Probable Tomorrows: How Science and Technology Will Transform Our Lives in the Next Twenty Years

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St. Martin's Publishing Group, May 15, 1997 - Technology & Engineering - 352 pages

A fascinating look at near-future advances, inventions, products, services, and everyday conveniences that will change how we live and work. Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies explore these changes and the impact they will have on everyday life. For example, by the year 2010:

-Personal computers will offer the power of today's supermachines and artificial intelligence.
-A telecommunications network will supply the world with services from the contents of the Library of Congress to pornographic videos in Cantonese.
-The United States-reversing a decades-old trend-will link its major cities with hig-speed railroads.
-Airplanes will be capable of leaping halfway around the world in just two hours.
-Consumer goods will be produced at prices so low the poor of tomorrow could live as well as the rich of today.
-Scientists will have learned to purge the air of pollution, closing up the Antarctic ozone hole and ending the threat of global warming.
-Heavy industries can move into space, so that Earth can recover from our past environmental follies.
-Dramatic advances in gene mapping and organ transplants will extend the healthy human life span well beyond the century mark.

Science and technology have dominated life in developed countries since the Industrial Revolution. In the twenty-first century, the will change it almost beyond recognition. Probable Tomorrows tells us how.

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PROBABLE TOMORROWS: How Science and Technology Will Transform Our Lives in the Next Twenty Years

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Here's the latest effort by two science writers who've made a career of forecasting the future of science and technology. Cetron and Davies (Crystal Globe, 1991) set themselves the comparatively ... Read full review

Contents

Get Ready for Digital Everything
1
Reach Out and Touch Anyone in the World
28
Bricks for the HighTech Future
63
Engineering One Atom at a Time
85
You Can Get There from Here
105
The Long Climb Back to Space
132
Energy Without Tears
151
Nursing an Injured Planet 274
185
Medicine for the New Millennium
197
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Page 174 - No other great industrial civilization so systematically and so long poisoned its land, air, water and people. None so loudly proclaiming its efforts to improve public health and protect nature so degraded both. And no advanced society faced such a bleak political and economic reckoning with so few resources to invest toward recovery.
Page 268 - Schools and colleges commonly use computerized teaching programs and interactive television lectures and seminars, as well as traditional methods.
Page 261 - Personal digital assistants (handheld microcomputers) are used by the majority of people to manage their work and personal affairs.
Page 12 - Anyone who can contemplate quantum mechanics without getting dizzy hasn't properly understood it.
Page 97 - Heisenberg said is that it is impossible to know precisely both the position and the momentum of an object — an electron, say — at the same time.
Page 85 - What would happen if we could arrange atoms one by one the way we want them?
Page 263 - Computers are able to routinely translate languages in realtime with the accuracy and speed necessary for effective communications.
Page 272 - Computerized information systems are commonly used for medical care, including diagnosis, dispensing prescriptions, monitoring medical conditions, and self-care.
Page 243 - Electronic banking, including electronic cash, replaces paper, checks, and cash as the principal means of commerce.
Page 84 - To have any hope of understanding our future, we must understand the consequences of assemblers, disassemblers, and nanocomputers. They promise to bring changes as profound as the Industrial Revolution, antibiotics, and nuclear weapons all rolled up in one massive breakthrough. To understand a future of such profound change, it makes sense to seek principles of change that have survived the greatest upheavals of the past.

About the author (1997)

Marvin Cetron is founder and president of Forecasting International and has consulted to over half of the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and to various government agencies here and abroad. He lives in Virginia.

Owen Davies is a former senior editor at Omni magazine and a freelance writer specializing in science, technology, and the future. He lives in New Hampshire.

Together, they are the authors of Crystal Globe, Educational Renaissance, and American Renaissance.

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