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Autonomous

Autonomous

Autonomous
by Annalee Newitz

Break open a bottle of Club-Mate and settle in for a world where Big Pharma controls our lives and indentured services are the norm. Autonomous shows us how important open access to science really is. It describes a world where we lose our freedoms when the patent system is used to claim property over life saving therapies and drugs, allowing only the rich to prosper and survive.

The book touches on gender and sexual identity and explores what love may be like in this not-too-distant future. In addition, it exemplifies what it means to have privacy and how truly important that is. The tech is inspiring and the molecular engineering even more so …

A dull green glow emerged in streaks on the walls as bacterial colonies awoke to illuminate her way. Jack came to a stop beneath a coil of ceiling ducts. A command line window materialized helpfully at eye level, its photons organized into the shape of a screen by thousands of projectors circulating in the air. With a swipe, she pulled up the navigation system …

Here is a great review by NPR.

The Cybernetic Brain

The Cybernetic Brain

The Cybernetic Brain
by Andrew Pickering

A two-part discussion of the book by General Intellect Unit.

The Cybernetic Brain, Part 1: Ontological Theatre
The Cybernetic Brain, Part 2: Stafford Beer

They also have an interview with the author.

The Cybernetic Brain explores a largely forgotten group of British thinkers, including Grey Walter, Ross Ashby, Gregory Bateson, R. D. Laing, Stafford Beer, and Gordon Pask, and their singular work in a dazzling array of fields.

What underpins this fascinating history, Pickering contends, is a shared but unconventional vision of the world as ultimately unknowable, a place where genuine novelty is always emerging. And thus, Pickering avers, the history of cybernetics provides us with an imaginative model of open-ended experimentation in stark opposition to the modern urge to achieve domination over nature and each other.