Transcendent Man

The 2009 documentary Transcendent Man features Ray Kurzweil, an inventor who predicts the world will soon be consumed by technology. So much in fact that humans will used various computers to become more of a human/computer hybrid in order to have immortal life and solve all the problems plaguing our earth.

The first thing I want to say about the film is that it’s thought provoking. The goal of the film I feel is to create discussion and for me it definitely does that. Whether Ray is correct in his thinking or if he’s ignoring some pretty big problems, really is irrelevant. Thinking about the future of humankind is a subject that doesn’t get brought up much, at least in the circles I associate with, and instead of worrying about our day to day lives, maybe we should begin to discuss how we could shape our futures.

The most important thing to note about Ray is that he’s not a crazy person and some of the things he says does make a whole lot of sense. The first half of the film really had me going as Ray discusses how technology builds on each other and how 50 years ago a computer cost millions, did little and was the size of a room, and today it’s so inexpensive, small and powerful. What’s the technology in 50 years from now going to look like? Ray doesn’t just focus on computers though, he talks about rebuilding the human genetic code and DNA to keep bodies young and select traits to keep or discard. This is where he begins to lose me a bit. He gets a little Star Trek at times with the potential results and while that’s fine and interesting to discuss for fun, it’s not something I see as worth discussing in a serious manner. All in all the film was a fun look at a man who has accomplished much in his life and his desperate attempt to bring back his father and live forever.

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