AN Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "What's Next?"

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Penguin, Feb 3, 2011 - Science - 384 pages
3 Reviews
In the tradition of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, a smart and entertaining guide to the future of civilization

When unexpectedly confronted with his own mortality, Mark Stevenson-a writer, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian-began to ponder what the future holds for our species. "The past is a foreign country," writes Stevenson. "By my analysis it's a bit like France-in that I've been to parts of it and eaten some nice food there. But the future? The future is an unknown territory-and there isn't a guidebook." Thus, his ambition was born.

Stevenson set out simply, asking, "What's next?" and then traveled the globe in pursuit of the answers. Along the way, he visited the Australian outback to visit the farmers who can save us from climate change, met a robot with mood swings, and talked to the Spaniard who's putting a hotel in space. While some might be overwhelmed, or even dismayed by the looming realities of genome sequencing, synthetic biology, a nuclear renaissance, and carbon scrubbing, Stevenson remains, well, optimistic. Drawing on his singular humor and storytelling to break down these sometimes complicated discoveries, An Optimist's Tour of the Future paints a wonderfully readable, and completely enthralling portrait of where we'll be when we grow up- and why it's not so scary.

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User Review  - sbarrow57 - LibraryThing

A very interesting book that gives a whirlwind tour of future technologies that could change the world we live in. I paticularily enjoyed the wide range of subjects the author covers. He seems to have ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Optisimsfight and the fuiure.
I love this book


Damned Clever Those Russians
Chapter 1The Worlds Most Dangerous Idea
Chapter 2 The Most Wondrous Map
Damned Clever Those Russians
Chapter 3 My Lab Should Not Be Trusted
Chapter 4 Can You Turn All the Buttons On?
Chapter 5 Like Explaining Shakespeare to a Dog
Chapter 6 Invisibly Small and Magical
Chapter 8 A Constant and Complete Intercourse
Chapter 9 World Leaders Still Dont Really Get It
Chapter 10 Im a Disruptive Guy I Like Disruption
Chapter 11 The Black Phantom
Chapter 12 A Little Bit of a Big Amount
Chapter 13 The Best Job in the World
Chapter 14 Making a Road Where There IsntOne
Chapter 16 Hello and Thanks for All the Fish

Chapter 7 The Biggest Baddest Kid on the Block

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About the author (2011)

Mark Stevenson is codirector of Flow Associates, Britain's most respected cultural learning consultancy, and ReAgency, a leading organization that promotes science communication. He lives in London.

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