Read Enough: Genetic Engineering And The End Of Human Nature by Bill McKibben Free Online
Book Title: Enough: Genetic Engineering And The End Of Human Nature|
The author of the book: Bill McKibben
Edition: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Date of issue: June 1st 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 927 KB
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Loaded: 1347 times
Reader ratings: 3.2
ISBN 13: 9780747565369
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This book gets 3 stars for effort but for the most part McKibben fails miserably at convincing me we need to put restrictions on our technological growth as a human race to somehow preserve our humanity. Most of McKibben's arguments seem to be gut reactions to the ickiness of germline genetic engineering and the horrible inequalities it will produce. Some of that I can definitely agree with, however, to say humans are good enough right now seems ridiculous when we have some many obvious flaws. I'm not saying those flaws should be corrected with genetic engineering but various technologies in general. I think what makes us fundamentally human is our technology. To say stop, no more, is first completely impossible for obvious reasons McKibben isn't willing to admit, and second, totally against our humanity.
It seems McKibben specifically railed on the biological side of the singularity to get that gut reaction from the reader, but he totally missed the importance of AI and nanotech which will probably change us more radically than any genetic engineering. My bet is that genetic engineering will be considered inefficient, imprecise, and obsolete in a few decades.
As I read the book every arguement McKibben presented for the dystopias, why everything today is good enough, and how we could possibly prevent the oncoming technologies, were straw men. I was able to come up with counter arguments in my head immediately which made the book frusterating to read. Either McKibben is stupid or thinks his readers are stupid. There was way too much hand waving and too many fuzzy terms that were not well defined such as natural, human dignity, consciousness, and choice. Terms like that need to be well defined by the author in a book like this, because I bet we'd disagree on what is considered natural or what it means to have free will.
Personally I don't want to reach some stasis with the planet and stay the same for the next few billions year until we all die off from natural causes. Now that's a depressing future more then the dystopias McKibben tries to depict.
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Read information about the authorBill McKibben is the author of Eaarth, The End of Nature, Deep Economy, Enough, Fight Global Warming Now, The Bill McKibben Reader, and numerous other books. He is the founder of the environmental organizations Step It Up and 350.org, and was among the first to warn of the dangers of global warming. In 2010 The Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist," and Time magazine has called him "the world's best green journalist." He studied at Harvard, and started his writing career as a staff writer at The New Yorker. The End of Nature, his first book, was published in 1989 and was regarded as the first book on climate change for a general audience. He is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He has been awarded Guggenheim Fellowship and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter.