Scifi author, scientist, and entrepreneur Hannu Rajaniemi discusses the real life late Victorian attempts to map the afterlife which inspired “Summerland”, his latest novel.
Rajaniemi introduces us to scientists, inventors, misfits, revolutionaries, plus a tour of obscure ideas and bizarre inventions: spirit-powered sewing machines, aetheric knots, the four-dimensional geometry of Lenin’s tomb… What do these actual Victorian obsessions tell us about today’s fascination with intelligent machines and immortality?
Hannu Rajaniemi was born in Finland, obtained his PhD in string theory at the University of Edinburgh and now works as a co-founder and CTO of HelixNano, a synthetic biology startup based in the Bay Area. He is the author of four novels including The “Quantum Thief” trilogy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Quantum_Thief and “Summerland”.
“The Spirit Singularity: Science and the Afterlife at the Turn of the 20th Century” was given on July 10, 02018 as part of The Long Now Foundation’s “Conversations at The Interval” Salon Talks. These hour long talks are recorded live at The Interval, our bar, cafe, & museum in San Francisco. Since 02014 this series has presented artists, authors, entrepreneurs, scientists (and more) taking a long-term perspective on subjects like art, design, history, nature, technology, and time. To follow the talks, you can:
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