My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
Michio Kaku is always a good listen. I only have one disagreement with him and that's the issue of the US going back to product production. I think we'll eventually have to in most fields to secure a healthy economy. There's just too many people that lack a higher education in this country that could be left behind in an ever increasingly intellectually driven job market. Relying on overseas markets to produce goods has weakened our economy and caused a huge separation in the classes. This trend, if continued, will eventually create a lower class of Americans that will become so poor they'll become wards of the government. In this year 2011 45% of the population didn't pay taxes. We need to turn this around before it's too late. Remember it isn't us and them in this country. We live in a fish bowl. Everyone affects the whole system. Crap in one corner of the bowl and eventually it'll contaminate the whole bowl.
Not only redundant with itself, if you have listened to his other 2 books (which I liked) you will hear a lot of the same info. In this book he seems to have pieced together a vision of the future from a few movies and builds a rationalization to show how it will happen. In some cases the basic premise seems just wrong. For example he thinks telecommuting will never catch on because people only feel comfortable with in person contact. Seriously? Must be why social networking sites are doing so poorly. Not to mention companies are already starting to figure out the economic advantages to having phone and tech workers working from home. So even if employees want to work from an office it might not be the norm much longer. Or the contradiction of maintenance robots will always be too stupid to do repairs unmonitored while at the same time your car drives itself and your AI can be the perfect assistant. We are talking Eureka's S.A.R.A.H. here. I could make many more examples but I think I've made my point.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist at City College of New York. He has appeared on television many times and writes extensively about future inventions and their consequence in “Physics of the Future”. Kaku’s futurist perspective is based on what is happening in physics today. He extrapolated from today’s science to tomorrow’s probability. Kaku believes that all reality, yesterday's, today's, and tomorrow's, is dictated by quantum physics. At a molecular level, quantum physics experimentally confirms all reality is a matter of probability; not certainty.
Before leaving individual predictions, Kaku explains the Kardashev scale of civilization to contextualize the state of the world. The Kardashev scale begins at 0 and rises to Type V. Today’s world is estimated to be at .7, less than 1. Coincidentally, getting to 1 is the most dangerous level to achieve, without catastrophe. Level 1 presumes fusion power is available on a large-scale; antimatter is available in large quantities, and fossil fuels become an abandoned source of energy.
Getting from .7 to 1 on the Kardashev scale is fraught with human potential for world destruction. Great social upheavals will occur with the evolution of energy use. Some nations will be threatened by the change. Jobs will be at risk; nation’s economies will be overwhelmed by need for change. Purpose in life will be questioned. Social structure will be challenged by new measures of status. Civilizations will either embrace or reject cooperation among nations.
Kaku summarizes his view of the future by reflecting on a future husband’s and wife’s benefits from extraordinary scientific discoveries. Kaku opts for a utopian transition of civilization that reaches level 1 on the Kardashev scale, within 100 years.
And so–Kierkekaardian’ fear and trembling stream through Kaku’s vision of the future because many of his predictions could as easily steer mankind to an end as a beginning.
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
Yes, there is an interesting picture being painted about the future we are all moving towards to.
Yes, I have read other books of his and I think he's a good story teller.
No, this is my first time.
Yes, though I would caution people, the book is three years old now and some of the ideas for the future already seem outdated.
It's hard to get the future correctly right of course. I think what this book suffers from, as will most other books that predict the future, is what I have called the "TNG Syndrome". Namely, how in TNG everybody had tablets, but they were just books / notebooks in the traditional paper sense.
Odds are good you have a smart phone in your pocket, this is the tablet from TNG and it works quite a bit different then the tablets do in TNG.
Likewise, in the book there are a few technologies that he describes that clearly are rooted in this TNG look of the future. A prime example is how he envisions your self-driving car to figure out a route via GPS (good), and then get traffic information over sensors that are embedded in the road. This is humours to me because if you have Google Maps on your phone, you can already figure out how thick the traffic is. How does Google do it? They use your device and others to measure density and flow of traffic. Likewise, a self-driving car would not have to rely on a central authority to tell them how the road conditions are. It could communicate with the other cars in the vicinity via mesh network, thus get information even if there is no network coverage available for it.
This is just one example, there are a few others in the book. I think the ideas he has aren't wrong, it's just that his implementation of the technologies is often still insular, instead of connected. But it does give some good food for thought.
So I adore Michio Kaku. he has a way of explaining physics that anyone can understand, and this book does that just as well as his others. the Narrator though not Kaku, makes me think / feel like I am listening to him at one of his lectures.
With in the material you find some good information about where we are and where we could be going in the future of physics and even some in the understanding of the human mind. some of this however is a repeat of what is in Physics of the Impossible. If you haven't read/listened to that I recommend it, but some will be a repeat of this, though it goes into greater details of the various civilizations break out.
very superficial treatment of realistic developments and outlandish prediction of next century
the "far future" segments
rare that i dislike an audible offering, but this and "signal and noise" are examples of what to avoid