Narrator was very effective at maintaining energy and portraying individual characters as individuals. Very well done.
This book offers some compelling arguments that Internet technology has put the essence of humanity at risk of annihilation from the destructive forces of mob rule. The book starts out strongly, effectively framing the evolution of Internet technology up through the current domination of hive-mind social engineering interfaces and systems, and effectively stoking a fire for a technological counter revolution needed to save humanity.
Many important arguments are made regarding the dangers of the hive mind, such as the societal costs of devaluing individual first-order creativity, the corrosive effects of anonymous discourse, the disenfranchisement of productive individuals by profiteering aggregators, and the denial of the role that closed systems and competition must play in the ongoing forward evolution of humanity. In my opinion, these are conversations are desperately prescient -- which is why I gave this book a positive review.
As a book, however, the narrative suffers from inconsistent organization, superfluous content, and failure to drive home many ideas which should be treated with more centrality. As a computer scientist / technologist with musical endeavors of my own, I am perhaps more adapted to this particular author's perspective than the average reader. Yet, I still found much of the book to be self-indulgent, often abandoning efforts to relate to lay people and periodically drifting from its stated flight path.
That said, the overarching questions and warnings explored in this book are of profound importance to the future of humanity. This alone makes the book worth reading. That these questions are being explored by a productive computer scientist, rather than, say, a theologian, makes this book required reading -- even you skim through the second half.
This book is purported to add to the discussion of near death experiences because the author is a scientist. However, the entire story hinges on the authors assertion that his "neocortex was shutdown" and thus he would have been incapable of experiencing an NDE within his own brain. A real scientist would have acknowledged that the entire NDE could have happened before or after this "shutdown". A real scientist also would have enthusiastically considered the possibility that the current body of knowledge regarding the neocortex is sorely lacking. A real scientist would have used his new found skepticism to formulate some hypotheses and conduct some experiments.Adding insult to serious injury, the author wants us all to believe that he was given the answers to the universe during his NDE, but that it might take a while for him to be able to explain it all to us -- presumably in a followup book that he will write after Oprah tells him how the universe really works (see his website for a photo to with Oprah and links to her various minions).I read most stories about NDEs with a mixture of skepticism and intrigue. This book, however, is different. While I do not doubt the authors illness and NDE, I do doubt his honesty and integrity. This book seems to be little more than a launching pad for a new career as a self-proclaimed prophet and purveyor of junk science.
Been honest about the science.
Less narcissistic rambling and more science.
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