As communities and businesses struggle with differing motivations and needs, David Maurrasse looks at ways they can work together to form partnerships. Listening to Harlem offers an exciting portrait of the struggles confronting one of America's most important neighborhoods. This engaging read will appeal to anyone with an interest in how the neighborhood is faring today, as well as those involved professionally and socially in urban development.
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.
Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.
What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.
With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
“Artfully envisions a breathtakingly better world.” —Los Angeles Times
“Elaborate, smart and persuasive.” —The Boston Globe
“A pleasure to read.” —The Wall Street Journal
One of CBS News’s Best Fall Books of 2005 • Among St Louis Post-Dispatch’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2005 • One of Amazon.com’s Best Science Books of 2005
A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from the bestselling author of How to Create a Mind and The Age of Spiritual Machines who Bill Gates calls “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence”
For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization—reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.
Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.
Certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books of the year, How to Create a Mind is sure to take its place alongside Kurzweil’s previous classics which include Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and The Age of Spiritual Machines.
From the Hardcover edition.
Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society’s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.
Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?
From the Trade Paperback edition.
An Economist Best Book of 2015
"The most important book on decision making since Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow."
—Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal
Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week’s meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’ predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught?
In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events. Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. They’ve beaten other benchmarks, competitors, and prediction markets. They’ve even beaten the collective judgment of intelligence analysts with access to classified information. They are "superforecasters."
In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Weaving together stories of forecasting successes (the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound) and failures (the Bay of Pigs) and interviews with a range of high-level decision makers, from David Petraeus to Robert Rubin, they show that good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or arcane methods. It involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course.
Superforecasting offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future—whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life—and is destined to become a modern classic.
In his provocative book, George Friedman turns his eye on the future—offering a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world during the twenty-first century. He explains where and why future wars will erupt (and how they will be fought), which nations will gain and lose economic and political power, and how new technologies and cultural trends will alter the way we live in the new century.
The Next 100 Years draws on a fascinating exploration of history and geopolitical patterns dating back hundreds of years. Friedman shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, at the dawn of a new era—with changes in store, including:
• The U.S.-Jihadist war will conclude—replaced by a second full-blown cold war with Russia.
• China will undergo a major extended internal crisis, and Mexico will emerge as an important world power.
• A new global war will unfold toward the middle of the century between the United States and an unexpected coalition from Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the Far East; but armies will be much smaller and wars will be less deadly.
• Technology will focus on space—both for major military uses and for a dramatic new energy resource that will have radical environmental implications.
• The United States will experience a Golden Age in the second half of the century.
Written with the keen insight and thoughtful analysis that has made George Friedman a renowned expert in geopolitics and forecasting, The Next 100 Years presents a fascinating picture of what lies ahead.
For continual, updated analysis and supplemental material, go to www.Stratfor.com
WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER
Winner of the getAbstract 17th International Book Award
"The Seventh Sense is a concept every businessman, diplomat, or student should aspire to master--a powerful idea, backed by stories and figures that will be impossible to forget." -- Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci
Endless terror. Refugee waves. An unfixable global economy. Surprising election results. New billion-dollar fortunes. Miracle medical advances. What if they were all connected? What if you could understand why?
The Seventh Sense is the story of what all of today's successful figures see and feel: the forces that are invisible to most of us but explain everything from explosive technological change to uneasy political ripples. The secret to power now is understanding our new age of networks. Not merely the Internet, but also webs of trade, finance, and even DNA. Based on his years of advising generals, CEOs, and politicians, Ramo takes us into the opaque heart of our world's rapidly connected systems and teaches us what the losers are not yet seeing--and what the victors of this age already know.
adrienne maree brown, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.
Two of America's leading investigators of unexplained phenomena -- Art Bell, the top-rated late-night radio talk-show host, and Whitley Strieber, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Communion and the legendary Nature's End -- have made a shocking discovery based on years of research with top scientists and archaeologists from around the world. Now, they reveal what powerful interests are trying to keep hidden: rapid changes in the atmosphere caused by greenhouse gases have set humanity on an incredibly dangerous course toward a catastrophic change in climate in the immediate future. It will begin with a massive, unprecedented storm that will devastate the Northern Hemisphere. This will be followed by floods unlike anything ever seen before -- or perhaps a new Ice Age. They also unearth evidence that this has happened in the past -- in fact, that it has occurred regularly throughout geologic history, but so infrequently that our only record of the last such storm is contained in ancient myths and flood legends.
