[extropy-chat] new serial starts on-line: POST MORTAL SYNDROME

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Apr 16 03:38:43 UTC 2007

Incidentally, I see that the opening epigraphs we carefully chose 
have been deleted. These were:


Some have argued that even if we had the technological capability to 
change human personality in fundamental ways, we would never *want* 
to do so because human nature in some sense guarantees its own 
continuity. This argument, I believe, greatly underestimates human 
ambition and fails to appreciate the radical ways in which people in 
the past have sought to overcome their own natures... We may be about 
to enter into a posthuman future, in which technology will give us 
the capacity gradually to alter that essence over time.

Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future

Because an artificial chromosome provides a reproducible platform for 
adding genetic material to cells, it promises to transform gene 
therapy from the hit-and-miss methods of today... It would be an 
inert scaffolding dotted with independent insertion sites where 
modules of genes and their control sequences could be placed using 
the various enzymes that splice and clip DNA... By not altering a 
single one of the 3 billion bases on our existing chromosomes, 
geneticists would minimize the chance of inadvertently stepping on 
the many as yet unappreciated interactions within our genome.

Gregory Stock, Redesigning Humans


These quotations from notable thinkers who have lately published on 
the topic--one a conservative opponent, the other an optimistic 
proponent--provide a real-world anchor to the speculations at the 
core of our novel. Without them, the beginning seems to present 
itself as just a mad-bomber-thriller.

Damien Broderick 

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