Here are a series of tantalizing predictions about the coming century, delivered by thirty of today's greatest minds--including Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Sherry Turkle, Steven Weinberg, Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, and John Kenneth Galbraith. This glittering list of contributors includes Nobel laureates, bestselling writers, intellectual ...
Here are a series of tantalizing predictions about the coming century, delivered by thirty of today's greatest minds--including Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Sherry Turkle, Steven Weinberg, Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, and John Kenneth Galbraith. This glittering list of contributors includes Nobel laureates, bestselling writers, intellectual icons, and scientists at the cutting edge of research. Readers can sample everything from Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe's hopes for the future of Africa in the next century, to feminist Andrea Dworkin's dream of a new Jerusalem for women. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke serves up a series of startling visions, including the possibility that, by the year 2050, large sea creatures will be found beneath the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon Europa. Steven Pinker suggests that the completion of the Humane Genome Project will lead to a sudden jump in our knowledge about the genetic basis of our emotions and our learning abilities. And Richard Dawkins believes that the ancient mind-body problem will be solved--not by philosophers but by scientists. Each prediction is preceded by an intriguing profile of the author--blending a lively interview with biographical data--which conveys a vivid sense of the individual while setting their work in context and explaining their theories or inventions. These fascinating interviews, previously published in The Times Higher EducationSupplement, give us instant capsule portraits of some of our most brilliant living thinkers. Predictions is an exciting roadmap to the future as well as a vivid snapshot of the state of human knowledge at the end of the millennium.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-01-31 Expanded from a set of profiles that first appeared in the (London) Times Higher Education Supplement, this dizzying, upbeat look into the new century brings together 30 thinkers, writers, scientists and academics offering bold predictions and, in some cases, prescriptions. Arthur C. Clarke predicts that artificial intelligence will reach human levels by 2020 and that spaceships will travel close to the speed of light by century's end. Steven Pinker foresees a dissolving of the boundaries between the arts, humanities and hard sciences, thanks to gene mapping and computer modeling of the mind's workings. Francis Fukuyama opines that the growing participation of women in politics will reduce wars. On the prescriptive side, John Kenneth Galbraith urges ample economic aid from the rich nations to the poor; Peter Singer envisages an animal-friendly future where people, at least in developed countries, do not use animals for food; and Andrea Dworkin sets forth a galvanizing one-page manifesto of women's rights, calling for the primacy of women in all areas of culture. Not all the prognosticators are optimists: for instance, Daniel Dennett believes the worst features of capitalism, popular culture and high-tech wizardry will wreak havoc on an unprepared but receptive world. Too many contributors are reluctant or vague (Umberto Eco, Stephen Jay Gould, Noam Chomsky), and too many make predictions based on their own agendas. Consequently, this cacophony of voices works much better as a lively survey of the crosscurrents of contemporary thought than as a guide to the next century. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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