From El Niño to the African droughts, to the shrinking of the polar ice caps, Bell and Strieber identify the warning signs to those willing to see. They point out that the Earth's regulatory system is like a rubber band: you can stretch it just so far before it snaps back -- with a vengeance. Since 1995, each successive year has set new records for violent weather. In 1999 a major climatological study predicted that the Earth will soon be warmer than it has been in millions of years. Bell and Strieber tell us why they believe a rebound is imminent -- a rapid and violent cooling that will cover the Northern Hemisphere in a sheath of choking ice and snow.
But it's not too late to reverse our destiny. No mere harbinger of an inevitable doomsday, The Coming Global Superstorm is instead a spirited call to action that offers a wealth of viable solutions to this mammoth challenge to humankind. Through a careful and impressively researched dissection of the myths and legends of ancient cultures and an insightful examination of the best of modern environmental science, Bell and Strieber guide us on an intellectual journey as dark as the murky origins of man and as bright as the promise of an interstellar future.
So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the coauthors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead.
The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely.
So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.
In his bestselling book The World Without Us, Alan Weisman considered how the Earth could heal and even refill empty niches if relieved of humanity's constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought experiment was his hope that we would be inspired to find a way to add humans back to this vision of a restored, healthy planet-only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature.
But with a million more of us every 4 1/2 days on a planet that's not getting any bigger, and with our exhaust overheating the atmosphere and altering the chemistry of the oceans, prospects for a sustainable human future seem ever more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth--and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?
Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world's cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it's in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful.
By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance. Weisman again shows that he is one of the most provocative journalists at work today, with a book whose message is so compelling that it will change how we see our lives and our destiny.
"Foundations of Futures Studies "fulfills Bell's five main purposes for writing this two-volume effort: (1) to show that futures studies, like other fields from anthropology to zoology, exists as an identifiable sphere of intellectual activity; (2) to create a teaching instrument that can be used as a basic text for core courses in futures studies; (3) to futurize the thinking of specialists in other disciplines; (4) to contribute to the further development and improvement of futures studies; and (5) to provide tools to empower both ordinary people and leaders to act in ways that create better futures for themselves and their societies. Bell maintains that despite its sometimes doomsday rhetorical style and widespread use by special interests, futures studies offers hope for the future of humanity and concrete ways of realizing that hope in the real world of our everyday lives. It will appeal to all interested in futures studies, as well as sociologists, economists, political scientists, and historians.
• Experiments in green energy like the HiPER, which uses massive lasers to create a tiny “contained” sun; it’s an idea that could save the world if it doesn’t consume us all in a fiery fusion reaction first.
• Global disasters like the hypercane—a hurricane so large it could cover all of North America and shoot trailer parks into space!
• Terrifying new developments in robotics like the EATR, which powers itself on meat—an invention in the running for “Worst Decision Made by Anybody.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The modern Victor Frankenstein holds a high political office, carries diplomatic immunity, and is most likely funded by the largest corporations worldwide. His method is ancient: alchemy. His fraternities are well known and their secrets are well kept, but his goal of times past and present is the same; he dares to become as god, genetically manipulating the seeds of the earth, the beasts on the fields, and to claim legal ownership over humanity by re-creating it in his own image. This is no fairy tale, science fiction, or conspiracy theory … it simply is!
Transhumanism, a Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas by Dr.'s. Joseph P. Farrell and Scott D. de Hart lifts the veil from the macabre transhumanistic monster being assembled and exposes the hidden history and agenda that has set humanity on a collision course for the Apocalypse.
Joseph P. Farrell is the author of the best-selling Genes, Giants, Monsters, and Men: The Surviving Elites of the Cosmic War and Their Hidden Agenda.
