Unnatural Selection is the first book to examine the rise of the “technocentric being”—or geek—who personifies a distinct new phase in human evolution. People considered geeks often have behavioral or genetic traits that were previously considered detrimental. But the new environment of the Anthropocene period—the Age of Man—has created a kind of digital greenhouse that actually favors their traits, enabling many non-neurotypical people to bloom. They resonate with the technological Zeitgeist in a way that turns their weaknesses into strengths. Think of Mark Zuckerberg versus the towering, Olympics-bound Winklevoss twins in the movie Social Network.
Roeder suggests that the rise of the geek is not so much the product of Darwinian “natural selection” as of man-made—or unnatural—selection. He explains why geeks have become so phenomenally successful in such a short time and why the process will further accelerate, driven by breakthroughs in genetic engineering, neuropharmacology, and artificial intelligence. His book offers a fascinating synthesis of the latest trends in these fields and predicts a twenty-first century “cognitive arms race” in which new technology will enable everyone to become more intelligent and “geek-like.”
I think this is a theoretical fantasy: geeks could never overwhelm the population field of homo sapiens. And it appears to be the case that geeks can’t elude scientism of come up with a decent theory of evolution: the darwinian theory has been exposed, but not by geeks.