Apr 20, 2010

Our Posthuman Future

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama made a famous announcement that history as we knew it had reached its end. Famous though it might have been, it was still news to me when I read about it on the flyleaf of his 2002 opus entitled Our Posthuman Future.

Can't remember for sure now, but I think this was one I picked up from Daedalus Books, the online and mail-order remainder house. I've found some great books from them, and saved a bundle in the process. That same flyleaf, for example, sets the price for this hardcover at $25, but I probably bought it for five or six bucks. Unless, of course, it's one I heard about on Bob Edwards' radio program, and dashed out and paid full price for. But I doubt it.

Anyway, Fukuyama had had a few years to reconsider whether he wanted to stand by his earlier pronouncement when he came out with Posthuman. He doesn't exactly repudiate what he said, but he sure finds some new stuff to talk about, the kind of stuff that will make new history after all. Mostly he looks at the social consequences of genetic engineering, foreseeing as inevitable a capitulation to parents on the subject of optimized offspring.

This is strong stuff, a fitting non-fiction companion to Michael Crichton's fictional Next. The next thing being post-human humans, of course.

If this has whetted your appetite, go for it.

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