Jaron Lanier is the father of virtual reality and one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers. Who Owns the Future? is his visionary reckoning with the most urgent economic and social trend of our age: the poisonous concentration of money and power in our digital networks.
Lanier has predicted how technology will transform our humanity for decades, and his insight has never been more urgently needed. He shows how Siren Servers, which exploit big data and the free sharing of information, led our economy into recession, imperiled personal privacy, and hollowed out the middle class. The networks that define our world—including social media, financial institutions, and intelligence agencies—now threaten to destroy it.
But there is an alternative. In this provocative, poetic, and deeply humane book, Lanier charts a path toward a brighter future: an information economy that rewards ordinary people for what they do and share on the web.
The world, as Nick Bilton—with tongue-in-cheek—shows, has been going to hell for a long, long time, and what we are experiencing is the twenty-first-century version of the fear that always takes hold as new technology replaces the old. In fact, as Bilton shows, the digital era we are part of is, in all its creative and disruptive forms, the foundation for exciting and engaging experiences not only for business but society as well.
Both visionary and practical, I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works captures the zeitgeist of an emerging age, providing the understanding of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior:
• With a walk on the wild side—through the porn industry—we see how this business model is leading the way, adapting product to consumer needs and preferences and beating piracy.
• By understanding how the Internet is creating a new type of consumer, the “consumnivore,” living in a world where immediacy trumps quality and quantity, we see who is dictating the type of content being created.
• Through exploring the way our brains are adapting, we gain a new understanding of the positive effect of new media narratives on thinking and action. One fascinating study, for example, shows that surgeons who play video games are more skillful than their nonplaying counterparts.
• Why social networks, the openness of the Internet, and handy new gadgets are not just vehicles for telling the world what you had for breakfast but are becoming the foundation for “anchoring communities” that tame information overload and help determine what news and information to trust and consume and what to ignore.
• Why the map of tomorrow is centered on “Me,” and why that simple fact means a totally new approach to the way media companies shape content.
• Why people pay for experiences, not content; and why great storytelling and extended relationships will prevail and enable businesses to engage with customers in new ways that go beyond merely selling information, instead creating unique and meaningful experiences.
I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works walks its own talk by creating a unique reader experience: Semacodes embedded in both print and eBook versions will take readers directly to Bilton’s website (www.NickBilton.com), where they can access videos of the author further developing his point of view and also delve into the research that was key to shaping the central ideas of the book. The website will also offer links to related content and the ability to comment on a chapter, allowing the reader to join the conversation.
From the Hardcover edition.
Recognizing that Lean Logic’s sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming’s long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyable writing style remain Fleming’s, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format.
The subtitle—Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy—hints at Fleming’s vision. He believed that the market economy will not survive its inherent flaws beyond the early decades of this century, and that its failure will bring great challenges, but he did not dwell on this: “We know what we need to do. We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”
Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world. One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture. Building on a remarkable breadth of intellectual and cultural heritage—from Keynes to Kumar, Homer to Huxley, Mumford to MacIntyre, Scruton to Shiva, Shakespeare to Schumacher—Fleming describes a world in which, as he says, “there will be time for music.”
This is the world that many of us want to live in, yet we are told it is idealistic and unrealistic. With an evident mastery of both economic theory and historical precedent, Fleming shows that it is not only desirable, but actually the only system with a realistic claim to longevity. With friendliness, humor, and charm, Surviving the Future plucks this vision out of our daydreams and shows us how to make it real.
Charles Handy is one of the giants of contemporary thought. His books on management – including Understanding Organizations and Gods of Management – have changed the way we view business. His work on broader issues and trends – such as Beyond Certainty – has changed the way we view society.
In The Second Curve, Handy builds on a life's work to glimpse into the future and see what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. He looks at current trends in capitalism and asks whether it is a sustainable system. He explores the dangers of a society built on credit. He challenges the myth that remorseless growth is essential. He even asks whether we should rethink our roles in life – as students, parents, workers and voters – and what the aims of an ideal society of the future should be.
