- For online information about the future,
try these links:
The Institute for the
The Foresight Nanotech
The British Telecom
The Millennium Project of the
United Nations University:
World Futures Studies
Global Business Network -
consultants exploring the future:
The Worldwatch Institute:
The World Future Society:
The Foundation for the
Association of Professional
The Club of Rome - global think
The Long Bets Foundation -
Future Studies page:
Plausible Futures Newsletter -
News and Analysis for Future Studies:
RAND - a non-profit think
The National Intelligence Council
Report on the Future:
The Harrow Technology
Center for Responsible
Institute for Molecular
Nanotechnology expert Robert
Freitas's Molecular Assembler.com
Nanowerk Nanomaterial Database
Institute for Alternative
The Extropy Institute - a
Hawaii Research Center for
The DaVinci Insitute - Unlocking
Red Colony.com - The Future of
Yahoo Research - the Buzz
FUTUREdition - The Arlington
- To read more about the future, try these
The Singularity Is Near:
When Humans Transcend Biology, by Ray Kurzweil (Viking, 2005/652
pages). The "singularity" foretells a
time within the next few decades when
technological change will be so rapid and deep that
human life will be irreversibly transformed.
Developments in various technologies will come
together to allow us to live longer and smarter.
Kurzweil explainse, for instance, how nanobots
(molecular-level robots) will reverse human aging and
vastly extend human intelligence.
Next for Nanotechnology? by J. Storrs Hall (Prometheus Books,
2005/333 pages). The chief scientist at Nanorex
describes molecular manipulation and the probable
potential in the next 25 years for quantum
nanocomputers, self-replication, engines too small to
see, nanomedicine, the personal synthesizing
manufacturing system, extreme artificial intelligence,
Robots, by George
A. Bekey (MIT Press, 2005/577 pages). Autonomous,
intelligent machines will proliferate in the next few
years and will play a major role in our lives.
Developments for the next decade are described for
household, construction and industrial services; the
military; AI companion pets and playmates; care for the
elderly and disabled, molecular-sized nanorobots, and
multi-robot systems in space or under the sea.
Infinite Worlds: An
Illustrated Voyage to Planets Beyond Our
Sun, by Ray
Villard and Lynnette R. Cook (University of California
Press, 2005/252 pages). The universe has at least 100
billion galaxies, each with some 100 billion stars, and
there may be a billion or more rocky planets the size
of Earth, some of which are habitable. The
extraordinary illustrations in this book offer a
glimpse of possible landscapes and atmospheres that
almost certainly adorn alien worlds and may support
The World Is Flat: A
Brief History of the Twenty-First
by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
2005/488 pages). Mainstream best-seller describes the
forces that have flattened the global economic playing
field. A similar theme is found in Three
Billion New Capitalists by Clyde Prestowitz
(Basic Books, 2005/321 pages), but with even greater
emphasis on China and India.
Powerful Times: Rising to
the Challenge of Our Uncertain
Eamonn Kelly (Wharton School/Pearson Prentice Hall,
2005/275 pages). CEO and president of Global Business
Network identifies seven matching pairs of forces that
will grow in the next decade: clarity/craziness,
secular/sacred, US power/vulnerability, tech
acceleration/pushback, intangible/physical economies,
prosperity/decline, and people/planet.
The staff at the
Acceleration Studies Foundation recommends the
following 50 titles as being best for studying
accelerating change and projecting what might come in
the years ahead:
Big Picture -"A Brief History of
Everything," Ken Wilber, 2001; "Global Brain:
The Evolution of the Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the
21st Century," Howard Bloom, 2000; "Guns,
Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,"
Jared Diamond, 1999; "Nonzero: The Logic of Human
Destiny," Robert Wright, 2000; "The
Singularity is Near," Ray Kurzweil, 2005.
