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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Feb 2: Transcendent Man


Feb 2: Transcendent Man

"Ray Kurzweil is on a journey to bring his ideas to the world"

   Transcendent Man is a film about Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and scientist who believes that in 2045, we, as humans, will no longer have the capacity to evolve with the technology around us so we will have to incorporate technology inside our bodies to keep up. This would mean having nano-bytes running through our blood streams constantly repairing, constantly evolving to fight disease, and even moving through our neuro-systems enhancing intelligence and bodily functions (athletics, endurance, etc.). In a sense, it would mean that humans would become half "machine" and even have the ability to download new information. Imagine having our bodies tapped into a Wi-Fi signal and the implications of our human functions being broadcast online. I can see it now, 2045's movie of the year, Body Hackers

Stealing our memories and making us pee our pants... terrifying. 

   Transcendent Man, in a way, is almost a biography of Ray Kurzweil as well. Although his genius is obvious and he is a revolutionary in the technological world, the man behind the brain is borderline insane. The documentary does what a lot of docs don't; it does a pretty good job of showing both sides of the "argument". Interviews with many other leading scientists in the fields of robotics, genetics, and biology all argue that although Kurzweil has great ideas (some will happen), his timing for the event called the Singularity is far off. Kurzweil's biggest motivation behind what he does is the loss of his father and he desperately wants to be alive for the changeover in hopes of creating an almost zombie clone-robot of his late father. 

"Let's play catch, son."

   Now, I will admit that a lot of the ideas that the Transcendent Man presents are interesting and mindblowingly cool; but, the thoughts of it all actually happening are, in a way, terrifying. The idea that we, as humans, can evolve into machines that can know everything and do anything is almost depressing. Imagine a future where everyone can do what you can or know what you know. The idea of being unique and original will completely fade away into our histories and we will all become one sentient universal machine. I don't know about you, but I like the fact that I am different from other people. I like having the ability to tell a fact or a story to someone at a party and have them be entertained or surprised. I like the fact that I am one of a kind in a world with over seven billion people. Hell, I am even glad that I can't do certain things (paint, sing, compose music), because it is in that lack of ability that I have learned to appreciate what others can do. 

The Good:
insane, brilliant, wild, terrifying ideas that may or may not prove true
The Bad:
as a documentary, and a film, the editing is rather poor (interviews are chopped apart and put together) and the pacing is off
The Ugly:
a future where I not only live forever, but am 55% human and 45% Google

Overall: 6.5/10

Best Quote:
N/A.. but you can read Kurzweil's book, "The Singularity is Near" for a whole lot of interesting

Recommended Related Awesome:
I, Robot
Terminator 1 & 2 only
A Scanner Darkly
Minority Report
Waking Life

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