Provocative and thoughtful as ever, he sets out the questions we all need to ask ourselves – and points us in the direction of some of the answers.
Not in nature. Not in business. Not in governance.”
So begins Rebecca Costa’s much-awaited exploration of foresight: “the crowning achievement of human ambition.” According to Costa, advances in Big Data, predictive analytics, genomics, artificial intelligence, and other breakthroughs have made it possible to pinpoint future results with mind-blowing accuracy—cracking the door to what Costa calls predaptation: the ability to adapt before the fact. Never before has the information needed to avert danger, get the jump ahead of others, or prepare for the inevitable been so clearly within grasp.
Through fascinating real-life examples, Costa reveals how technology has brought nations, businesses, and individuals to the edge of clairvoyance. Yet, our ability to act on foreknowledge often falls short—causing leaders to squander the advantage of preemption. To counteract this failure, Costa illuminates 12 principles of adaptation, and predaptation, used to succeed in fast-moving environments.
In the spirit of the best in popular science, On the Verge is a landmark examination of big-picture forces affecting society today. Costa’s unique sociobiological perspective, combined with her ability to blend humor, breaking science, and insightful personal stories, distinguishes her as one of the most important female thought leaders of our time.
Until around 1500 B.C., it was generally believed that once the world had been set in order by the gods, it was in essence immutable. However, it was always a troubled world. By means of flood and drought, famine and plague, defeat in war, and death itself, demonic forces threatened and impaired it. Various combat myths told how a divine warrior kept the forces of chaos at bay and enabled the world to survive. Sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C., the Iranian prophet Zoroaster broke from that static yet anxious world-view, reinterpreting the Iranian version of the combat myth. For Zoroaster, the world was moving, through incessant conflict, toward a conflictless state—“cosmos without chaos.” The time would come when, in a prodigious battle, the supreme god would utterly defeat the forces of chaos and their human allies and eliminate them forever, and so bring an absolutely good world into being. Cohn reveals how this vision of the future was taken over by certain Jewish groups, notably the Jesus sect, with incalculable consequences.
Deeply informed yet highly readable, this magisterial book illumines a major turning-point in the history of human consciousness. It will be mandatory reading for all who appreciated The Pursuit of the Millennium.
-Guy L. Tribble, Apple, Inc.
Tech luminary, Gordon Bell, and Jim Gemmell unveil a guide to the next digital revolution. Our daily life started becoming digital a decade ago. Now much of what we do is digitally recorded and accessible. This trend won't stop. And the benefits are astonishing.
Based on their own research Bell and Gemmell explain the ever- increasing access to electronic personal memories-both "cloud" services such as Facebook and huge personal hardrives. Using Bell as a test case, the two digitally uploaded everything-photos, computer activity, biometrics-and explored systems that could best store the vast amounts of data and make it accessible. The result? An amazing enhancement of human experience from health and education to productivity and just reminiscing about good times. And then, when you are gone, your memories, your life will still be accessible for your grandchildren...
Your Life, Uploaded is an invaluable guide to taking advantage of new technology that will fascinate and inspire techies, business people, and baby boomers alike.
Leading neuroscience researchers are racing to unlock the secrets of the mind. On the cusp of decoding brain signals that govern motor skills, they are developing miraculous technologies to enable paraplegics and wounded soldiers to move prosthetic limbs, and the rest of us to manipulate computers and other objects through thought alone. These fiercely competitive scientists are vying for Defense Department and venture capital funding, prestige, and great wealth.
Part life-altering cure, part science fiction, part military dream, these cutting-edge brain-computer interfaces promise to improve lives—but also hold the potential to augment soldiers' combat capabilities. In The Brain Electric, Malcolm Gay follows the dramatic emergence of these technologies, taking us behind the scenes into the operating rooms, start-ups, and research labs where the future is unfolding. With access to many of the field's top scientists, Gay illuminates this extraordinary race—where science, medicine, profit, and war converge—for the first time. But this isn't just a story about technology. At the heart of this research is a group of brave, vulnerable patient-volunteers whose lives are given new meaning through participating in these experiments. The Brain Electric asks us to rethink our relationship to technology, our bodies, even consciousness itself—challenging our assumptions about what it means to be human.
