The Future of NASA
Michael Griffin is gearin...
More Features
Looking to apply for a Discover Credit Card? Members/Subscribers Log In      
My Problem with Big Pharma
Has Newsweek Sold Out to Big Pharma?
Dark Side of Green, Continued
The Dark Side of Green
The Green Bandwagon
Green Book Award: Nominations Wanted
Wilson Wins “Green Book Award”
The End of Total War?
Does the Desire for Peace Cause War?
[ Full Blog Archives ]
[ Who is John Horgan? ]
[ What is Horganism? ]
Mind & Brain
Ancient Life
All Newsletters
Discover Magazine  Blog  Archives

« The Singular Ray Kurzweil | Main | Collins Whups Dawkins in TIME Debate! »

Kurzweil and the Axis of Horganism

Ray Kurzweil, not Phil Anderson, should be my polar opposite on the Axis of Horganism. Kurzweil’s kooky, cartoonish vision of the future epitomizes the sort of hype that drove me to write The End of Science as a corrective. Kurzweil is the chief guru and proselytizer of the pseudo-scientific cult that I call cyber-evangelism. As I point out in my hatchet-job, I mean essay, “Brain Chips and Other Dreams of the Cyber-Evangelists,” “cyber-evangelism is best understood as an escapist, quasi-religious fantasy, which reflects an oddly dated, Jetsons-esque faith in scientific progress and its potential to cure all that ails us.” Like string and multiverse theories, cyber-evangelism lends support to postmodernists and religious fundamentalists who claim that science is just another belief system.

See how deftly I tie these threads together into an all-encompassing multi-level cosmic perspective? Horganism, not cyber-evangelism, is The Way to Truth and Salvation! (And I will impart my wisdom in person to corporations or deep-pocket government agencies for whatever Ray Kurzweil charges per hour, minus 25 percent, because, to be honest, his PowerPoint slides are cooler than mine.)



I remember seeing your lecture at Caltech for 'Rational Mysticism.' Not one friggin slide... Try minus 50%.

Mike Cook

I caught Frank Tipler a few years ago. How does he rank on the Horganism scale?

Andrei Kirilyuk

But if Horganism is a WAY (which can only be welcome), then it should be OPEN in its advancing, “anti-Kurzweil" direction and ensure progress to super-Horganism revealing a better kind of truth and level of understanding, together with its new (but qualitatively more “advanced”) problems and contradictions (see also my another comment at ).

nigel cook

John, making cool power slides is easy. Just smoke pot while you're assembling your presentation, and you'll be surprised to find you end up with exactly the sort of stuff Ray Kurzweil has developed!

John Horgan

Yes, I misspoke above. I said Kurzweil's slides are cooler than mine, when in fact I've never used slides at all. It's been on my to-do list for about 10 years. How can I compete with the likes of Kurzweil when I am such a primitive meme-propagator? style, not substance, is obviously the key to success.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wishful Seeing
Shiny Happy People
20 Things You Didn't Know About... Sleep
Can New Neurons Teach an Old Mouse?
The Woman Who Never Forgets
Why We Get Diseases Other Primates Don't
Vital Signs: Trouble in the Nursery
Natural Selections: The Potential Pandemic You've Never Heard Of
20 Things You Didn't Know About... Death
Natural Selections: The Potential Pandemic You've Never Heard Of
Recently Covered in Discover: The Man Who Finds Planets
Sky Lights: The Dark Side of the Universe
20 Things You Didn't Know About... Meteors
Sky Lights: The Dark Side of the Universe
Islam Hits International Space Station
Neighborhood Watch Goes High Tech
Going Atomic... Again
Jaron's World: The Murder of Mystery
How to Make Anything Look Like a Toy, Round II
Raw Data: The Rigorous Study of the Ancient Mariners
Will We Ever Clone a Caveman?
This Month's Ask Discover
How Life Got a Leg Up
Mammals Stake Their Place in Jurassic Park
You Say "Ook Ook," I Say "Aak Aak"
Guilt-Free Gossip for Greens
A Greener Faith
Whatever Happened To... the Exxon Valdez?
Life After Oil
The Next Katrina
  Full access to all site content requires registration as a magazine subscriber.
© 2005 Discover Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights | Terms and Conditions | Educator's Guide | Subscribe Online Today | Online Media Kit
Customer Care | Contact Us