Category Archives: News
Adam Gopnik reviews The Most Human Human in this week’s issue of The New Yorker:
Dense with ideas . . . Brian Christian’s terrific The Most Human Human [is] one of the rare successful literary offspring of Gödel, Escher, Bach, where art and science meet an engaged mind and the friction produces real fire.
Read more here.
David Leavitt of the New York Times reviews The Most Human Human in today’s Sunday Book Review:
“The Most Human Human” [is] an irreverent picaresque that follows its hero from the recondite arena of the “Nicomachean Ethics” to the even more recondite arena of legal deposition to perhaps the most recondite arena of all, that of speed dating — and on beyond zebra. What Christian learns along the way is that if machines win the imitation game as often as they do, it’s not because they’re getting better at acting human; it’s because we’re getting worse.
Christian is at his best when he is at his most hortatory. “Cobbled-together bits of human interaction do not a human relationship make,” he inveighs early on. “Not 50 one-night stands, not 50 speed dates, not 50 transfers through the bureaucratic pachinko. No more than sapling tied to sapling, oak though they may be, makes an oak. Fragmentary humanity isn’t humanity.” And later: “For everyone out there fighting to write idiosyncratic, high-entropy, unpredictable, unruly text, swimming upstream of spell-check and predictive auto-completion: Don’t let them banalize you.”
As “The Most Human Human” demonstrates, Christian has taken his own words to heart. An authentic son of Frost, he learns by going where he has to go, and in doing so proves that both he and his book deserve their title.
Eric Chinski is a great reader and a great mind, and it was a pleasure to talk to him about some of the questions and ideas raised in The Most Human Human. You can read our interview online at the Paris Review here:
Back in the 1940s, the early IT pioneer Claude Shannon fell in love with a computer called Betty, and no one raised an eyebrow. At the time, “computer” was simply the term for a person who performed routine calculations for technical or scientific purposes. Seventy years later, digital processors do all that work and more, and the only “human computers” are mathematical whizzes who can occasionally match the digital processors’ feats. “We imitate our old imitators,” writes Brian Christian in his absorbing “The Most Human Human.”
Read the full review online here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704504404576184613808395934.html
I’ll be discussing The Most Human Human with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show this coming Tuesday, March 8. Tune in!
11pm EST / 11pm PST on Comedy Central.
Exciting news: The Most Human Human is now officially launched nationwide! Available online and from your local bookstore—in hardcover, e-book, and audio (read by yours truly). Grab yours today, and tell a friend!