This complete summary of the ideas from Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler’s book “Abundance” shows how advances in technology will make the world capable of meeting and exceeding the basic needs of every human on the planet. According to the authors, these technologies also have the potential to address several of society’s most unsolvable problems. By learning about their research, you can understand the potential of modern technology and the part you can play in preparing for a future of abundance.
Added-value of this summary:
• Save time
• Understand the key concepts
• Expand your knowledge
To learn more, read “Abundance” and find out about the abilities of technology to improve our world for the better.
Taking us behind the scenes with today's foremost researchers and pioneers, Garreau reveals that the super powers of our comic-book heroes already exist, or are in development in hospitals, labs, and research facilities around the country -- from the revved up reflexes and speed of Spider-Man and Superman, to the enhanced mental acuity and memory capabilities of an advanced species.
Over the next fifteen years, Garreau makes clear, these enhancements will become part of our everyday lives. Where will they lead us? To heaven–where technology’s promise to make us smarter, vanquish illness and extend our lives is the answer to our prayers? Or will they lead us, as some argue, to hell — where unrestrained technology brings about the ultimate destruction of our entire species? With the help and insights of the gifted thinkers and scientists who are making what has previously been thought of as science fiction a reality, Garreau explores how these developments, in our lifetime, will affect everything from the way we date to the way we work, from how we think and act to how we fall in love. It is a book about what our world is becoming today, not fifty years out. As Garreau cautions, it is only by anticipating the future that we can hope to shape it.
From the Hardcover edition.
Drawing on the wisdom and experience of 150 scientists, social leaders, and entrepreneurs, including Brian Arthur, Rupert Sheldrake, Buckminster Fuller, Lao Tzu, and Carl Jung, Presence is both revolutionary in its exploration and hopeful in its message. This astonishing and completely original work goes on to define the capabilities that underlie our ability to see, sense, and realize new possibilities—in ourselves, in our institutions and organizations, and in society itself.
When unexpectedly confronted with his own mortality, Mark Stevenson-a writer, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian-began to ponder what the future holds for our species. "The past is a foreign country," writes Stevenson. "By my analysis it's a bit like France-in that I've been to parts of it and eaten some nice food there. But the future? The future is an unknown territory-and there isn't a guidebook." Thus, his ambition was born.
Stevenson set out simply, asking, "What's next?" and then traveled the globe in pursuit of the answers. Along the way, he visited the Australian outback to visit the farmers who can save us from climate change, met a robot with mood swings, and talked to the Spaniard who's putting a hotel in space. While some might be overwhelmed, or even dismayed by the looming realities of genome sequencing, synthetic biology, a nuclear renaissance, and carbon scrubbing, Stevenson remains, well, optimistic. Drawing on his singular humor and storytelling to break down these sometimes complicated discoveries, An Optimist's Tour of the Future paints a wonderfully readable, and completely enthralling portrait of where we'll be when we grow up- and why it's not so scary.
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He turns our attention to Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and Franklin, and to their then-radical thinking about inductive science, religious and political freedom, popular education, rational commerce, the nation-state, progress, and happiness.
Postman calls for a future connected to traditions that provide sane authority and meaningful purpose -- as opposed to an overreliance on technology and an increasing disregard for the lessons of history. And he argues passionately for specific new guidelines in the education of our children, with renewed emphasis on developing the intellect as successfully as we are developing a computer-driven world.
Witty, provocative, and brilliantly reasoned, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century is Neil Postman's most radical, and most commonsensical, book yet.
From the Hardcover edition.
In the long view, history is seen as a series of events—but the course of those events is determined by individuals and their actions. During the next ten years, individual leaders will face significant transitions for their nations: the United States’ relationships with Iran and Israel will be undergoing changes, China will likely confront a major crisis, and the wars in the Islamic world will subside. Unexpected energy and technology developments will emerge, and labor shortages will begin to matter more than financial crises. Distinguished geopolitical forecaster George Friedman analyzes these events from the perspectives of the men and women leading these global changes, focusing in particular on the American president, who will require extraordinary skills to shepherd the United States through this transitional period. The Next Decade is a provocative and fascinating look at the conflicts and opportunities that lie ahead.
