With Sam Goldwyn's famous saying 'Never predict anything - especially the future' firmly in mind, Jonathan Margolis begins with a chastening, and often amusing, look at the history of futurology as predicted by H. G. Wells, George Orwell, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates, among others. Margolis then takes courage in both hands and sets out to describe the world that's yet to come. Politics, society, medicine, war, home, work, travel, and space are all destined for great changes.
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What will the future be like? Throughout history, many have tried to answer the question, but few have had much success. Now, with journalistic clarity and wit, Jonathan Margolis in A Brief History of Tomorrow analyzes the few successes and numerous failures of past futurologists, then explores whether modern-day predictions about the future are any more likely to be correct.
The history of futurology is so littered with amusing misses that Noam Chomsky was led to remark: "Perhaps the most plausible prediction is that any prediction about serious matters is likely to be off the mark except by accident." Nevertheless, as Margolis explains, more than a few bright sparks in today's high-tech industries manage to earn a living--and a good one at that--keeping their bosses apprised of the possible courses of world history.
But are these modern-day seers likely to be any better at predicting the future than you, me, or Nostradamus? Can trends really be distinguished? In a hundred years' time, will we be laughing at the ridiculous fad that was the Internet as we tuck into our healthy breakfasts of fatty bacon and fried eggs (dietary fiber having been identified in 2020 as the major cause of bowel cancer)? Or will we, at last, be wearing those silver one-piece jump suits so beloved of 20th-century filmmakers, making our way to work in flying cars (how long have we been waiting for these?), and cryogenically preserving our heads in the hope that future surgeons will be able to reattach us to healthy bodies? No one knows, of course, but if you'd like to indulge in a bit of no-holds-barred speculation, A Brief History of Tomorrow is an undemanding and entertaining primer. --Chris Lavers, Amazon.co.ukAbout the Author:
Jonathan Margolis writes on new technology and hi-tech consumer products for the Evening Standard, the Financialtimes, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, Gq, Elle and Time Magazine. He has a regular 'new gadgets' slot on Sky TV News. He is the author of a critical biography of Uri Geller and (with Jane Walmsley) of Hothouse People: Can We Create Super Human Beings?
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