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TechTV's Catalog of Tomorrow Paperback – September 24, 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

TechTV's Catalog of Tomorrow provides moderately interesting browsing material, and will help clarify a few buzzwords if you've missed a few newspaper science pages during the past 10 years. Illustrated essays on genetic therapies, microscopic robots, virtual and augmented reality, and novel sources of energy fill this book. There's plenty of marketing material, too, covering everything from the Segway scooter to Boeing private jets. Some of it's exciting, some of it's old news, and some of it's just weird (like one remarkable picture of a guy wearing scuba gear while hanging by a sort of jockstrap inside a giant plastic bag filled with water). In any case, the information on products and technologies has to be taken on its own level (again, that of a newspaper's science page) and some readers may wish for coverage of the social and ethical ideas that will surely influence the future as much as any electric hat.

Scanning this book--you don't really read it; it's too much like a magazine and has too many authorial voices for that--reminds you of looking at Wired magazine four or five years ago. So many technologies, so casually explained! So many people designated "futurists" and "visionaries" by fawning article writers! Sure, having a television screen built into your clothing seems like a hassle, but... maybe there's money to be made! That's the experience you'll find here. Nostalgia can be fun. --David Wall

Topics covered: Problems (like global warming and overpopulation) and solutions (like telemedicine and environmentally benign energy generators) that look like they have a chance of affecting the course of mankind in the future.

From the Back Cover

From medicine to the movies, from computers to the climate, change is everywhere around us, transforming the way we will live, work, play, and learn. We will likely experience as much change in the next three decades than we have in the two previous centuries.

In such a world, how do we make sense of our future, and our place within it?

TechTV's Catalog of Tomorrow offers an exciting glimpse at the new trends and technologies that will shape our lives, our society and our planet in the next 15-20 years. Nearly one hundred topics are showcased, in a clearly written and visually arresting style that provides an overview of current and future developments, with timelines, statistics, and pointers to online resources. Deeply researched and beautifully designed, TechTV's Catalog of Tomorrow is more than a book: it's a tool for thinking about the future.

Numerous futurists, visionaries, and technology commentators have added their insights and visions of the future to the book, including:Paul Saffo, leading futurist and director of the Institute for the Future,Howard Rheingold, technology visionary and author,Craig Venter, co-decoder of the human genome,Jef Raskin, designer of the original Macintosh computer,Christine Peterson, expert on nanotechnology and president of the Foresight Institute,Nathan Shedroff, leading digital media designer,Stefano Marzano, CEO of Philips Design,Richard Garriott, legendary video game designer,Clement Bezold, president of Alternative Futures,Douglas Rushkoff, cultural critic, commentator, and author,William McDonough, architect and environmental champion,Alex Marshall, urban planning theorist, journalist, and author,Martin Siegel, professor of education and informatics at Indiana University,John Arquilla, leading military theorist on the future of war,Maurice Strong, Senior Advisor to the United Nations and World Bank and organizer of the Rio Earth Summit,Rory Stears, CEO of Freeplay, pioneers in human-powered devices,Frank Drake, astrophysicist and chairman of the SETI Institute

This book is edited by Andrew Zolli, a futurist working at the intersection of technology, design, innovation, and futures research.

This book encourages your participation in thinking about the future -- and in shaping your own. It is a book to ponder, argue with, revisit often, and use as a platform for your own speculation. It helps you stay connected to the coming changes in your world, and serves as a gateway to a world of infinite possibilities. The future is in your hands literally.

TechTV is the cable television network for those excited by and curious about all things related to technology. By using technology as a backdrop to entertain, amaze, and engage viewers, TechTV is the lifestyle network that showcases how the latest trends, products, and events enhance our lives. Check your local television for TechTV.

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Product Details

  • Series: TechTV
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Que (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789728109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789728104
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,819,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book review from DingBat Magazine:
Here's a fab, futurist extravaganza-nearly 300 glossy illustrated pages of where we'll probably be tomorrow. The list of contributing visionaries is impressive (Howard Rheingold, Jef Raskin, Douglas Rushkoff, and others) and the illustrations superb. Just pop open the covers and you'll be sucked right into the vortex of spellbinding trends & cutting edges... like "Floating Cities" which includes plans for the "Freedom Ship" -a city on a boat a mile long, wide as two football fields, and high as a 25-story building! There's literally something for everyone here, with sections on cloning, biotech food, smart garments, digital paper, telemedicine, the future office, cryonics, biowarfare, deep sea exploration, and a whole lot more. It's more readable than WIRED and a lot more fun. A dazzling dreambook the whole family will enjoy.
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By A Customer on October 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. My father gave it to me and I'm fascinated. There are a lot of things in here that I had no idea about -- especially scientific developments that may have huge impacts on our society. The book makes its ideas very understandable, and I especially like that they provide links to places for more information. If my father hadn't given it to me, I would have given it to him.
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By A Customer on October 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
...bought it right away - it totally delivered. It's a great overview of the trends and new technologies that are going to influence us in the next coming years, and it's written for someone who isn't themselves a geek. I totally recommend this book for people who are interested in the future, but don't have PHD.
TechTV made a decision to go "wide" rather than "deep". That let them talk about a lot of issues - there's everything in the book from the future of medical technologies to the future of the movies. The downside is that the articles are fairly short. But overall, this is an enjoyable, informative look at a wide number of trends - I highly recommend it.
...
Here's a fab, futurist extravaganza - nearly 300 glossy illustrated pages of where we'll probably be tomorrow. The list of contributing visionaries is impressive (Howard Rheingold, Jef Raskin, Douglas Rushkoff, and others) and the illustrations superb. Just pop open the covers and you'll be sucked right into the vortex of spellbinding trends & cutting edges... like "Floating Cities" which includes plans for the "Freedom Ship" a city on a boat a mile long, wide as two football fields, and high as a 25-story building! There's literally something for everyone here, with sections on cloning, biotech food, smart garments, digital paper, telemedicine, the future office, cryonics, biowarfare, deep sea exploration, and a whole lot more. It's more readable than WIRED and a lot more fun.
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Format: Paperback
...The future, being what it is, is notoriously hard to predict. Ed Zolli realizes the inherent difficulty of predicting the future but still remains bold enough to edit together some well-informed guesses in "Tech TV's Catalog of Tomorrow"...
"Tech TV's Catalog of Tomorrow" has a well-ordered layout. First divided into very broad but related sections like "Our Tools" or "Our Society." The broad categories are winnowed down a bit to section titles like "Computing" or "Nanotechnology" followed finally by individual article with titles like "Broadband" and "Cyborgs." This makes the book easy to navigate and reference but saps some of the fun out of "Tech TV's Catalog of Tomorrow". Since you always know exactly what's coming there's never one of those "Wow, look what I found" feeling you while thumbing through less organized futuristic looking tomes.
The real meat of the book is, of course, the individual articles. Each article is accompanied by a timeline for likely adoption of the topic at hand, two circles indicting relative risk and benefit, a color photograph or artists rendering and a few related links for those still curious after reading the article. It's visually pleasing format and very well laid out but the topics and prose are really what we're after. The topics for the articles run from utterly predictable "Gene Therapy" (already in use to a small extent) to the seemingly outlandish "Floating Cities"(a 4,500 foot boat). I prefer the more outlandish future predications but "Catalog of Tomorrow" keeps mostly to the rational. I suppose this is because the articles are well written and researched and not mere speculation that some authors are known to trot out.
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