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The Human Forecast

Overview

Human civilization has undergone many changes over the past five thousand years, but have we made any real progress or simply created more problems for ourselves? If we continue on our current course, what may the future hold? What role has technology played in creating the major problems that exist today? What promise, or peril, do emerging technologies present? Are our social systems part of the problem or the solution to our problems? This book addresses all of these questions by leveraging a unique ...
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Overview

Human civilization has undergone many changes over the past five thousand years, but have we made any real progress or simply created more problems for ourselves? If we continue on our current course, what may the future hold? What role has technology played in creating the major problems that exist today? What promise, or peril, do emerging technologies present? Are our social systems part of the problem or the solution to our problems? This book addresses all of these questions by leveraging a unique perspective to explore such issues. After examining the role that technological discoveries have played in shaping human civilization, this work examines how emerging technologies in the fields of genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics (the "GNR technologies") may ultimately determine the future of humans as well as other life on Earth. This work also proposes a novel solution to the major problems facing us by leveraging certain GNR technologies to evolve ourselves to a more elevated state of being. In this evolved utopian state, we are free from all of the stresses of modern life, we no longer engage in environmentally harmful practices, and we are able to adopt social systems which correct for the flaws in our current economic, political, and religious systems. At the same time, this book recognizes the significant dangers inherent in pursuing the GNR technologies. This work also discusses how our current economic, political, and religious systems increase the likelihood that the pursuit of the GNR technologies will accelerate us down a self-destructive path. Thus, unlike most books relating to technology, this one takes a holistic perspective that considers the interconnections between technology, the environment, economics, politics, and religion. Absorbing, intriguing, and deeply thought-provoking, this book is sure to serve as a catalyst for initiating many a discussion on how we should manage technology to create a brighter future while simultaneously being aware of its dangers.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A remarkably frank, comprehensive assessment of 21st-century life is only the staging area for one of the richest, wildly imaginative rocket ship rides into the future of humanity. The first two-thirds of Darwin's book are dedicated to carefully cataloguing the greed, selfishness and myopia currently afflicting humankind today, and readers might ask, "So when does the ominous prognostication that the title suggests kick in?" Well, hang on, because when it does, it's enough the blow off the top of even the most ardent futurist's head. Here is a fantastic world of tomorrow filled with new races of virtual immortals poised to test the very boundaries of space and time. More incredible, however, than the artificial post-humans, organic post-humans, robots and still-normal humans predicted to one day inhabit the planet is the sheer plausibility of it all. Matching the same sober, meticulous narrative demonstrated earlier in the book, the author (in the guise of an extraterrestrial intelligence) coolly extrapolates what impact genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics might have on the future of humankind. The result is an uncanny universe as astounding as any modern-day comic book creator or ancient myth-maker might imagine. Rooted in present realities, the future of humankind as envisioned here is a fantastically variable and pliable thing. While some might one day opt for a Matrix-like existence exploring virtual worlds via online avatars, others might evolve into super-beings with the ability to draw sustenance from the sun and morph into their environment. It's a mind-boggling thought experiment with profound, far-reaching implications. Much, of course, is controversial and predicated upon the assumption that human beings will really want to live forever given the opportunity. But there are other things to ponder: When is a robot alive? At what point are you something other than human? How will organic post-humans and artificial post-humans interact? Someday, according to the author, these are the kinds of questions a profoundly changed humanity will have to face. A futurist looks into the mirror and barely recognizes the strange human being staring back.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781463769079
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/19/2011
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

The pen name Galileo K. Darwin is a tribute to forward thinkers in human history who were willing to challenge widely held beliefs and social systems.
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