The World of 2044: Technological Development and the Future of Society / Edition 1

The World of 2044: Technological Development and the Future of Society / Edition 1

by Charles Sheffield
     
 

ISBN-10: 0943852498

ISBN-13: 9780943852492

Pub. Date: 08/21/1998

Publisher: Paragon House Publishers

Predicting the future has always fascinated and interested humankind. This interest has not been limited to just knowing the future but with being able to influence the future in one way or another. Predicting or influencing the future of a physical system is, in principle, possible. Predicting the future of humanity in general, or of a social group in particular, is…  See more details below

Overview

Predicting the future has always fascinated and interested humankind. This interest has not been limited to just knowing the future but with being able to influence the future in one way or another. Predicting or influencing the future of a physical system is, in principle, possible. Predicting the future of humanity in general, or of a social group in particular, is a much more difficult, almost impossible task. Social evolution is critically affected by ideological, political, religious, and military leaders, whose appearance and subsequent actions are impossible to predict. The "human factors" affecting the development of society are so unpredictable that a comprehensive forecast of the human future must be intrinsically flawed. At best, we can guess some possible scenarios. Beyond ideology, politics, and religion, one other human factor exerts an enormous influence on social evolution - "science and technology." The list of science and technology discoveries and inventions that have produced profound social changes includes fire, agriculture, metallurgy, gunpowder, the printing press, steam power and electricity. Yet none of these were the result of any desire to achieve social change. The last five decades have seen technological developments at an unprecedented scale; they are likely to exert an even more profound impact on the coming five decades. The technological forecasts in this book look specifically at developments in materials, energy, transportation, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, biotechnology, medical technology, new human habitats, and communications. What we make of technological advances is largely a result of political and moral values. The benefits of technology can be used by elites for their own gain, by tyrants to oppress, or can be shared by all. History has shown that human beings can use technology to create a heaven or a hell, a utopia or a dystopia. Noted science fiction writers Jerry Pournelle, Ben Bova, Charl

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780943852492
Publisher:
Paragon House Publishers
Publication date:
08/21/1998
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.03(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1Materials and Energy17
Ch. 2Robotics and Artificial Intelligence27
Ch. 3Biological Technologies41
Ch. 4Biomedical Technologies59
Ch. 5Transportation and Communication69
Ch. 6Inhabiting the Oceans81
Ch. 7Living in Space89
Ch. 8The Biological Century99
Ch. 9Prenatal Genetic Testing and Euthanasia113
Ch. 10O Brave New (Virtual) World129
Ch. 11Report on Planet Earth141
Ch. 12An Address to the Council151
Ch. 13A Nightmare165
Ch. 14A Land of Empty Abundance177
Ch. 15A Visit to Belindia189
Ch. 16A Utopian World199
Ch. 17The View from Outside America205
Ch. 18The Evolution of the World in the Next Fifty Years219
Ch. 19The United States in 2044241
Ch. 202044: A View from Guatemala253
Ch. 21Thai Society in the 21st Century267
Ch. 22Opportunities for Africa289
Ch. 23Australia in 2044303
Ch. 24The Case for Jordan339
Ch. 25Polish Brainstorming349
Ch. 26The Philippines Fifty Years Hence365
Notes on Contributors377

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >