Re: Becoming Human

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 12 Jul 1997 22:14:29 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sat, 12 Jul 1997, Rev. Madnys wrote:

> Basically, what I am wondering is what areas/books would some of you
> consider mandatory reading to help one become a 'whole' person? What are
> some of your favorite books? Are there any books you would consider
> fundamental introductions to various topics, or laying essential
> groundwork?

That is a very good question.

I think the best way to be able to keep up with the tempo on this
list (and in the world in general) is to read widely (esp. in the
sciences) and try to see the big picture.

More specifically, here are some books I conseder worth reading as a

Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: the New Biology of Machines
( About biology, artificial
life and how technology is becoming life-like. Quite broad, gives a
nice overview of many areas.

K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation, Anchor Books, 1987, ISBN: 0385199732
( The classic popular book
about nanotechnology.

Marshall T. Savage, The Millennial Project : Colonizing the Galaxy in
Eight Easy Steps, Little Brown & Co, 1994, ISBN: 0316771635. Space
colonisation; I haven't read it yet but my friends recommend it and
the plan is interesting.

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Classic sociobiology and
evolutionary theory.

Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures in Physics, Addison-Wesley
Probably the best introduction to physics ever written. Starts from
the basics and moves (in three volumes) to quantum physics. Very
clear, but may require acquiring some math on the way (I have a very
good book for that, Högre Matematik för Poeter by Tönis Tönisson, but
it is in Swedish).

Mind Children by Hans Moravec; the dramatic aspects of robotics, AI,
uploading and other information-mind tricks. May be superceded by his
new book.

Infinite in All Directions by Freeman Dyson. A good explanation what
the humanism part of transhumanism stands for.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y