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Novacene

The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence
Narrated by: Roy McMillan
Length: 3 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Novacene, by James Lovelock, read by Roy McMillan.

James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis and the greatest environmental thinker of our time, has produced an astounding new theory about future of life on Earth. He argues that the anthropocene - the age in which humans acquired planetary-scale technologies - is, after 300 years, coming to an end. A new age - the novacene - has already begun.  

New beings will emerge from existing artificial intelligence systems. They will think 10,000 times faster than we do, and they will regard us as we now regard plants - as desperately slow acting and thinking creatures. But this will not be the cruel, violent machine takeover of the planet imagined by sci-fi writers and film-makers. These hyper-intelligent beings will be as dependent on the health of the planet as we are. They will need the planetary cooling system of Gaia to defend them from the increasing heat of the sun as much as we do. And Gaia depends on organic life. We will be partners in this project. 

It is crucial, Lovelock argues, that the intelligence of Earth survives and prospers. He does not think there are intelligent aliens, so we are the only beings capable of understanding the cosmos. Maybe, he speculates, the novacene could even be the beginning of a process that will finally lead to intelligence suffusing the entire cosmos. At the age of 100, James Lovelock has produced the most important and compelling work of his life.

©2019 James Lovelock (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-19

Wish I can write such a book at the age of 99!

Some of his ideas are brilliant, the others crazy. But there is never a dull moment. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • amazon customer
  • 08-18-19

Optimistic but still frightening

The great James Lovelock is optimistic that when AI takes over the world they'll work with us and not crush us underfoot as we crush ants. Still, it looks like a risk. More disturbing is his belief that we are alone among the 64 quadtrillion stars of the known universe (or something like that). The odds are pretty high that either we bugger everything up or get pulverised by some massive meteor. James is of such great age that some people might call him a dinosaur. But not me. Novacene is a short but highly thought-provoking vision of the future.

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  • peteropcon
  • 08-02-19

Mind Provoking

What an incredible proposition from an amazing human being. James Lovelock continues to contribute to civilisation as he has done throughout his life
A giant among men. What will he write next?

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  • aas
  • 07-21-19

Beautifully Flawed

Flawed

It is always hard to predict the future and more so when any author tries to speculate on how the human race would fair if a hyper-intelligent AI came into being.
Perhaps writing at 95, Lovelock wanted to sign off with a note of optimism but like most futurologists he bypasses the catastrophic and rapid outcomes of uncontrolled population growth coupled with increasing global consumption and the probable political fallout of job losses to present AI controlled by tiny elites. It is hard to see how any “independent” AI will have time to evolve against this backdrop let alone dwell in his utopian vision of their symbiosis with man to help solve eco problems. His idea that machines will also need a healthy biosphere seems wholly implausible.
That said, it a fun listen and the clarity makes us all wish we have his cognition if we get to 95 !

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  • Mr Ben Bland
  • 07-18-19

An important but brief message for our times

We may be entering a new phase in our planet's and our species' existence, and Lovelock convincingly emphasises how and why this is so. However, I didn't realise it was such a short read and I would have liked much more detail to the arguments and projections. Seems hard to criticise of someone who has achieved so much, and wrote this latest book aged 99. A credit to him, as we all should be thinking about how to raise our new superintelligent electronic offspring and protect what remains of our natural home, and this book frames that need well.

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  • David
  • 07-13-19

fantastic, thought provoking listen!

a must listen for anyone concerned with our planets ecology -and mire importantly, those who aren't!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-19

A logical conclusion to our chapter

The first 16 chapters set the stage for what was an interesting and insightful look into the potential/most plausible future of the universe's most influential organism.

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  • Craig
  • 08-16-19

utter tripe

against my better judgement I thought "why not?"

my better judgement was correct.

unsubstantiated ramblings of an old man

if you dont love the whole gaia thing (and so idolise lovelock) you will find yourself asking again and again...."what??" eg theres no point going to mars !!

this isnt even close to science, its merely one person's thoughts.....and most of those make little sense