Business -"Creative Destruction,"
Richard Foster and Sarah Kaplan, 2001; "It's
Not the Big That Eat the Small, It's the Fast that
Eat the Slow," Jason Jennings, 2002; "Leading
the Revolution: Making Innovation a Way of Life,"
Gary Hamel, 2002; "Seeing What's Next,"
Clayton Christiansen, 2004 ; "The Balanced
Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action,"
Robert Kaplan and David Norton, 1996; "The Fortune
at the Bottom of the Pyramid," C.K. Prahalad,
2004; "The Intelligent Investor," Benjamin
Graham, 2003; "The World is Flat," Thomas
Science/Science Theory -"An Introduction to General Systems
Thinking," Gerald Weinberg, 1975/2001;
"Biocosm," James Gardner, 2003; "Cosmic
Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature," Eric
Chaisson, 2002; "Life's Solution: Inevitable
Humans in a Lonely Universe," Simon Conway Morris,
2003; "Linked: The New Science of Networks,"
Albert Barabasi, 2002; "Six Degrees: The Science
of a Connected Age," Duncan Watts, 2003;
"Ubiquity: The Science of History, Or Why the
World is Simpler than You Think," Mark Buchanan,
Society, Politics, and Humanism -"Development as
Freedom," Amartya Sen, 2000; "Diffusion of
Innovations," Everett Rogers, 2003;
"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness
of Crowds," Charles MacKay, 1841/1995; "From
Third World to First: The Singapore Story,
1965-2000," Lee Kuan Yew, 2000; "In Defense
of Globalization," Jadgish Bhagwati, 2004;
"Millennials Rising," Niel Howe and William
Strauss, 2000; "Out of Control: The New Biology of
Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World,"
Kevin Kelly, 1994; "The Future of Freedom,"
Fareed Zakaria, 2003; "The Mystery of
Capital," Hernando De Soto, 2003; "The
Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big
Difference," Malcolm Gladwell, 2002; "The
Wisdom of Crowds," James Surowiecki, 2004.
Technology -"Digital Biology", Peter
Bentley, 2000; "Flesh and Machines: How Robots
Will Change Us," Rodney Brooks, 2002;
"Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next
Big Idea," Mark Ratner, 2002; "Natural-Born
Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human
Intelligence," Andy Clark, 2003; "Net
Attitude," John Patrick, 2001; "On
Intelligence," Jeff Hawkins, 2004. "Our
Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology
Revolution," Francis Fukuyama, 2002;
"Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change
What We Think and Do," B.J. Fogg, 2002. "The
Age of Spiritual Machines," Ray Kurzweil, 1999;
"Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate
about Machines, Systems, and the Human World,"
Richard Rhodes, 2000; "Visualize This:
Collaboration, Communication, and Commerce in the 21st
Century," Joe Clabby, 2001; "When Things
Start to Think," Niel Gershenfeld, 2000.
Trends and Indicators -"2000 Index of Economic
Freedom," Gerald O'Driscoll, 1999 -
"Global Trends 2005: A Owner's Manual for the
Next Decade," Michael Mazarr, 2001; "It's
Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends in the
Last 100 Years," Stephen Moore and Julian Simon,
2000; "Penguin Atlas of War and Peace," Dan
Smith, 2003; "Penguin State of the World
Atlas," Dan Smith, 2003; "The First Measured
Century: Trends in America, 1900-2000" Theodore
Caplow et. al., 2000; "The Progress Paradox: How
Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse," Gregg
Easterbrook, 2003; "World Factbook 2004"
Central Intelligence Agency, 2003; "The World in
2020," Hamish MacRae, 1996
World Security/Outlook/Environment -"Of Paradise and Power,"
Robert Kagan, 2003; "Global Crises, Global
Solutions," Bjorn Lomborg (Ed.), 2004; "The
Pentagon's New Map," Thomas Barnett, 2004;
"The Skeptical Environmentalist," Bjorn
Lomborg, 2001; "The Transparent Society,"
David Brin, 1998
Youth Reading -"Tackling Tomorrow Today," Art
Shostak (Ed.), 2005. (Four-volume set).
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