Which Way to the Future?: Selected Essays From Analog (R)
"It's easy to imagine ways the future can be ugly and depressing. It's harder, but more worthwhile, to imagine plausible ways we can make it better," says Stanley Schmidt, and he should know. As the editor of Analog (and a science-fiction writer himself), he's thought about the future more than most.
Since the golden age of John W. Campbell (editor from 1938-72), Analog magazine has been renowned for editorials that provoke, prod, inspire, anger, and ignite the magazine's readers into thinking, questioning their own assumptions, and looking at the world with fresh insights.
From 1978 to the present, the man challenged to light a fire under the readers month after month has been editor Stanley Schmidt. He has succeeded in exemplary fashion, which helps to explain why he's a twenty-two-time nominee for the best editor Hugo Award.
Now, for the first time, thirty-five of his stimulating essays have been gathered in book form. In "King of the Hill (No Matter What)" he considers the questions of animal and machine intelligence. "The Fermi Plague" offers a frightening answer to Enrico Fermi's famous paradox about the apparent absence of alien civilizations. "Invisible Enemies, Intelligent Choices" examines the proper role of science in public policy. Running the gamut from how to challenge scientific orthodoxy to the flaws of our educational system, from the serious value of humor to the difficult choices between jobs and conservation, all the pieces are, in different ways, answers to the question asked by the title: Which way to the future? Schmidt's answers will engage anyone with an eye on tomorrow.
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