Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Blog 2: 50 Years from Today

I've been slowly reading the book called 50 Years from Today. It is an interesting collection of short writings by 60 influential people in the world in 2008.

I like the book because it shows a glimpse into the minds of intellectual people when they think about what life in the near future might be like.

Many of the writers predict that technology will play a huge part in transforming many different areas of life including healthcare, transportation, international relations, and commerce.
In chapter 47, Earl G. Brown talks about the continuing "arms race" between humans and microbes.  As humans continue to fight against microbial disease, microbes continue to evolve.   Due to the genetic variations of microbes that survive our attacks, microbial diseases become more and more resistant to our prevailing methods of attacking them.  Therefore, says Brown, we need to learn how to fight microbial disease without creating a super microbial disease in the process.  

In chapter 48, Carol Bellamy predicts that humans will increasingly view themselves as citizens of the world.  We will look more and more to meet the needs of people who are outside of our "tribe," whether it be the family, religious group, or geographical area we live in.

In chapter 49, James Canton, a self-proclaimed futurist, says that population growth, IT, nanotechnology (the redesign of matter at the atomic level), neurotechnology, healthcare, and genetics will become increasingly important issues.  He predicts that most people will have had their genomes professionally mapped and analyzed in order to get an in-depth understanding of one's personal health concerns and potential health trends.  He also has a minority view in the book I think, which is that free markets are key to global prosperity.

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