It was an interesting and enriching contrast to have John Horgan as my guest at Singularity Podcast. Following Jason Silva‘s super impassioned and optimistic defense of the singularity, accompanied by Jason’s belief that humanity will eventually conquer death and accomplish immortality, it was intellectually stimulating to discuss the opposite point of view.
John is perhaps the best known critic of both Ray Kurzweil and the technological singularity, and in the spirit of Singularity Symposium, I invited him to present some of his views and criticisms here at Singularity Weblog.
As always, Socrates asks the questions, my guests such as John and Jason provide their answers, and then you make up your mind on your own. (That is not to say that I don’t have an opinion of my own for I clearly do. It is just that I don’t think you must put that much value in it really…)
Who is John Horgan?
John Horgan is a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, New Jersey. A former senior writer at Scientific American, he has also written for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications around the world. Currently John writes the Cross-check Blog for Scientific American, does video chats for Bloggingheads.tv and writes a column for BBC Knowledge.
Many of John’s publications have received international coverage, including front-page reviews and news articles. His first book The End Of Science: Facing The Limits Of Knowledge In The Twilight Of The Scientific Age was a bestseller translated into 13 languages. His follow up The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation was a finalist for the 2000 British Mind Book of the Year and has been translated into eight languages.