Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Starred Review. Cheaper than a crystal ball and twice as fun, this book by futurist and web creator Watson examines what 'someday' could be like, based on the five key trends of ageing; power shift to the East; global connectivity; the 'GRIN' technologies of Genetics, Robotics, Internet, and Nanotechnology; environmental concerns, and 50 less general but equally influential developments that will radically alter human life by the year 2050. Watson gently scoffs at Jetsons-like wishful-thinking technology and flying cars; instead he predicts the fanciful (mindwipes, stress-control clothing, napcaps that induce sleep) and the useful (devices to harness the sea to generate energy; self-repairing car paint; retail technology that helps us shop, based on past buying habits; hospital plasters that monitor vital signs). In between the fun and frivolity, he prognosticates the frightening: the 'extinction' of individual ugliness and free public spaces; the creation of hybrid humans; a society made of people who are incapable of the tiniest tasks; and insects that carry wireless cameras to monitor our lives. Part Jules Verne, part Malcolm Gladwell, Watson has a puckish sense of humor and his book is a thought-provoking, laughter-inducing delight. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.