“Transcendence”: three thoughts on the film



Freshly back from having seen Transcendence. A tiny spoiler alert, but  I will not divulge the plot, only describe some thoughts fresh on my mind.

1. Transhumanism has been around the universities and various centers for more than two decades now. Although the film mentions “singularity” which the protagonist re-names “transcendence”, there does not seem to have been any attempt by the director/screenwriters/producers to involve anyone even remotely connected to transhumanism. The film would have benefited greatly from some type of collaboration with people like Nick Bostrom or Ray Kurzweil.

2. If the transcendent mind’s knowledge was vastly more powerful than any human ever alive, it would have foreseen a virus.

3. Anyone even a bit interested in science fiction would have read about most of the nano bits.

Conclusion? The film is OK when demonstrating dichotomies (technophiles vs technophobes; virtual vs bodily love; god-like vs human concerns) and it is good entertainment, but it does not really go beyond the mere mundane human problems which we have now. It tries to give some hope for a possible change, but the successful disentanglement of problems seems to rely on the total destruction of technology – and that is certainly not transcendence.


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