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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Biowarfare. Nanotech. Life extension. Quantum computing. Cellular robots. Fuel cells. Floating cities. Lifestyle drugs. The TechTV folks have rounded up today’s most intelligent predictions about all the revolutionary technologies now being cooked up in the labs. There’s wild stuff on virtually every page, but the “gee whiz” factor is tempered by thoughtful assessments of what it all means.
The new “century of biotechnology” is previewed here in detail, starting with an essay by J. Craig Venter, the scientist who first analyzed the entire human genome. There are extensive sections on the coming digital lifestyle (from smart garments to the future of shopping), on health care, transportation, education, energy, and space exploration. There are journeys into a world without privacy (Will brainwave detectors do what lie detectors couldn’t?) and entirely new forms of warfare (including bio- and cyber-terrorism).
Each chapter ends with “provocations”: outrageous questions you just might have to face one day. Would you accept acupuncture from a robotic arm? Will schools have body modification codes? Would you pay extra not to be advertised to?
Throughout, editor Andrew Zolli finds several constantly recurring themes. Some are technical. “From the genome to the individual atom, human beings are extending our will into entirely new dimensions of the physical world.” But the “rising power of the small” will be equally important -- and that manifests itself as much in terrorist cells as in nanotech. The most crucial theme: More than ever, our values and choices will determine whether we build a humane future -- or suffer one quite different. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.