Quoting: Caesar’s Last Breath

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This was a book by Sam Kean I read on my iPad in December 2017. Although now more than a year ago, I made quotes back then so it’s still possible for me to create the same kind of blog post I started recently with Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near.

Book Cover

To quote the introduction:

It’s invisible. It’s ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell.

In Caesar’s Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.

It’s too late now for my detailed opinions about the book, but I did like it a lot at the time and also gave it four stars out of five on Goodreads.

Quoting: The Singularity is Near

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I just completed reading Ray Kurzweil’s non-fiction book about AI and the future of humanity.

Book Cover

To quote Wikipedia:

Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies like computers, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. Once the Singularity has been reached, Kurzweil says that machine intelligence will be infinitely more powerful than all human intelligence combined. Afterwards he predicts intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe. The Singularity is also the point at which AI and humans would merge.

It was a great read and abound with fascinating predictions, but also felt aggressively so. Many paragraphs are spent contradicting critics and naysayers with various obvious proof and facts, some of which have barely begun being explored. There are many predictions that refer to technology yet to be conceived, yet Kurzweil manages to link to something that has already been achieved in the same area.

I won’t dispute the credibility of all these statements, but as an entertaining piece of reading material, that sometimes made for a strenuous read.

Another thing that had me regularly frowning with doubt was Kurweil’s repeatedly strong belief that the human brain will be reverse engineered, and soon. I would love this to happen as well, but I have a feeling it’s not going to be quite that easy. The human brain is extremely complex and have trillions of connections between its billions of cells.

And what about consciousness? We still don’t really know what that is about.

Nevertheless the book was still an intriguing read and full of quoteworthy stuff. I’ve thought about writing blog posts quoting what I found interesting in the books I read, and I have decided that Kurzweil’s book will finally be the one where I try this out. So, here goes.