On Thursday January 12, 6 pm I’m leading a discussion of Charles Stross’ Accelerando at the Extra-Curricular Reading Group in Bristol’s Spike Island Galleries. Free copies in various formats can be obtained here
Accelerando is perhaps the purest distillation of future shock in modern English prose, a comic extrapolation of life during a 21st Century technological singularity. Stross’ text gleefully tackles posthumanism, prospects for machine intelligence, post-scarcity economics, the mutability of identity, the implications of “cyborg embodiment”, the future of “life”, and our relationship to (furred/non-furred) non-humans.
The novel’s conceptual range and density may also be challenging for readers less familiar with modern SF or philosophical posthumanism. So I’ve included links to some wikis and other resources for navigating Accelerando below. Happy reading.
‘The Singularity is Here’ by Steven Shaviro considers Accelerando and Marxist critique of the commodity form. Read it here.
Anyone wondering what a ‘timing channel attack on the computational ultrastructure of space-time’ involves (Acc, 14, 147, 213)? This is for you!
Discussion of Aieneko and kitten uploads.
Here’s Pete Mandik with his considered appreciation.
Some Key Philosophical Ideas
The Extended Mind (David Chalmers and Andy Clark’s classic paper arguing that some of our mental processes occur outside our bodies)
and Cyborgs (Donna Haraway’s cyber-feminist tract ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’)
David Roden, ‘Posthumanism and the Disconnection Thesis’ Disconnection_NEW7
(Forthcoming in The Singularity Hypothesis: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment, Amnon Eden, Johnny Søraker, Jim Moor, and Eric Steinhart (eds.), Springer Frontiers Collection.)
Anders Sandberg discusses the ethics of mind uploading (Sandberg talks about some of the hypothetical scenarios narrated in Accelerando in this video interview)
Mind Uploading and Functionalism in Philosophy of Mind
Click tags for related discussions on this blog.
‘Rights for Lobsters’ (Socialist Review)