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Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 1998
Superstring physicist Michio Kaku turns his eyes to the future, and sees many bright developments in the 21st century. What is really remarkable about this book is Kaku's ability to explain in a clear way how the Quantum revolution of the turn of the previous century has dramatically effected, or perhaps invented, the three great revolutions of the 20th century: computers, biotechnology, and quantum physics. Kaku is especially good in outlining his reasons for his view of the future; and gives pretty reasonable timelines for the achievement of certain goals. The book is easy for a layperson to read and understand, and gives a good overview of scientific development. Well worth reading, at times profound.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2005
Michio Kaku, a renowned physicist, attempts to give a view of what to expect from technology and science in the near future. His predictions are based on interviews which he conducted with scientists and engineers from various fields. In making his predictions, he focuses on three fields: computers, biotechnology, and quantum physics.

First of all, please check the publication date of this book. Since this book was published in 1998, some of these predictions have already come true, and others seem a little too optimistic. In fact, while reading the computer section, it reminded me of reading pre-tech bubble Wired magazine. In other words, sometimes overly bubbly and cheery about the wonders of progress, and unwilling to deal with the dark sides of issues. Of the three sections, the one that I found enjoyable was the section on quantum mechanics, which, surprise, happens to be his area of study. I found his discussion about space exploration and cosmic phenomena to be very interesting. On the other hand, the section on computers was a little boring, and the section on biotechnology was OK. Perhaps it would be better to pick up one of Michio Kaku's books on physics rather than this one.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
If the future seems frightening, ominous, perplexing, or in any way stressful to you, then Dr. Michio Kaku has the prescription for your affliction! Anyone who is expecting to intelligently live in the next few decades should be REQUIRED to read these clear and fascinating insights. I think very few human beings have had enough grasp to synthesize the most valid verifiable and truthful frontier information about what is going on at Planet Earth, make it accessibly simple to all of us, and yet be absolutely profound in his message. Knowledge is power. Fear not the future, own it! Buy this book, read it!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2000
Michio Kaku scores again! Much easier and more accessible than his masterpiece "Hyperspace", "Visions" is a glance into Kaku's crystal ball, as he interprets in a veey scientic way, where technology will lead us in Biotechnology, energy, cybernetics, etc . . . into the 21st century. Holographic Memory. . . Machines made out of atams. . . The electron speed barrier . . . nannotechnology . . .genetic engineering and master cells. . . You'll explore all of these things and a lot more as Michio looks a hundred years or less into the future. This book isn't one of those things that is prognasticating but worthless after a few months. The ideas and concepts that Michio will introduce to you will stay with you for a long time, and you'll think about what our future has to hold for us. I wouldn't have any other guide than Mr. Kaku.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2000
This book is an easy read and probably begs more questions than it answers. Any one of Prof Kaku's "visions" of life embraced by 21st century technology are thought provoking and I am sure in time will evolve into major books in their own right. Prof Kaku writes about computers, quantum mechanics, DNA, future exploration, medical breakthroughs, longevity, etc. etc., in a manner that is understandable and, at times, breathtaking. I am sure that readers will either like or hate this book, depending upon whether they think the looking glass is either half full or half empty. I liked it and I am looking forward to the sequels.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2000
Visions is an excellent scentific book. A lot of research has gone into it, and he words his findings so that even students can understand. Some of the technologies in this book makes your mind wander and ponder about possibilities. Unlike other scentific books that run along a similar line, he focuses on the topic, rarely gets sidetracked, and keeps it interesting and thought-provoking. I especially enjoyed the final part about the fate of the universe and the different possible technology levels of races and what they are capabable of.I would recommend this book to anyone with even a mild interest in science and technology.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2003
Dr. Kaku has done a very good job on explaining the current state of the art in artificial intelligence, biotechnology and quantum physics in a concise manner. He envisions the potential development routes each area might take in the next century. The last part of the book was thrilling. The civilization types concept, superstrings and theory of everything, finally the time travel and wormholes are discussed. I could not put it down until I finished reading this part. Dr. Kaku's survey about science and future puts everything in a perspective. Great work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2002
In "Visions," theoretical physicist Kaku describes the boundless new technologies that will become available in the next hundred years and beyond, in three general areas: computers and information technology, biotechnology, and fundamental physics. The ideas presented are based on extensive consultation with experts in a variety of fields, and are thrilling prospects that are as well grounded in current authority as might be expected in the dicey business of predicting the future flow of technological progress.
The predictions on information technology detail ever more free-flowing information outlets and ubiquitous computerized devices. The predictions of biotechnology are perhaps the most exciting, offering a wide look at how much more advanced medicine will soon become in diagnosing and preventing cancers and other critical diseases years earlier than is possible now. Kaku describes how this will come about from the increasing understanding of the human genome and the application of electronic and information technology to biotechnology. Curiously, the third section, on fundamental physics, which actually is Kaku's area of expertise, seems the least imaginative and the most rushed. It's hard to give anything more than a cursory glance in going from coverage of current-day projects to considering warp drives, alien intelligences, and alternate universes in under 100 pages. This is made worse when Kaku stops firmly in the present to criticize nuclear power plants and the International Space Station.
Overall, it's an authoritatively speculative look at these three areas of technological promise, although the format is a little strained. If you are unfamiliar with all of these areas and want a brief introduction to each, this is an ideal place to look. Despite Kaku's misgivings about a few technological choices, he is an effective evangelist for the faith in human understanding.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2000
Any one who can add 2 and 2 and come up with 4, should read this book, let his/her imagination run wild, think about the possibilities and realize how insignificant and at the same time important species are in this universe. Read it you won't regret it, I assure you.
As for our Engineer friend, Andy from the UK with a chip on his shoulder, get over it man. Computer is of course man-made, but it could not have been made (as are countless other man-made things) without applying natural phenomenons and certain laws of physics that have been DISCOVERED earlier. I am a computer programmer myself and even writing a simple algorithm requires applying common sense in order to come up a workable solution. Even though I use a man-made computer language I still have to rely on good old instincts and human psychology to get the job done. I hate to break this to you, but everything is inter-related and that is what the author is trying to have us figure out in a his own way (a marvelous one if I may add) instead of saying it out loud and spoiling the fun.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Kaku picks up where Carl Sagan left off. He explains thevery cutting edge of the sciences in terms the lay-person canunderstand. Dr. Kaku interviewed over 150 top scientists in the three major fields that he believes are on the verge of making astounding advances in the next 100 years. The computer, biomolecular, and quantum physics areas are making progress so swiftly, that Dr. Kaku conciders each field to be making revolutionary strides for mankind!
From "Artificial intelligence" to curing cancers by gene manipulation, stopping, and REVERSING the aging process, to traveling to other galaxies at near the speed of light, Dr. Kaku sprinkles each chapter with amazing scientific predictions that make you NOT want to put the book down! This book REALLY gives hope for the future, and makes you glad to be living in these exciting times.
This book is a "must have" for your book- shelf, and the best gift you could give...HOPE!
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