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The Way We Will Be 50 Years from Today: 60 Of The World's Greatest Minds Share Their Visions of the Next Half-Century [Hardcover]

By Mike Wallace (Editor)
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Item Number 99496  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   241
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 13, 2008
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  084990370X  
EAN  9780849903700  
UPC  023755028006  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Sixty leading luminaries, including scientists, writers, artists, religious leaders, businesspeople, and politicians, offer their thoughts on what life will look like by the middle of the twenty-first century.

Publishers Description
The world is an uncertain place, which is why the future and the unknown absolutely fascinate us. Veteran television journalist Mike Wallace asked the question "What will life be like 50 years from now?" to sixty of the world's greatest minds. Their responses offer a fascinating glimpse into the cultural, scientific, political, and spiritual moods of the times. Edited and with an introduction by Mike Wallace, this book provides an imaginative and thought-provoking look into our collective soul and the critical issues that underlie our hopes, prayers, fears, and dreams for life in the 21st century.

Contributors include former presidents, leading scientists, noted writers and artists, respected religious leaders, and current political figures, including: Vint Cerf, Vice President of Google; known as a "Father of the Internet"Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a geneticist who led the Human Genome ProjectDr. Wanda Jones, Director of the Office on Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesRay Kurzweil, an inventor whose developments include the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind and the first text-to-speech synthesizerGeneral James E. Cartwright, Commander of United States Strategic CommandKim Dae-jung, the former President of the Republic of KoreaRonald Noble, Secretary General of InterpolNorman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize winner; called "the father of the Green Revolution"Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director UNICEF, first former volunteer to serve as director of Peace Corp, and current president and CEO of World LearningGerardus 't Hooft, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands; Nobel Prize in Physics Craig Newmark, Internet pioneer and founder of craigslist

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
futurism  Jun 9, 2008
It was pleasant and comforting to read the views of my favorite scientific personalities. It was at the same time rewarding and entertaining. The topics may have been serious but the reading was simple, fluid and easy.
I am glad I won't be here in 50 years!  Jun 8, 2008
I truly believe that 57 of the 60 world's Greatest Minds are Nuts! With all of their optimist views for the future, I am sure had the 60 of the Greatest Minds been on the Titanic, 59 of them would have never gotten into the life boats. Regards, Keith Renick, Peachtree City, Ga.
Very few clear trends emerge from the musings of these 60 individuals.  May 14, 2008
When I happened upon "50 Years From Today" I had the idea that after reading this book I might come away with a pretty realistic view of what our world might look like in the year 2058. However, after reading all 60 essays offered by those purported to be leading thinkers in a whole host of disciplines I find that I have no better understanding of what the future holds in store than I did before reading this book. I found a few of these essays to be somewhat interesting but for the most part I thought that the writing in this book was pretty tedious. While I realize that trying to predict the future is pretty risky business I felt that this book really seemed to miss the mark. I thought that the approach to this project was generally unfocused. It seems to me that the participants were given few guidelines to follow and the result was rather chaotic in my view. I think that "50 Years From Now" would have worked so much better had each writer been responding to a set of general questions. It would have been interesting to compare and contrast the responses. Maybe it's just me but I did not learn a whole lot or gain many insights from this one. Not recommended.
We need new leaders to confront global problems  May 8, 2008
The list of personalities who contribute to this book is impressive, including several Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Medicine, Chemistry , Economics and Peace.
The most clear-sighted say that the future is essentially unpredictable ("the hallmark of science has been unanticipated great leaps"), but there are two main conclusions: we need a new political leadership ( "there is a lack of vision in global affairs", something more acute in the US, of course) and they and we need to take care of some major problems: energy, water and food supplies, climate change, demography, health problems (obesity and its derivatives being a prominent one).
Then, there are a few somewhat surprising statements:
-Most mental illnesses will be proven to be of microbial origin (transmitted by animals)
-People will live over 140 years of quality life
-AIDS will be fought with an anti-HIV virus
-We will know the exact positions and velocities of a 100 billion galaxies
-We will have clones (but they will be distinct from us)
-In order that in 2058 all humans enjoy the standards of living enjoyed now by the West you need to build one Gigawatt power plant every single day for 40 years
-We will recreate life in the laboratory
-There will be intelligent self-programmable machines that will evolve much faster than us so we will be forced to become hybrids (cyborgs)
-There will be methods to convert CO2 directly to useful fuels
-In the future medicine will be predictive, personalized, preemptive and participatory
-We will download 3D blueprints and simple solid products will be nanoassembled at home
-A lot of people will spend a lot of time immersed in virtual reality (Second Life Plus)
-Neurological and psychiatric illnesses will be cured
-Replacing organs grown from our stem cells will be routine
-Driving to work will be mostly a thing of the past (telecommuting)
Optimistic forecasts:
-Science is going to kill the soul stone dead (Dawkins)
-We will understand subjective consciousness (also Dawkins, this might be more realistic), but others doubt it ("I doubt that the code of consciousness will be cracked")
-We will recreate life in the laboratory
-Intelligent extraterrestrials will be discovered in the next 100 years
And pessimistic forecasts:
-Bio and nuclear terrorism
-Christian and Islamic fundamentalism could bring us to a Dark Age (we could lose our way as it happened when the library in Alexandria was destroyed)
-Crowded cities will be jungles of crime
And outlandish forecasts:
-Flying cars
-Flying shoes
-A global network of maglevs
-California will be a nation
And some nasty facts:
-Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years
-42% of Americans over 85 have Alzheimer's disease
-If you stay in a hospital you have a 15% chance of getting an infection
Reminders of sensible principles:
-Where goods do not cross frontiers, armies will
The XXIst century technologies will be: information technology, life sciences, nanotechnology and neurotechnology.

This Is The Best All Those Thinkers Could Do?  Apr 18, 2008

As I read one dull chapter after the next, all I could think was that with all these great minds, all this talent, there wasn't much to show for it. I bought this book without opening the cover, which turns out to be a mistake. This isn't much here that's surprising or insightful and actually most of the chapters are boring.


By 2050, nine-billion or more humans will walk the earth.

Modest space colonies will exist.

China will rise to such heights that Chinese will be the next global language, ahead of English and Spanish.

Developments in medicine will bring such revolutions in surgery, bionics, cloning, stem cell research, that many diseases of today will be controlled or altogether eradicated by mid-century.

Climate changes could wreak havoc to coastlines and farm belts.

Robots may not be as great a presence as science fiction has lead us to believe.

The racial composition of the western world will be not unlike that of present-day Brazil, with multi-ethnic societies being the norm.

Fuels sources will be a mix of what we presently term "green" and also we will have a greater reliance on nuclear power than is commonplace today.

Massive extinctions will continue among species alive today, with birds being particularly hard hit.

Overall after reading this book, wherein each chapter was like a little monument to its author's ego, I am happy here in the present, and am in no big hurry to greet the world into which I'll grow old.

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