X-Message-Number: 12050
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 11:14:27 EDT

THE HEDONISTIC IMPERATIVE is a book by David Pearce, a young Brit. It has not 
been commercially published, but is available on his web site 
http://www.hedweb.com. A longer review will appear in the next issue of THE 
IMMORTALIST; but I want to make some preliminary comments today, even after 
only a quick read of part of it. (He kindly sent me a printed-out copy.)

The book is brilliant, innovative, audacious--and unique, as far as I know. 
Despite acknowledged roots and antecedents, it is a true groundbreaker, a 
pioneering work. There is a bit of overlap with my own book in progress, 
YOUNIVERSE, but not a great deal. In chosen areas, Pearce has gone much 
further than I have.

His main theme has a grandeur that challenges, and in some ways exceeds, that 
of Feodorov, Tipler, Perry et al. The latter, as many present readers know, 
concerns the moral necessity and scientific feasibility of resurrecting and 
immortalizing every human who ever lived--but probably only at some very 
remote future time, billions of years hence, and only on the basis of some 
shaky premises including uploading.  

Pearce's main theme concerns the moral necessity and the scientific 
feasibility of the total elimination of suffering for every living creature, 
and for humans an ever-expanding vista of sublime happiness. And this is 
based on biology, not electronics, and on a time scale of only thousands of 

"At some momentous and exactly datable time, the last unpleasant experience 
ever to occur on this planet will take place. Possibly, it will be a (purely 
compararively) minor pain in some (to us) obscure marine invertebrate. This 
event will occur well before the  end of the fourth  millennium."

As for criticism, inevitably I have some disagreements on certain specifics, 
but my main suggestion at the moment concerns salability. The writing is not 
dull--far from it--but it is demanding of the reader, with many terms of art, 
technical jargon in philosophy and biology that ought to be better explained 
within the text, if there is to be any hope of a mass readership. 

In any case, I hope Mr. Pearce soon gets the recognition due him.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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