Zoltan Istvanís new novel The Transhumanist Wager has been compared to Ayn Randís Atlas Shrugged. (See, for instance, Giulio Priscoís review.) But to what extent are the books alike, and in what respects? To be sure, the story and the writing style are gripping, the characters are vivid, and the universe created by Istvan gave me an experience high... (See the whole review)
Thank you, Mr. Hibbert. I am hoping to contribute some more articles from time to time. In the past few years, I have been very heavily engaged in actuarial studies and work, as well as maintaining The Rational Argumentator and other related projects. But I am gradually getting to the stage where I can devote more of my time and energy to philosophy again. I think this is particularly important in light of the directions (both positive and negative) that the world has taken during the past several years.
Moreover, the didactic purpose of the novel, its interplay of clearly identified good and evil forces, and its culmination in an extensive speech where the protagonist elaborates on his philosophical principles (as well as its punctuation by multiple smaller speeches throughout) provide clear parallels to Atlas Shrugged.
Does Jethro offer the world a windy 60 page manifesto speech as did John Galt in Atlas Shrugged?
The speech toward the end of the book (before Jethroís Transhumania takes over the world) is lengthy for a novel, but certainly not 60 pages. Perhaps it is a fifth of that size, but this is understandable given that Jethroís speech, unlike Galtís speech, focuses on ethics and politics (and the implications of technology for each) only, not much on metaphysics and epistemology. Still, I definitely see the influence of Ayn Rand in the fact that such a speech is in the novel and the fact that it lays out the protagonist's philosophy in detail prior to the climax of the novel.
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