To Be a Machine
A review of

To Be a Machine

Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death

Mark O'ConnellDoubleday • 2017

To Serve Humankind

by David Meyer

Slate columnist Mark O’Connell describes, debunks and contextualizes transhumanism – the mind-set that humans can merge with machines.

Slate book columnist Mark O’Connell discusses life extension, body modification, cyborgs and uploading the human mind into machines while arguing that science fiction is becoming increasingly less fantastic. O’Connell cites “transhumanism” as movements that reject limits on human minds, bodies and lives. What he finds is compelling, sometimes sad and often surprising.

O’Connell has fun with his discoveries and the language he uses to describe them. Appropriately, The New York Times Book Review – which named this an Editor’s Choice – said, “This gonzo-journalistic exploration of the Silicon Valley techno-utopians’ pursuit of escaping mortality is a breezy romp full of colorful characters.” Machine was a finalist for the Royal Society Investment Science Book Prize; shortlisted for the Baillie-Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction; and won the Wellcome Book Prize. NPR.org called it, “Wryly humorous, cogently insightful.”


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