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As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth Hardcover – October 16, 2001

54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

In As the Future Catches You, Juan Enriquez of the Harvard Business School attempts to capture the trajectory of technological progress and understand the forces shaping our social and economic futures. Enriquez argues that February 2, 2001--the date that anyone with Internet access could contemplate the entire human genome--is akin to 1492 and Columbus's discovery of America. Instead of a new continent however, Enriquez sees the alphabet of DNA (A, adenine; T, thymine; C, cytosine; and G, guanine) and predicts that it will be the "dominant language and economic driver of this century." While none of the ideas presented here are entirely new, As the Future Catches You stands out because of Enriquez's ability to view and connect trends--genomics in particular--in a way that just about anyone can understand. Eye-popping typography and graphics coupled with a compact and almost poetic writing style make this thought-provoking book one to savor. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard Business School research fellow Juan Enriquez has great enthusiasm for his subject and his audience in As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth. "I would like you and I to have a conversation," he writes. "There is space on each page for your own notes, thoughts," etc. Space indeed, and more: this consideration of scientific advancement, technological and economic trends and their effects offers graphically arresting pages complete with pictures, highlighted words, graphs, and large blank margins. Enriquez's hyperventilating presentation (how many ellipses can one author use?) might get in the way of the facts at times, but the facts about the ability of genetically modified bananas to vaccinate those who consume them against particular diseases, for example can be very interesting indeed.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (October 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609033
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Chandra K. Clarke on October 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When I first received this book and flipped through it, I was seriously tempted to send it back unread. The typesetting is... creative to say the least - lots of white space, multiple fonts, scattershot graphics. Indeed, it looks like you've received an extra long email from someone who's just discovered how to play with all the format settings. Given that I'd purchased a hard cover book at hard cover prices, I felt ripped off.
However, I decided to read it anyway, and I'm glad I did. It's a short read, but a wild ride, and it's packed with information about the biotech and economic revolution we're just getting into. There are lots of facts and figures to consider, and the author does an excellent job of providing thought-provoking analogies that may change the way you look at some things. In one example, he asks you to think of mosquitoes as flying hypodermic needles - right now these insects infect people with things like malaria, but scientists are trying to figure out how to use them to innoculate people instead.
This book would make an excellent Christmas gift for non-technical people who want to try to understand the potential impact of biotechnology, genetic engineering, computers, and the Internet. The choice of typesetting, it turns out, is deliberate: it's designed to convey the speed at which these changes are taking place, and it makes reading the book as easy as consuming a sound byte from the 11 o'clock news. It can get a bit heavy on the hype factor, but the author acknowledges this at the end.
It should also be required reading for all the politicians, bureaucrats and other politicos involved in making decisions about things like cloning, genetically modified foods etc.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dan E. Ross on December 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you want to understand some of the "big picture" issues in our society I strongly encourage you to read this book. Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation are two other good reads on a knowledge-based economy.
While Mr. Enriquez spends most of the book talking about genomics (his area of expertise and knowledge) and the implications arising from developments in the area, he also tries to illustrate the impact such discoveries might have on the world economy in a very basic, easy-to-understand manner. Mr. Enriquez does an excellent job in talking about the importance of education and how the large differences among certain geographic regions may lead to a larger divergence of wealth in the next century.
In talking about genomics, Mr. Enriquez is quick to talk about cloning and the moral and ethical issues that will arise from such technology and how it will be EXTREMELY TOUGH to policy this technology due to its rapid evolution and ability to move into other countries borders. In the past the evolution of public policy was adjusted with the technologies but genomics is different in that we are talking about the potential to create human life via cloning, which stirs up all kinds of moral and social issues which affects politicians and their voting constituencies.
The one thing I know is that genomics is revolutionizing modern medicine as we breathe today. The new drugs, cures and foods that will be created and these WILL have VERY PROFOUND impacts on our standard of living in the next century and will cause tons of social implications. This book is your entrance into learning about geonomics in a very easy to read book. I highly recommend purchase of the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Raj Man on September 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a blend of intresting observations and speculation on various hot technologies (gnemoics in particular) and it's likely impact on people and countries. It is an intresting book and can be easily followed by anybody (even without any intrest or knowledge of the subject). The page layout (with large typeface and fonts) may seem condescending to some of the serious readers, but i think it works in this case, since the book isn't verbose and the author packs thought and info in small sentences, which provokes one to pause and reflect. For eg: sample this: "there used to be one way of getting pregnant.. Now there are more than Seventeen" OR " A seed is an instruument designed to execute a genetic program that transforms soil, water and sun into Wood, Flower.. Fruit"

You need not know anything about Gneomics, Computers, Biology sciences or the various other technologies which this books quotes, to enjoy this book. It's pretty sweeping in scope and you need not necessarily agree with all that the author says about his versiion of the future (i did not). But, one can certainly give full marks to the author for making serious sciences entertaining, by sharing his thoughts on how it is/may impacting our lives.

The challenge and pitfalls in speculating about the future is ironically seen here - This book was written in 2001 and as such the author makes a glowing reference to the AOL-Timewarner merger (which later turned out into a disaster!); India and China are lumped as "having few resources, capital and respect for entrepreneurs", whereas the outsourcing boom in the last five years has clearly proved this wrong.
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