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The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World in the Next 20 Years Paperback – August 28, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
What is lacking are analysis and technical details of why the future will be the way the author claims. For example, he claims lack of energy supply and technological progress will bring forth an age of hydrogen powered cars and fusion nuclear reactors. Yet, he provides no technical reasons why these two technologies will dominate the energy industry. Just how will we manage to produce hydrogen in large concentration and quantities which will be cost effective when it takes MORE energy to produce concenttrated hydrogen today than the energy value of the hydrogen themselves? Also, since when was controlled nuclear fusion reactors even possible? An explaination of how we will overcome the technical hurdles is missing throughout this book.
Some of the claims are downright outlandish. For example, the author claims we will have teleporter which will transfer objects throughout the globe. Again, the missing piece is of any scientific backing or explaination.
Some of the predictions are based on facts, and therefore, have strong predictive value. For example, the author claims that we will have a skilled worker shortage well into 2025 and beyond. This is based on a solid demographic data which indicates that we will have a shrinking workforce of suitable age in America.
Finally, the author is a PhD, but he never says on what subject. He also seems to compare himself to Da Vinci.....He claims many of his previous predictions were right on target. But I imagine many of his predictions were dead off target as well. The sheer number of predictions in this book will allow the author to claim that he is a futurist because many of his predictions will probably come true. Just don't expect him to backup his claims with solid science, facts, or analysis.
Dr. Canton breaks down his forecasts into ten areas. Some of them I find very good. Some of them I find OK. Some of them I disagree with. Some of them I'd replace with others.
His view of the future of the individual, Chapter 10, I find totally agreeable. He says that protecting the freedom and rights of the individual is going to be difficult. I absolutely agree. There will be a great deal of pressure to restrict rights (the so called Patriot's Act) in the name of security. The Democrats would like to impose gun control. The Republicans would like to impose abortion control.
His view on energy I find half right. He is right that we are running out of energy. Oil will get progressively more expensive. Then he says, 'Hydrogen is the most plentiful gas in the universe...It's abundant, reliable, renewable, clean and secure because hydrogen is everywhere, America wouldn't have to rely on foreign suppliers.' Yes, but hydrogen isn't a fuel, it's a way to store energy. You have to put more energy into separating hydrogen from oxygen (where it's mostly found, i.e. water) than you get back when you burn it. Nuclear power is the only forseeable place to get the energy to put into hydrogen, and we still have problems of where to store the old fuel rods, do you want them in your back yard?
He sees medicine making all kinds of advances that will lead to longer and healthier lives. I'm not so sure. AIDS is likely to move up to #3 in killing people in the next few years, and there's no cure in sight. Drug resistent forms of TB, malaria, etc. are spreading. New potential diseases like avian flu.Read more ›
- Today in 2012 one forecast seems difficult to believe but I sure would love to: "There will be more jobs than people to fill them by 2015 in the U.S., Europe, and Japan."
- "By 2012, most people will want to use the science of genetics to predict when they become sick..." is not exactly there although a number of companies are offering limited genetic testing.
- "Energy terrorism will become a future weapon..." seems implausible given the strong incentive to come up with alternative energies. Certainly some sources are more expensive than others, but terrorism seems too strong a word in this context. The author further talks about the "myth of abundance". Of course, that was before the Bakken shale, before fracking, and probably before hybrid cars became commonplace.
- hydrogen car. Maybe in the distant future but the author seems to have missed the hybrid, battery operated car.
- nanotechnology. This area is certainly growing and has great potential in many applications.
- space tourism. Another growing and not-so-far-fetched area.
- all merchants, banks, and consumers will be connected. Definitely on the mark with this one.
- "Within 10 years [by 2016?], humans routinely living beyond one hundred will be an accepted reality." Unless a major breakthrough is achieved, that seems far fetched today in 2012.
- Robo-surgery. While not commonplace, this is becoming more available in various forms.
- The author presents a lot of global warming hype with little evidence in 2012.
The author mentioned longevity and for a supporting point stated that Socrates died before 35. It appears that Socrates actually died at the age of 70.
Predicting the future is difficult business.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read if you need a clear vision of the trends that are shapping the future of our worldPublished on August 19, 2014 by Ignacio Cepeda Bernes
Excellent book to read ,i would highly recommend it to anyone studying finace , MBA or related firld of study .Published on April 2, 2014 by Caesar Kapawa
Right on time for class, I was able to sit in class with this book on the first day. I will order again from this vendor.Published on December 19, 2012 by Satisfied
The book shares some interesting concepts, but is so off the mark in many areas that I stopped reading after reading about half of the bookPublished on December 7, 2012 by DJSharks
Before I get into the bad stuff about this book (because there's a lot of it), I want to explain why I liked this book. Read morePublished on May 16, 2011 by Freyja's Books