Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age<br> By Bill McKibben. | Henry Holt. $25.

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Asked to name “the most technologically sophisticated people on this continent,” few would short-list the Amish. But Mother Jones contributing writer Bill McKibben praises these considered Americans in Enough, his rumination on science and selfhood. McKibben doesn’t want his readers to drive buggies, but he does want to slow the “all-out race to technologize” that has gripped the Western world. He admires the Amish for eschewing technologies that threaten their community’s cohesion, while embracing others (say, mechanical manure spreaders) that prove useful tools.

The Amish show that “technological discrimination” is still “within the realm of human possibility.” And Enough argues that we need such powers of discernment, now more than ever, as we face innovations — cloning, genetic engineering — that challenge our very understanding of humanity.

In the opening chapter, McKibben recounts his elation at pushing his physical limitations to complete a marathon. But what if those limitations ceased to exist — if his genetically engineered great-grandson could run 26 miles without difficulty? Enough asks simply, earnestly whether better race times (or longer life spans, higher IQs, more symmetrical jawlines) will, in fact, make us better people.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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