More on ‘Better Humans?’

There’s been more coverage and debate about our Better Humans? book this week.

In the Guardian, Dylan Evans called for the creation of new equivalents to the ‘savage reservations’ in ‘Brave New World’, where ‘freed from the oppressive technologies that regulate life in the World State, the inhabitants develop individuality, independent thinking and initiative.’

In the FT (registration required), Richard Tomkins speculated on the drawbacks of eternal life.

I also noticed that the book has been reviewed on — we get 3 out of 5. Not bad I suppose, but that is from a sample of one reviewer.

But the most interesting coverage for me was Radio 4’s Moral Maze because of the depth it got into about the issues. Interviewees included John Harris who will be giving a series of lectures at the Oxford Forum on human enhancement in a couple of weeks time and the Cyborg himself — Kevin Warwick.

Kevin was less gung ho than I’ve heard him being before, warning against military involvement in cybernetics and enhancement. His prediction for the invention of mind to mind communication though was : “within a decade”.

Melanie Philips took a conservative view of genetic selection, likening it to eugenics — an argument made in the collection by Rachel Hurst. She questioned John Harris pretty aggressively on the issue. Steven Rose agreed with Melanie (unusually) but Claire Fox couldn’t handle it describing the idea that deaf parents might prefer to have deaf children as abhorrent.

I’m beginning to look forward to the conference in Oxford. Things are warming up nicely.

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