As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference.
It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz, science journalist and editor of the science Web site io9.com explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just
during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions.
This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.
Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others. Readers of this book will be equipped scientifically, intellectually, and emotionally to face whatever the future holds.
This provocative book introduces a brand-new view of technology. It suggests that technology as a whole is not a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Kevin Kelly looks out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover "what it wants." He uses vivid examples from the past to trace technology's long course and then follows a dozen trajectories of technology into the near future to project where technology is headed. This new theory of technology offers three practical lessons: By listening to what technology wants we can better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable technologies to come. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles. And by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts. Written in intelligent and accessible language, this is a fascinating, innovative, and optimistic look at how humanity and technology join to produce increasing opportunities in the world and how technology can give our lives greater meaning.
From the Hardcover edition.
In stark contrast to the rest of the world's advanced nations, the United States is growing at a record rate and, according to census projections, will be home to four hundred million Americans by 2050. This projected rise in population is the strongest indicator of our long-term economic strength, Joel Kotkin believes, and will make us more diverse and more competitive than any nation on earth.
Drawing on prodigious research, firsthand reportage, and historical analysis, The Next Hundred Million reveals how this unprecedented growth will take physical shape and change the face of America. The majority of the additional hundred million Americans will find their homes in suburbia, though the suburbs of tomorrow will not resemble the Levittowns of the 1950s or the sprawling exurbs of the late twentieth century. The suburbs of the twenty-first century will be less reliant on major cities for jobs and other amenities and, as a result, more energy efficient. Suburbs will also be the melting pots of the future as more and more immigrants opt for dispersed living over crowded inner cities and the majority in the United States becomes nonwhite by 2050.
In coming decades, urbanites will flock in far greater numbers to affordable, vast, and autoreliant metropolitan areas-such as Houston, Phoenix, and Las Vegas-than to glamorous but expensive industrial cities, such as New York and Chicago. Kotkin also foresees that the twenty-first century will be marked by a resurgence of the American heartland, far less isolated in the digital era and a crucial source of renewable fuels and real estate for a growing population. But in both big cities and small towns across the country, we will see what Kotkin calls "the new localism"-a greater emphasis on family ties and local community, enabled by online networks and the increasing numbers of Americans working from home.
The Next Hundred Million provides a vivid snapshot of America in 2050 by focusing not on power brokers, policy disputes, or abstract trends, but rather on the evolution of the more intimate units of American society-families, towns, neighborhoods, industries. It is upon the success or failure of these communities, Kotkin argues, that the American future rests.
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times bestselling author of Fooled by Randomness
“Casti is at his best in presenting difficult philosophical ideas enthusiastically and lucidly, and in presenting everyday examples to illustrate them.”
—New York Times Book Review
In his highly provocative and grippingly readable book, X-Events, author John Casti brilliantly argues that today’s advanced, overly complex societies have grown highly vulnerable to extreme events that will ultimately topple civilization like a house of cards. Like Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan meets Jared Diamond’s Collapse, Casti’s book provides a much-needed wake-up call—sounding a fascinating and frightening warning about civilized society’s inability to recover from a global catastrophe— demonstrating how humankind could be blasted back into the Stone Age by a meteor strike, nuclear apocalypse, worldwide contagion, or any number of unforeseeable X-Events.
The Internet Is Not the Answer, by longtime Internet skeptic Andrew Keen, offers a comprehensive look at what the Internet is doing to our lives. The book traces the technological and economic history of the Internet, from its founding in the 1960s through the rise of big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity. In this sharp, witty narrative, informed by the work of other writers, reporters, and academics, as well as his own research and interviews, Keen shows us the tech world, warts and all.
Startling and important, The Internet Is Not the Answer is a big-picture look at what the Internet is doing to our society and an investigation of what we can do to try to make sure the decisions we are making about the reconfiguring of our world do not lead to unpleasant, unforeseen aftershocks.
