Over the years I have posted about the transhumanist movement several times. (Try here and here.) Transhumanists hope for the day in wich the "singularity" of human and technological will merge and we--or at least (some of) our consciousnesses--will be uploaded to the great cloud in the sky to "live" forever.
Few things embody the religion of Silicon Valley better than the idea of The Singularity. In 2045, according to futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil, the exponential increase in technological innovation will reach a point where humans transcend biology and merge with technology, becoming functionally immortal as spiritual machines, no longer dependent on our embodied condition. In short, technology will provide the answer to the fundamental human anxiety, mortality, and will lead us towards the most basic aspiration of traditional metaphysics and religion, union with divinity. When describing the Singularity ... Lanier says: “these are ideas with tremendous currency in Silicon Valley; these are guiding principles, not just amusements, for many of the most influential technologists … All thoughts about consciousness, souls, and the like are bound up equally in faith, which suggests something remarkable: What we are seeing is a new religion, expressed through an engineering culture.Hardly a utopian vision if you ask me but nonetheless one that keeps its thousands in thrall to a technological version of the beatific vision.
What Lanier's book add to an insider's dissing of the transhumanist vision is a prescription for a future with the benefits of technology for everyone, not merely the computational elite. I've not read the book but check out Loncar's review and see for yourself if it doesn't look worthwhile.