Nexus is about the upcoming singularity.
When Google came out with the Nexus One smartphone, a lot of people out there referred it back to the movie Blade Runner and its humanoid robot Nexus-6 models. Since then, Google expanded its line of Nexus to include newer versions as well as tablets of varying sizes. In this day and age, people are glued to their smartphones (I know I am) – they have become an extension of ourselves.
Recently, Amazon suggested I read a book: Nexus, by Ramez Naam.
As with most of Amazon’s suggestions, I had no choice but to accept – they are that good in knowing what I like. The book deals with the upcoming singularity – what it means to upgrade humans with computing capabilities. The plot is around Nexus – a drug of sorts, which is essentially nanobots that connect with the brain and allow “near field communication” between people. A few scientists find a way to port an open source operating system to it and add some real uses to the system.
The science fiction parts of this book is rather close to reality and the trajectory our current technology is taking, but the interesting parts of this book deals with questions around oppression, digital divide, freedom and ethics.
To me, it connected well with a lot of challenges I see today:
- What happens to industries when they go open source?
- Is there any point in fighting for our privacy or is it already lost?
- Should or shouldn’t we delve into human cloning?
- How should we treat augmented humans?