Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
Kaku (Michio)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Amazon Book Description

  1. New in paperback, from the bestselling author of Hyperspace, this spellbinding book brings together the cutting-edge research of today's foremost scientists to explore the science of tomorrow.
  2. Michio Kaku describes the development of computers and artificial intelligence, reveals how the decoding of the genetic structure of D.N.A. will allow us to alter and reshape our genetic inheritance, and observes how quantum physicists are perfecting new ways of harnessing the matter and energy of the Universe.
  3. Visions is an exhilarating adventure into the future of our planet and ourselves.

Amazon Review
  1. Take it easy: that's Michio Kaku's motto. Given the extraordinary advances science has thrown up in time for the millennium, the only way you could possibly fit them into a single volume is by a correspondingly massive simplification.
  2. Subtitled "How science will revolutionise the 21st century and beyond" Visions assumes that by and large scientists get to do whatever they like, that all technologies are consumer technologies and that consumers welcome anything and everything science throws at them.
  3. Kaku gets away with this frankly dodgy strategy by dint of sheer hard work. He has based his predictions on interviews with more than 150 renowned working scientists, he integrates these interviews with a huge body of original journalistic material and above all he roots that mass of information on an entirely reasonable model of what the purpose of science will be in the third millennium.
  4. Up until now, science has expended its efforts on decoding most of the fundamental natural processes – "the dance," as Kaku puts it, "of elementary particles deep inside stars and the rhythms of DNA molecules coiling and uncoiling within our bodies".
  5. Science's task now, Kaku believes, is to cross-pollinate advances thrown up by the study of matter, biology and mind – modern science's three main theatres of endeavour. "We are now making the transition from amateur chess players to grand masters," he writes, "from observers to choreographers of nature."
  6. Then again, he also believes that "the Internet...will eventually become a "Magic Mirror" that appears in fairy tales, able to speak with the wisdom of the human race." Kaku, in short, deserves a good slapping – but he also deserves to be read.
    Simon Ings


Amazon Customer Review
  1. The last review from 2005 said that the book is interesting but had become dated and now 3 years later this is even more true.
  2. The book was written 10 years ago with the optimism of the genome, computer and quantum revolutions. A lot has happened since then.
    • From the quantum revolutions all of the space projects have been abandoned.
    • From the biological revolutions cancer has proved to be much more complex and the genome has fewer genes than we expected but nevertheless is more reluctant to yield its secrets.
    • In computing we have done better than expected even without the quantum computer or optical computers.
  3. So now it is a book that is more interesting for those looking at the history and philosophy of science. It shows how a scientist makes predictions and hypothesizes about the future only to find the future rarely unfolds as expected.

BOOK COMMENT:

OUP Oxford; New Ed edition (4 Mar 1999)



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