The papers discuss issues such as indigenous resilience and transformation, Maori potential and achievement, the Treaty of Waitangi and the national and global situation, health care and ethics, and future scenarios for Maori social and economic development and sustainability.
to peel back the futuristic shine.
So we bettered ourselves, had us a couple of revolutions -
agricultural, industrial - and then before we knew it our inventions had raised
the seas and fried the atmosphere, reshuffled our knowledge and commodified our
pleasures; they even stole our privacy. Our lives are good, but not fair at all
- and signs are we’re coming to a stormy end.
Our masters tell us they’ll figure things out. With
predictions and scenarios, models and forecasts, they’ll find a way through the
coming storms and shortages.
But what if they can’t? What if it’s all moonshine, and
they’re just slapping on chromewash to cover their panic and powerlessness?
In Chromewash original stories scratch and scuff the
oh-so-shiny prediction business. Ned Beauman plays the markets, Jane Rogers
puts a market price on identity, Tim Maughan games the art market, and Matthew
De Abaitua wonders what happens when creatives get destructive.
in this issue, Joanna Kavenna learns to mistrust Al Gore’s first-person plural,
and M. John Harrison examines the special weapons and tactics of English
Heritage. Medical ethicist Peter Hajek’s modest proposal tackles an ageing
planet; Adam Rothstein spins a ghost story out of vapourware; Marek Kohn
decides that the past has a future, too; and Brendan Byrne recalls the moment
modern statecraft went cyberpunk.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Revealing the origins of game theory and the advances made by John Nash, the Nobel Prize—winning scientist perhaps best known from A Beautiful Mind, Bueno de Mesquita details the controversial and cold-eyed system of calculation that he has since created, one that allows individuals to think strategically about what their opponents want, how much they want it, and how they might react to every move. From there, Bueno de Mesquita games such events as the North Korean disarmament talks and the Middle East peace process and recalls, among other cases, how he correctly predicted which corporate clients of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm were most likely engaged in fraudulent activity (hint: one of them started with an E). And looking as ever to the future, Bueno de Mesquita also demonstrates how game theory can provide successful strategies to combat both global warming (instead of relying on empty regulations, make nations compete in technology) and terror (figure out exactly how much U.S. aid will make Pakistan fight the Taliban).
But as Bueno de Mesquita shows, game theory isn’t just for saving the world. It can help you in your own life, whether you want to succeed in a lawsuit (lawyers argue too much the merits of the case and question too little the motives of their opponents), elect the CEO of your company (change the system of voting on your board to be more advantageous to your candidate), or even buy a car (start by knowing exactly what you want, call every dealer in a fifty-mile radius, and negotiate only over the phone).
Savvy, provocative, and shockingly effective, The Predictioneer’s Game will change how you understand the world and manage your future. Life’s a game, and how you play is whether you win or lose.
From the Hardcover edition.
Every day, workplace decisions are made that directly impact and change the workforce of tomorrow. From the way we are managed to the rewards we receive, all aspects of our work life are determined by the changing dynamics of the workplace. Recent concerns about globalisation, productivity and the introduction of new technologies have raised questions about the future of the workforce and job security. But are these concerns really justified?
21st Century Workforces and Workplaces charts, explains and analyses the past five years, which has seen the rewriting of much of what we thought we knew about employment and how workplaces respond to pressure. The book also outlines what hasn't changed and, in doing so, distinguishes myth from reality.
Stephen Bevan, Ian Brinkley, Zofia Bajorek and Cary L. Cooper combine their considerable expertise to discuss the critical questions for any member of any workplace, including:
· Are permanent, long-term jobs a thing of the past?
· Does work have to be a 'place'?
· How will future managers be selected, educated and developed?
· What is the future for trade unions?
· Beyond pay, how will rewards evolve to incentivise workers alongside responsible capitalism?
· Are we seeing the end of retirement?
This book takes what we know and projects how the future labour market will develop. 21st Century Workforces and Workplaces asks what sort of work environments we want to see in 2025 and what we can do today to help bring about the necessary changes.