references to a group that appears to be at least loosely based on the extropians and transhumanists.

Without spoiling the book much, here's an excerpt from p252:

"But the basic premise of Eutropianism is that technology has made us post-human. That Homo Sapiens plus technology is effectively a whole new species: immortal, omnipresent because of the Net, and headed towards omnipotence. Now, the first people to talk that way were libertarians."

I'm about a third of the way through the book at present. It's showing considerable promise as a novel, less as a hard science fiction story --- not many new ideas, but an interesting human side.


Michael Nielsen
Ph: 626 395 8431 Email: mnielsen@theory.caltech.edu Fax: 626 793 9506 Web: http://www.theory.caltech.edu/~mnielsen/index.html