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Which Way to the Future?: Selected Essays from Analog

Overview

"It's easy to imagine ways the future can be ugly and depressing. It's harder, but more worthwhile, to imagine plausible ways we can make it better," says Stanley Schmidt, and he should know. As the editor of Analog (and a science-fiction writer himself), he's thought about the future more than most.

Since the golden age of John W. Campbell (editor from 1938-72), Analog magazine has been renowned for editorials that provoke, prod, inspire, anger, and ignite the magazine's ...

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Overview

"It's easy to imagine ways the future can be ugly and depressing. It's harder, but more worthwhile, to imagine plausible ways we can make it better," says Stanley Schmidt, and he should know. As the editor of Analog (and a science-fiction writer himself), he's thought about the future more than most.

Since the golden age of John W. Campbell (editor from 1938-72), Analog magazine has been renowned for editorials that provoke, prod, inspire, anger, and ignite the magazine's readers into thinking, questioning their own assumptions, and looking at the world with fresh insights.

From 1978 to the present, the man challenged to light a fire under the readers month after month has been editor Stanley Schmidt. He has succeeded in exemplary fashion, which helps to explain why he's a twenty-two-time nominee for the best editor Hugo Award.

Now, for the first time, thirty-five of his stimulating essays have been gathered in book form. In "King of the Hill (No Matter What)" he considers the questions of animal and machine intelligence. "The Fermi Plague" offers a frightening answer to Enrico Fermi's famous paradox about the apparent absence of alien civilizations. "Invisible Enemies, Intelligent Choices" examines the proper role of science in public policy. Running the gamut from how to challenge scientific orthodoxy to the flaws of our educational system, from the serious value of humor to the difficult choices between jobs and conservation, all the pieces are, in different ways, answers to the question asked by the title: Which way to the future? Schmidt's answers will engage anyone with an eye on tomorrow.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765301048
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/11/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Schmidt is a physicist and has been the editor of Analog magazine since 1978. He is a perennial nominee for the Best Editor Hugo Award and the author of four previous novels. He lives in upstate New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 11
Human and Other Natures: The Search for Intelligence
King of the Hill (No Matter What) (August 1998) 17
Time-Unbinding (February 1999) 25
Nature Versus/and Nurture (September 1997) 31
On Being Human (February 1990) 39
The Fermi Plague (October 1998) 45
The Art of Arguing
Tilting with Straw Men (July 1992) 53
Two-Stage Process (September 1992) 59
Statistics Abuse (November 1994) 65
Guessing the Future: A Matter of Perspective
Bold and Timid Prophets (November 1995) 75
Defenders of the Faiths (March 1998) 81
Advice for "Crackpots" (October 1980) 87
Primitive Machines (March 1991) 95
Literature, Art, and Technology
Nouveaux Cliches (October 1993) 103
The Dark Side of Clarke's Law (November 1996) 109
Sensory Deprivation (September 1992) 115
The Old-Timer Effect (June 1990) 123
Upstart Instruments (August 1993) 129
Taking Chances: Risk Assessment Philosophy and Progress
Fear Pollution (Mid-December 1989) 137
Foolproof (May 1991) 143
Toward More Perfect Goverments, Big and Small 151
The All or Nothing Fallacy (February 1997) 157
Unlicensed Practice (June 1996) 163
Natural Succession (January 1998) 169
Working to Live, or Living to Work?
Bag Limit (August 1990) 179
Haste Makes Haste (January 1999) 185
Our Environment and Us
Megachoice (February 1994) 193
The Forever Fallacy (October 1996) 199
Public vs. Private (April 1997) 205
Snakes or Paychecks: Is That the Question? (May 1998) 213
Invisible Enemies, Intelligent Choices (September 1998) 219
Rights vs. Rightness (April 1999) 225
Training Our Successors: Myths and Challenges of Education
Wishful Egalitarianism (Mid-December 1994) 233
I/O (September 1996) 239
Style and Substance, Horse and Cart (March 1997) 245
Relevance (December 1995) 251
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