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Daniel Berleant wrote this book to provide a popular audience with a better understanding of the future from a science-based perspective. Educated at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin, Berleant understands, in a way everyone can relate to, the importance of both knowing the future and understanding what we can do about it. To find out more, join the facebook group for this book (www.facebook.com/groups/thehumanracetothefuture), see the publisher's web page (lifeboat.com/ex/book), or send inquiries to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That includes 70 year olds, if you at least smile at the "matrix" and wonder how human nature, including "spirituality" (ok, psychic abilities, since this author is a scientist), might evolve over eons to come!
To answer a couple reviews: yes, this IS non fiction, no, it's not a novel or "sci fi" fiction story, HOWEVER, any futuristic - speculative book (even non fiction) will be by definition a blend of sci fi and science. The plausibility of a futurist book depends on one of two things: 1. How much we can suspend our disbelief due to the pure enjoyability of the presentation and ideas and 2. How well grounded they are in hard science.
That blend makes or breaks a futurist author, and this portends to be a classic-- outstanding science, but the courage to go WAY far forward to imaginitive potentials in robotics, medicine, economic solutions, and yes, a human that looks a lot more Godlike/ angel-like than animal. The conjectures ARE believable, but more importantly, thoughtful, fun and way entertaining. Whether you just need an inexpensive page turner/ thought provoking time filler or actually plan/ create/ discover for the future, you'll find the ideas innovative and relevant.
Thankfully, the author stays relatively scientific, instead of veering off into "save the green" ideologies (right or wrong) like the Day the Earth Stood Still reprise. I personally like my futurism without politics (we get enough of that on MS NBC and FOX). Yes, there are "path integral" solutions and choices that show better vs. worse choices for more glowing futures, but we all like to concentrate on things we think we can DO something about (missles vs. meteors?) as opposed to politically spun "you won't get this wonderful future unless you vote for..." THANK YOU for not going there!Read more ›
I was made aware of Human Race to the Future, via Facebook and the LifeBoat Foundation Website. After reading through the book, I would also recommend it have a tag-line "A Transhumanism road-map" or similar.
What I liked most about the book is the macro lens it uses when putting science and humanity in perspective. Daniel's writing does not lose focus of the larger picture. Whereas some books get bogged down in minutiae, quickly losing the interest of all but the most pedantic, Daniel's writing shines and the book keeps you interested in wanting more.
Is it a page turner in the classic sense? No, but it is a page turner for readers who are fascinated by what the future holds. Then there's the generous sprinkling of humor. "Moontan" - basking under moonlight, brought a smile. A well balanced approach to keeping readers interested in the more serious subject matter distributed through the rest of the chapters.
The table of contents is one of the good features of the book, offering a synopsis right at the start. A feature I will come to use more as I re-read the book.
Oh yes, I will be re-reading The Human Race to the Future, as it offers a good selection of topics as reference to any hard science (fiction and non-fiction) writer. For those involved in designing World and evolution simulations to run on computing platforms, the book offers some insights via the topics touched on, that sometimes go amiss by programmers.
I also recommend reading the book's indepth review by Alireza Hejazi: http://www.academia.edu/3559281/Book_Review_The_Human_Race_to_the_Future
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Most of us are unable to imagine what life will be like in 50 years. Author Dr. Daniel Berleant has the vision to actually project a possible future ranging from the near-present to many millions of years from now. In addition, his bold, long-range projections appear to be entirely feasible. Thus, his excellent contribution to futurism is novel due to its tremendous breadth founded upon sound feasibility. His book covers many vital, exciting areas of discussion, and he ingeniously manages to accomplish this kind of depth of thought in a fun, delightful and easy writing style. Importantly, despite some of the dire events that could manifest in the future, Dr. Berleant offers ways to overcome very challenging and potentially fatal obstacles. 'The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen - and What to Do' has the makings of a classic.
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This book really covers the gamut. It is organized into future time-spans of increasing powers of ten starting from predictions on the order of centuries, then millenia, then ten of millenia, etc. up through truly geologic epocs on the order of hundreds of millions of years. Each span is presented in a compartmentalized chapter which uses historical and existing technological trends to speculate on possibilities in ever-farther reaches of the future. Topically speaking, nothing is off the table. The standard topics are obviously presented: genetic manipulation, artificial intelligence, etc. But less common angles are considered as well, such as wiki-wiki-wikipedia (a proposal to create more cross-referenced and contextually blended articles of increasing intricacy), nascent explorations of artificial meat, artificially implanted memories, space colonization (including less frequently considered targets, such as Venus), and a fascinating reconsideration of Daylight Savings and proposals for a superior time-keeping system. In the longest predictions, the reader learns that regardless of global warming, Earth is actually in between longer-term glacial periods, to which it will likely return one day. Likewise, we read about the inversion of the magnetic poles, and possibility of ocean-faring habitats including a novel take on ocean "forests" that extent roots deep below the surface to harvest nutrients. This book truly provides copious exploration of the long future for the tantalized reader.
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