Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:

Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view

whats new at ieet

Stambler, de Grey @ Super Longevity Conference

Humanism and its prefixes (non-, trans-, post-, in-, a-)

IEET Audience Divided on Minimum Wage and Technological Unemployment

Visibility of IEET Jumps This Week

Virtual Reality and Reality Augmentation

A Techno-Optimist Movement: For an Evenly Distributed Future

ieet books

Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence
Calum Chace


etienne thillaye on 'Egalitarianism is not Radical' (Oct 3, 2015)

hankpellissier on 'Transhumanist Petition to Disavow Zoltan Istvan Candidacy for US Presidency' (Oct 3, 2015)

Rick Searle on 'How Nature Plays the Lottery' (Oct 3, 2015)

instamatic on 'Envy of the Future' (Oct 2, 2015)

AlonzoTG on 'Technology and Human Dignity' (Oct 2, 2015)

Giulio Prisco on 'The Marxist and Christian Roots of Transhumanism' (Oct 2, 2015)

Giulio Prisco on 'Why I still Support Charlie Hebdo' (Oct 2, 2015)

Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month

Seven Emerging Technologies That Will Change the World Forever
Sep 29, 2015
(101154) Hits
(4) Comments

The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world
Sep 25, 2015
(22428) Hits
(3) Comments

This Artificially Intelligent Boss Means the Workplace Will Never Be the Same
Sep 18, 2015
(16398) Hits
(1) Comments

Religion and Superintelligence
Sep 12, 2015
(8327) Hits
(0) Comments

IEET > Rights > Life > Access > Enablement > Innovation > Implants > Health > Vision > Futurism > Contributors > Katherine McCarthy > Fiction

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (3235) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg

Nexus by Ramez Naam, Reviewed by IEET’s Katherine McCarthy

Katherine McCarthy
By Katherine McCarthy
Ethical Technology

Posted: Dec 18, 2012

If it isn’t the cinematic handling of some very futuristic images or the curious immersion of cybernetic pondering into the narrative flow; Ramez Naam’s Nexus will impress a reader with one very unusual device: it is the unadulterated humanity with its entire heritage that is the most alien and unfamiliar of this world.

“Nexus” is the namesake and operator of this story, and refers to a new wave of medicines that will enable Homo sapiens to evolve one last time into a species capable of thinking, feeling, and telepathically communicating with each other much as computer terminals do so in a network.  

It goes even further that once linked, two or more people would even be able to control each other’s movements and decisions.  The philosophical implications of this technology are explored within the dichotomy of two characters: Samantha Cataranes and Kaden Lane.  The former, with a deeply tragic past, enables a view into the frighteningly dangerous possibilities while the latter advocates a bright and dynamic potential to improve the human condition.  It’s subtle how it develops, but the two find an odd sort of common ground in the vulnerability that is the devotion to make things better for those that they care for.

While this conflict is thoroughly considered, there is no commandment-esque moral that formulates Nexus, and that is one of the work’s strong points.  The reader is invited to move through the concept and reach his or her own conclusions as to whether this technology would have too high a risk for exploitation and slavery, or perhaps be a form of developmental completion and the ultimate cure for isolation and elitist tyranny.  It is appropriate and moving that the most developed ethical discussions in the book are informed carefully by an ancient tradition: Buddhism.

What deserves special note is how natural this new universe is illustrated.  As mentioned, the reader quickly forgets that there are parts of the world that do not as yet immerse themselves into the tides of communal thought, and it is the motivations and purpose of these beings that is often the most jarring, even disturbing.  

Whether it is the sex districts of Thailand, the internal construction of a bureaucracy, or simply the unexpected dialogue of an upset visitor, the drug “Nexus” is more than just a topical catalyst.  It is then possible to ask the question: what truly made us human in the first place?

You can order the book via Amazon by clicking Here


Katherine McCarthy has completed pre-nursing and office technology courses at Tunxis Community College . McCarthy examines the potential philosophical and social transformation implied in scientific progress through science fiction writing.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (3236) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Treat violence as public health issue

Previous entry: Clean Cook Stove App


RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-297-2376

West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @