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Transcendent Man

Ray Kurzweil , Stevie Wonder , Robert Barry Ptolemy    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.95
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Product Description

Product Description

Transcendent Man explores the theories of inventor, futurist, and best-selling author Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near), who predicts that in the not-so-distant future, the science fiction behind The Terminator, Blade Runner, Total Recall, The Matrix, and I Robot will become science fact. The film follows Kurzweil as he journeys the world sharing his mind-bending vision of a future in which we merge with our computers, can live forever, and are a billion times more intelligent—all within the next twenty years!

Review

"'Transcendent Man' affords us a telescopic view of a world just over the horizon that we can't afford to ignore." -- The Global Post

"An evocative film that brings to light Kurzweil's amazing vision of the future." -- Business Wire

"Fascinating...well-made, insightful..." -- Andrew Barker, Variety

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must watch Jan. 11 2012
By Scar
Format:DVD
This documentary will change the way you look at the progression of change and open up a whole new set of possibilities to think about for our future. I have met Ray Kurzweil as he was a keynote speaker at a conference I helped organize and he is the real deal, a modern day genius of our times. This documentary has become a learning tool in our local school system as it delivers such a powerful and positive message.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SINGULARITY EXPLAINED Dec 26 2013
Format:DVD
I knew of Raymond Kurzweil but this documentary shed some insight to his contributions to mankind and on his glimpses of the future. He is an interesting character and explains to us the meaning of singularity in this release. Anybody into the history of science, evolution or technology should enjoy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Starwars? Dec 1 2013
Format:DVD
Must watch! Almost everything I know about technology came from this DVD.
Thanks for the insight Ray! Wow
Truly astonishing. People think I'm going insane or psychotic when I tell them what I'm guaranteed will happen in the near future lol
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2.0 out of 5 stars One big sound bite Aug. 3 2011
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This presentation was just a lot of half formed, repetitive sound bites. The information is dated, the concept is dated, and frankly we have seen it all before in the movies. There was nothing concrete or usable. When it really got boring they would throw in a celebrity or two as Colin Powell or William Shatner to spice it up a tad. I know this presentation is really an attempted biography but still falls short of its purpose.

Basically it went from the possibility of improving man then machine then eventually building the ultimate man/machine as in the film "Over Sexed Rugsuckers from Mars" (1989).

I did like looking at the old-time computers and bygone personalities.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  188 reviews
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Biology Merges With Robotics--Contemplating The Future Of Man's Evolution May 27 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
As an inventor, businessman, and theorist--there is no denying the brilliant accomplishments or the noteworthy eccentricities of the estimable Ray Kurzweil. Alternately hailed as a prophetic genius and/or a raving madman, there is a probably a touch of truth in either position in how Kurzweil and his Singularity Doctrine view the future. "Transcendent Man," an intriguing and lively new documentary, serves as both a biographical sketch and a contemplation of man's progression through time. Kurzweil's position is that the current evolutionary cycle predominantly incorporates technology and that future incarnations of man will be human/robotic hybrids of some variation. He makes a compelling case, and has been quite astute in past predictions, about these changes--and, in fact, science has been working in that direction for quite some time with nanotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

The documentary begins with a fascinating introduction to its subject and his many revolutionary contributions. It's hard not to be caught up in the man's brilliance, impressed by his creations, and intrigued by his vision for man's evolution. As a biography, "Transcendent Man" works tremendously well. But as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Kurzweil is abundantly obsessed with two concepts--achieving immortality through science and reviving his long dead father by computer programming and artificial intelligence. The second half of the picture evolves into science fiction. There is something both disturbing and touching seeing him contemplate rebuilding his father through old journal entries and documentation.

The final argument of the film is about the nature of man's future. Many other scientists participate in the discussion of the social and philosophical implications of Kurzweil's suppositions. While everyone agrees that technology has a large role to play, there are questions about the timeframe and the depth of that involvement. And while Kurzweil sees only the positive aspects of this hybrid society and allowing technology to take over--many others posit that there are just as many risks. The film really becomes a theoretical debate, which while interesting, seems disconnected from the start of the documentary. A definite and easy recommendation for the subject alone--the film didn't always seem to have narrative cohesion. But regardless of film structure, there is much to digest from the man and the movie. KGHarris, 5/11.
45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good representation of Kurzweil's ideas. July 14 2011
By Christopher Kent - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've seen Ray Kurzweil speak at a conference, and it was a life-changing experience for me. His insights about the future, based on what he's learned about the speed of change, are remarkable. But the DVD doesn't capture that well at all. Instead of making his points, providing evidence and refuting key objections that people have raised over the years--which is what he did at the presentation--this video focuses on a few soundbites about his ideas, doesn't illustrate them, and doesn't show you the objections that commonly get raised and his answers to those objections. Instead, it spends a lot of time on irrelevant side trips, such as showing him talking about his father and how he'd love to "recreate" his father via computer technology; and it shows people giving their opinions about his ideas without giving him a chance to respond. Despite the awards this video has apparently won, it is a LOUSY representation of Kurzweil's ideas and his defense of them. Don't waste your time and money. Instead, try to see him talk live. (His book about the singularity isn't totally satisfying either--it's complex material even for a well-educated fan--but it's far superior to this video.)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting then insane. Feb. 17 2013
By Patrick Aderhold - Published on Amazon.com
It starts off with some very limited and justifiable extrapolations based on good data, but devolves near the end of the video. The claims change from the plausible (supercomputers smarter than humans, blood-cell sized robots to monitor health) to the philosophical (digital reincarnations and apocalyptic wars over AI doodads) and jumps the shark in the end with a couple wacky christiany claims about armageddon for no apparent reason and as we fade to black we hear Ray talking about transforming all the matter in the universe with intelligence-laden nanobots.

Forty minutes of interesting material.
Twenty minutes of head-shaking, controversial-for-controversy's sake speculation.
Ten minutes of "WTF!?"
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future without me Oct. 17 2012
By Grace Battjes - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
When you pass your 80th birthday you realize that you will not be around for a lot of what technology will provide. It doesn't matter if you think it good or bad.... there are those whose visions are beyond ours. This video is an exciting adventure into other peoples' minds and creativity. Science fiction? I don't think so. The brain is a wondrous gift and this a chance to see it in action.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hope it happens! March 21 2011
By Minhaj Arifin - Published on Amazon.com
Sure there is the technical stuff and the robots and the idea of singularity, but more than that what struck me was the soft spoken Ray Kurzweil gently saying, 'No' to death. He intends to invent his way out of it. The documentary explains how all this might happen and I am not even going to pretend that I am being balanced here. I love this guy! It was a pleasure to see him speak at the Screening. I was sitting in the balcony and the normalness of this man astounded me. Someone who invented the flat bed scanner, helped the blind to read, made a robot create music, went to M.I.T, is really not an introverted geek. I was expecting a large headed man in a white labcoat. Instead there he was standing in a checkered jacket, telling us that how the computer that once occupied the whole room now sits in our pockets. How far are we from this pocket sized machine going into our blood cells? Just as we dont feel the earth moving around the sun at thousands of mile per hour, we are also perhaps unaware of how quickly things are changing. Ray also spoke about a pill that may allow us to eat all we want without gaining weight. These things are in play. And then he sat down to watch the Transcendent Man. It was weird watching the film and also being able to see Ray sitting in the same room. In one scene he wore the same jacket that he was wearing that evening. Anyway I will end this most balanced review now. Just watch it!

Minhaj Arifin
Author of
How Desis Became The Greatest Nation On Earth
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