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Yes, though I would caution people, the book is three years old now and some of the ideas for the future already seem outdated.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
Yes, for researching writing of science fiction.
The nanoparticles section was interesting. I enjoyed when the author put concepts into real world terms.
If you're into popular science--you'll find this book interesting. I also like Physics for Future Presidents.
Listening to the narrator was painful. It sounded as if he was plugging his noise while reading. Very, very nasally.
The future is tomorrow.
Spock "live long and prosper"
I can imagine never getting old.
Read this, it will change you
Michio Kaku is well known for making science books for the masses, in other words he dumbs it down -- however he often dumbs it down to a nearly insulting level. However, happily, I didn't really find that an issue with this book as it more or less just deals with what the future will be like -- and that's why I got it.
I will say for a book that only came out a year ago some of it sounds really dated, basically he describes things like the Google Car and Google Glasses as being in the future, but they're already here. Other things however are so far out there it's hard to believe it will actually happen by 2100, like replicators for example.
I think the read does a good job with the material and hits the appropriate tone.
The book is entertaining even if it's a bit light on science. Also on the Global Warming just quoting controversial UN documents and stating it's indisputable absolutely sounded very very silly. That part of the book is flat out disgraceful. Kaku should have used that section to explain why he believes what he believes and what else might be causing it (cough SUN SPOTS). I'd be interested in hearing about other possibilities as well even if it was only to dispel it. Also pretending like the UN doesn't have a political agenda is silly.
Anyways that part of the book isn't long enough to ruin it by any means.
My score, 4 stars across the board. If you're looking an easy to read book about the future this does a pretty good job.