Summa Technologiae

Stanislaw Lem discussed (by David Auerbach) in the LARB:

[Lem’s] subjects, among others, include:

Virtual reality
Artificial intelligence
Nanotechnology and biotechnology
Evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology
Artificial life
Information theory
Entropy and thermodynamics
Complexity theory, probability, and chaos
Population and ecological catastrophe
The “singularity” and “transhumanism”

Lem was one of the very few thinkers at the time to examine these burgeoning subjects in the context of both the humanities and the social sciences. Yet despite the far-ranging explorations, Lem tempers his speculations with a de-romanticized and often grim view of humanity. Indeed, part of Lem’s genius was his keen awareness that the possibilities of science and the possibilities of humanity do no more than scarcely overlap, and so our investigations must be conducted with our limited vantage point in mind.

(Craig Hickman has been on Lem with some consistency — plug ‘Lem’ into his search widget and a torrent flows out.)

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