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The Way We Will Be 50 Years from Today: 60 Of The World's Greatest Minds Share Their Visions of the Next Half-Century Hardcover – April 15, 2008

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These short meditations on the world in 50 years are overwhelmingly devoted to developments in human health, climate change and technology, with a disappointing scarcity of speculation about any social or spiritual transformations. Scientists, who make up more than half of the contributors, predict that genetic engineering will be commonplace and AIDS obsolete, although infectious diseases will adapt and prosper. Marriages will be arranged by compatible genotype; the oceans will rise; cats will no longer be kept as pets—they will have been identified (along with hamsters and birds) as transmitters of everything from Parkinson's to schizophrenia. China and India will be the new superpowers, and the U.S. will finally adopt the metric system. Although many writers note that certain species of plants and animals will be extinct in 50 years, only one laments that several languages will also be dead. This privileging of the scientific viewpoint makes the contributions from immunologist Peter Doherty and writer Michael Shermer all the more welcome as they attempt to focus on humanity rather than technology, imagination more than data. Perhaps it is easier to chart the course of climate change than social change—still the inhabitants of the planet and the future of their governments, beliefs and values deserve as much attention as the planet itself. (Apr .15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

A leading force behind 60 Minutes, CBS's seminal newsmagazine, Mike Wallace has won countless awards for his work (including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, three Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, a Robert E. Sherwood Award, and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of California School of Journalism) and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084990370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849903700
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,801,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jaume Puigbo Vila on May 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The list of personalities who contribute to this book is impressive, including several Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Medicine, Chemistry , Economics and Peace.
The most clear-sighted say that the future is essentially unpredictable ("the hallmark of science has been unanticipated great leaps"), but there are two main conclusions: we need a new political leadership ( "there is a lack of vision in global affairs", something more acute in the US, of course) and they and we need to take care of some major problems: energy, water and food supplies, climate change, demography, health problems (obesity and its derivatives being a prominent one).
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on April 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As I read one dull chapter after the next, all I could think was that with all these great minds, all this talent, there wasn't much to show for it. I bought this book without opening the cover, which turns out to be a mistake. This isn't much here that's surprising or insightful and actually most of the chapters are boring.

Highlights:

By 2050, nine-billion or more humans will walk the earth.

Modest space colonies will exist.

China will rise to such heights that Chinese will be the next global language, ahead of English and Spanish.

Developments in medicine will bring such revolutions in surgery, bionics, cloning, stem cell research, that many diseases of today will be controlled or altogether eradicated by mid-century.

Climate changes could wreak havoc to coastlines and farm belts.

Robots may not be as great a presence as science fiction has lead us to believe.

The racial composition of the western world will be not unlike that of present-day Brazil, with multi-ethnic societies being the norm.

Fuels sources will be a mix of what we presently term "green" and also we will have a greater reliance on nuclear power than is commonplace today.

Massive extinctions will continue among species alive today, with birds being particularly hard hit.

Overall after reading this book, wherein each chapter was like a little monument to its author's ego, I am happy here in the present, and am in no big hurry to greet the world into which I'll grow old.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce H. Weik on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like to hear from people who are moving us ahead in areas I know little about. Their titles don't necessarily impress me, but their brains do. Genetics, pharmacology, bioethics, international police organizations, physics, these are all things I don't normally think much about. It is both fascinating and scary to hear what they have to say about the future. I hope we can deal with it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Serge Ledan on June 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was pleasant and comforting to read the views of my favorite scientific personalities. It was at the same time rewarding and entertaining. The topics may have been serious but the reading was simple, fluid and easy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rpv TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I don't know how Mike Wallace chose the 60 of the World's greatest minds. First most of the authors are based in US. With the next 50 years, most of the people stating may belong to China or India, none from Asia is represented. No Japanese, Koreans, Indians or Chinese. No doubt, US is the technological prowess and should have more representatives, but I wish author had people from all continents to gauge their future perspectives. The chapters are also boring with lot of repetition and some of the predictions are already present now 4 years into the publication of the book. I don't think book is really futuristic with many of the predictions just incremental. I was disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I teach a college course on Technology and Society and it provides many things to think about. It DOES NOT tell you what to expect fifty years from now. Predicting the future five years out is impossible. With computers and years of records we can't predict the weather past 24 hours out, and even that is often incorrect. No one predicted the rise of cell phones or mp3 players - even their inventors. Don't expect concrete answers - just things we should help our world to work towards.
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