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Ramez Naam on Singularity 1 on 1: We Are The Ones Who Create The Future

This is the second time that I interview Ramez Naam for my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast.

Last time we talked about Naam’s interesting background, professional experience and award-winning book More Than Human

During our second conversation with Ramez we talk mainly about his novel Nexus: Mankind Gets an Upgrade.

We also cover a variety of related topics such as: the difference between fiction and non-fiction; the major issues Mez wanted to bring attention to; the potential for global Giga War between Terrans and Cosmists;  why fear is the path to Big Brother totalitarianism; prisoner’s dilemma and the militarization of science; weak brain-to-brain communication, Buddhism, empathy and neuruoscience; the technological singularity and exponential growth…

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above, or scroll down and watch the video interview in full.

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What others have said about Nexus: Mankind Gets An Upgrade 

  • Wired says “Good. Scary good… stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.”  read the whole thing 
  • Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing says “Nexus is a superbly plotted high tension technothriller… full of delicious moral ambiguity… a hell of a read.”  read the whole thing 
  • Ars Technica says “Nexus is a lightning bolt of a novel… with a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction.” read the whole thing 
  • Booklist says “Starred Review. Naam turns in a stellar performance with his debut SF novel… Here is the remarkable scope of the story and its narrative power.”
  • Publisher’s Weekly says “Mesmerizing”.
  • Alastair Reynolds says “a gripping piece of near future speculation”.

Who is Ramez Naam?

Ramez Naam is a professional technologist, and was involved in the development of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook. He was the CEO of Apex Nanotechnologies, a company involved in developing nanotechnology research software, before returning to Microsoft.

Naam holds a seat on the advisory board of the Institute for Accelerating Change, is a member of the World Future Society, a Senior Associate of the Foresight Institute, and a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

Ramez is the author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (for which he was awarded the 2005 H.G. Wells Award for Contributions to Transhumanism) and The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet. Most recently Naam published his first novel – Nexus, which will be followed by Crux.


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  • Nikola, your interview with Ramez Naam was up to your usual excellent standards. I didn’t know about this guy! I’m very impressed with him. I can’t wait to purchase and read his book “Nexus.” I’ll also be watching your 1st interview with him very soon

  • Thanks friend, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I can
    promise that you will not be disappointed by any of Ramez’s books. I
    really enjoyed More Than Human. Nexus, however, was a total addiction
    once you pass page 100 or so…

  • Another great discussion. Can’t wait to read Nexus!

  • CM Stewart

    Another great interview! Thank you, Mr. Naam and Nikola, for addressing my questions.

    The television portrayal of blacks and gays in the USA causing greater cultural tolerance makes sense. Television is worshiped in the USA. In turn, I wonder about the popularity of the faux reality shows, and the self-aggrandizement they seem to promote.

    “Do you choose to tap into the effective states of starving children in Africa? Do you choose to tap into the effective states of angry protesters in a Muslim country, or do you ignore them?” Quite a sobering contemplation. Personally, I would be very reluctant to to tap into either of those states. My concern is the cortisol-related changes in the brain. Even more concerning would be the potential re-wiring – the brain is, by definition, highly suggestible.

  • Camaxtli

    Purchased and read. I’m in one hundred percent agreement with your opinion on this novel, Nikola. It was excellent in terms of suspense, characterization, pacing, imagery and of course the technological and philosophical ideas expressed through it. So much hard sci-fi does a clunky job with the story part while trying to express the big idea. Ramez Naam handled this flawlessly. If he can do this with a first novel, I am very eager to read his next work.

  • Very happy you enjoyed it as much as I did friend. I myself can’t wait for the next one…

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