Here be Monsters

Is Technology Reducing Our Humanity?

Monash University Publishing
Richard King
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Technology is developing fast — so fast that it threatens to overwhelm the very species whose genius lies in its technological cunning: us. From the metaverse to genetic engineering and mood-altering pharmaceuticals, to cybersex and cyberwar and the widespread automation of work, new technologies are rewriting the terms of our existence, not in a neutral spirit of ‘progress’ but in line with the priorities of power and profit, and in ways that often work against the grain of our fundamental being.

In this timely, provocative book, Richard King argues that we need to evolve a more critical attitude to new technologies if we are to avoid a world in which humans are no different in kind from algorithmic machines. The stakes could not be higher. As science, technology and capitalism fuse into a single system, and activists and entrepreneurs talk of a ‘post-human’ future in which individuals will transform themselves using powerful computers and biotechnologies, we are entering unchartered territory — a territory marked with the mapmaker’s warning, Here Be Dragons...Here Be Monsters.

Contributor Bio

Richard King is an English author, critic and poet based in Fremantle, Western Australia. He studied at Salford University and the University of Sussex, gaining an MA in Literary History and Cultural Discourse, before moving to London to work in publishing. He is the author of On Offence: The Politics of Indignation (Scribe, 2013), published in Australia, the UK and the US. Richard’s work appears widely, including in Best Australian Poems, Best Australian Science Writing, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly and The London Magazine. The late Clive James said of him, ‘King…make[s] news out of culture, and without trivialising the second thing in favour of the first.’

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