Texas Medical Center neuroscientist and fiction writerDavid Eagleman
: "My new book has just been published today: WHY THE NET MATTERS. I've written it as an iPad app (the future of books?)"
(In the above video, Eagleman demonstrates how the app works.)
Eagleman's book SUM: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, which has been adapted into an opera by Brian Eno, is a stunning exploration of what Eagleman calls "possibilianism," a kind of religion embracing the universe's mysteries. SUM imagines 40 different scenarios for what happens after we die.
His new book also explores possibility, particularly the possibility that society could collapse at any moment--but Eagleman feels the catastrophe may have already been averted. In an excerpt posted at his website, he lists the reasons for previous great societies' (like the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans) downfalls: disease, natural disasters, poor information flow, political corruption, economic meltdown and resource depletion.
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Ours is different, though.
...We may be luckier than most of our predecessors, because we have developed a technology no one else possessed: a rapid, growing communication network that finds its highest expression in the Internet. I will present the case in this book that this technology obviates many of the threats faced by our ancestors--and that our largest threats may already be counterbalanced by our most popular technology. The advent of the internet represents a watershed moment in history that just might rescue our future.
As bloggers, we totally feel something like heroes now. "Flash! Ahh-ahh!"