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The Transhumanist Wager Paperback – 30 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Futurity Imagine Media LLC; 1 edition (30 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988616114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988616110
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bestselling visionary author Zoltan Istvan, an American-Hungarian, began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world at the age of 21. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He's explored over 100 countries--many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel--writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate, Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Animal Planet, and the Travel Channel. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his daughter and physician wife. Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, a fictional thriller describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. The controversial novel was recently a #1 bestseller in Philosophy and Sci-Fi Visionary on Amazon. Zoltan also blogs for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post.

Product Description

About the Author

At the age of 21, American-Hungarian Zoltan Istvan began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He's explored over 100 countries—many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate, Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Animal Planet, and the Travel Channel. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. Zoltan later became a director for the international conservation group WildAid, leading armed patrol units to stop the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Back in America, he started various successful businesses, from real estate development to filmmaking to viticulture, joining them under ZI Ventures. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his daughter and physician wife. Zoltan recently published The Transhumanist Wager, a visionary novel describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Buzios on 12 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Transhumanist Wager is a new and significant novel that deserves widespread acclaim but seems to be little known, possibly because the major publishers rejected its controversial content. Before reading it I had hardly heard of transhumanism but now am a convert to the philosophy and its importance to humanity.

For those that don't know, 'transhumanism' is the idea that humanity will be transformed by technology. Its basic tenets are that we should use advances in technology to improve the lot of humanity, tackling disease and ultimately extending human lifespan by means of technological advances. But it goes beyond that and predicts that the advances in technology will in the not so distant future lead to a technological 'singularity' where all the advances of the last few hundred years will pale into insignificance in relation to a rapid growth in possibilities which which challenge all thoughts of what humanity actually is. It predicts that very soon we will be able to extend human lifespans indefinitely with the ultimate hope of practical immortality. And it also predicts that we will shift from our current biological state into a new technological state (via ideas such as mind uploading) and a new evolutionary path no longer hindered by our biological limitations.

Clearly, such ideas demand a new morality and will not be accepted or welcomed by all, particularly those fettered by a religious mindset. As an atheist and humanist I see transhumanism as a logical progression but this is scary stuff in the sense that we would have to re-evaluate so many of the moral concepts that define our humanity and there is the possibility that if we do it wrong then our whole existence as a species is endangered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Halifax Student Account on 3 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Atlas Shrugged just got a make over. The Transhumanist Wager is sort of shocking but this is the way the world is moving so it's definitely worth reading. It's actually written in a shocking manner to awaken the sleepy multitudes and if it is read by the elite, then we either better join the elite or get our guns because Zoltan Istvan means business.

This Hungarian philosopher is hungry to live forever, and he won't let entropy, or the heat death of the universe, get in his way. Zoltan can write really well and he is worth taking notice of. He stimulates the mind and gives you and I a glimpse of how the other half think (I'm assuming you're the other half).

Therefore, Transhumanist Wager is a monument of anti-morality, packed with fresh and shocking thought. It would be difficult to over-estimate the 'shock factor' qualities of this book. Indeed, it's one of the books that really matter today!

I am also reading The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy, by Alex Zhavoronkov. Zhavoronkov is the more substantial of the thinkers.

Steven Weinberg captured our weltanschauung beautifully when he said: "All the explanatory arrows point downward, from societies to people, to organs, to cells, to biochemistry, to chemistry, and ultimately to physics." He thus concluded, "The more we know of the cosmos, the more meaningless it appears".

The explanatory arrows Weinberg speaks of led to our technology, so we are not criticising the modern world, on the contrary, the modern world is the pinnacle of human genius. But this isn't salvation. Very smart people confuse technology with salvation. Singularitarians have built a movement to reach salvation by technology. But as Steven Weinberg put it, it is all meaningless. Technology will one day reach the stars, but you will still be dead.

Therefor science is meaningless for salvation.

Reading this book is still fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K M Swannack on 14 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book I would sincerely recommend. As a debut novel it is probably fair to acknowledge that the prose style could, on occaison, be improved upon. However, this does not detract from the enjoyment of the book because this is a story that is predominantly about a Big Idea. The transhumanist philosophy, and the possible effects its adoption would have to our way of life, is the real character here.

The Transhumanist Wager encourages us to look up from the "here and now" and speculate on what it will mean to be human in the future. It does not dictate this future vision, but it does effectively set the basis from which we can form our own individual feelings. It shows a few of the challenges and pitfalls that might arise - both practical and ethical - and provokes the reader to consider their own ideas.

The characters are somewhat thin, with the exception of the main protagonist. However, this is OK since everyone is (to an extent) subordinate to the Big Idea. I would expect that, having introduced the scenario of Transhumanism, the author will be able to bring more layered characterisation to any sequel.

The main character is more interesting and some might say it would be improbable that so much drive and intellect could be collected in one person. Maybe. However, this is a story about a dramatic (to say the least) revolution and such a coup could only be carried off by someone of superhuman abilities.

It is a compelling story, and predicts a step change in human evolution that many futurists say is closer than we imagine. Give it a try and you will find yourself developing opinions on issues you may never have considered before......
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