The other book that I recently devoured was Nexus, by Ramez Naam. This novel turned into an interesting discussion about public right to scientific information, and so was an interesting follow-up to Pirate Cinema. Naam is an eminent neurological and technological researcher, prominent in the development of hardware and software connecting computers with the human brain. He knows what he’s talking about.
Form Naam’s web site:
Who decides what you can put in your brain? Who draws the line between human and non-human? How do we choose between liberty and security?
This is a scifi novel that relies on hard science, meaning that there is a fair bit of technical jargon and theory involved in the story. However, I was pleased to discover that there was, indeed, a great story supporting it all, complete with chase scenes, political intrigue and some interesting takes on the future of sex. The drug, Nexus, is based on a nano-technology that allows intimate communication between the brains which have been dosed with it, and between brains and hardware. Naam includes a Postscript, supplying details about scientific discoveries currently being made which will likely lead to such tech advances. It’s another example of how rapid change in technology is evolving faster than our laws and values are able to adjust.
Of course in the novel, the government is opposed to all of this, claiming that it threatens the sanctity of what is considered “human”. Hence an exciting ride that goes from colleges in America, to the illegal back streets of Thailand. Naas doesn’t illuminate the government with much kindness.
I would give this book an A-.