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The tale of two books

I have found a remarkable duality between two outstanding recent books: Zeroglyph by Vance Pravat and The Transfer by Vera Tinyc.

On one hand, they are both serious hard-sci-fi books discussing the same topic: how to propel humanity up the next technological step while avoiding the Frankenstein-type AI disaster. On the other hand, the solutions they suggest are completely different.

I certainly have my preference, but believe that any person interested in humanity’s future should read both books and make their own conclusions. I look forward to reading and discussing their opinions on this forum.


Thanks for suggesting these books. In what order did you read them? Is there an order that you would suggest others?

Can you describe your thinking on the topic before you’ve read those books?

Reading and discussing these books will certainly require some time to interested readers. I hope you can wait a couple of months until people have actually read those, or do you prefer a discussion on the topic in question earlier?

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Thanks for the prompt response! Answering your questions:

  1. I read the book by V. Tinyc first - just because I was not aware of V. Pravat’s book at that time.

  2. I am not sure which book is better to start with. Pravat’s book is much longer; it has a lot of philosophy and even an extensive list of relevant philosophical literature in the end. On the other hand, the book by Tinyc is really short, and the philosophy in it is much simpler, but it has a layer of hardware technology description. Both require quite an effort from a typical sci-fi reader; both award them in the end.

  3. I was interested in AI and stuff from my high school years, and my reading list is quite long, but these two books have ideas I had not run into before - hence my post.

  4. I agree that a typical busy member of your community will hardly read these difficult books very soon, but their websites (and in the case of Pravat’s book, the best reader reviews on Amazon) are very informative, so it should be easy for everybody to make a purchasing/reading decision (and maybe start a preliminary discussion on your platform) pretty fast.


I have just learned that the book by V. Tinyc is on Amazon’s free promotion until May 29.

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I have just finished reading one more outstanding book on this topic, Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, and do not know what shocked me more – the tragic story itself or the shallowness of its (numerous) reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. By “tragic” I mean mostly the fate of the robot herself. Her intellect, including the richness of emotions, is higher than those of people around her, including her owners. Still, they treat her as a slave, and nobody around (including most reviewers) notice that and/or show any compassion or even sympathy.

For me personally, this book vividly shows one more danger of purely artificial intelligence, complementary to that emphasized by Vance Pravat and confirms my belief that the only safe path to transhumanity is the human mind’s transfer – for example as described by Vera Tinyc. (For links, see the original post.)

I would be interested to learn whether my feelings are shared by others on this forum.

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