Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Dec 26 2002 - 15:06:45 MST

*Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years*, by Bruce Sterling
Hardcover: 224 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.14 x 7.82 x 5.38
Publisher: Random House; ISBN: 0679463224; 1st edition (December 17, 2002) Sales Rank: 3,723 [good grief!]

amazon cites promo summary:

Visionary author Bruce Sterling views the future like no other writer. In
his first nonfiction book since his classic The Hacker Crackdown, Sterling
describes the world our children might be living in over the next fifty
years and what to expect next in culture, geopolitics, and business.

Time calls Bruce Sterling "one of America's best-known science fiction
writers and perhaps the sharpest observer of our media-choked culture
working today in any genre." Tomorrow Now is, as Sterling wryly describes
it, "an ambitious, sprawling effort in thundering futurist punditry, in the
pulsing vein of the futurists I've read and admired over the years: H. G.
Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, and Alvin Toffler; Lewis Mumford, Reyner Banham,
Peter Drucker, and Michael Dertouzos. This book asks the future two
questions: What does it mean? and How does it feel? "

Taking a cue from one of William Shakespeare's greatest soliloquies,
Sterling devotes one chapter to each of the seven stages of humanity: birth,
school, love, war, politics, business, and old age. As our children progress
through Sterling's Shakespearean life cycle, they will encounter new
products; new weapons; new crimes; new moral conundrums, such as cloning and
genetic alteration; and new political movements, which will augur the way
wars of the future will be fought.

Here are some of the author's predictions:

. Human clone babies will grow into the bitterest and surliest adolescents
. Microbes will be more important than the family farm.
. Consumer items will look more and more like cuddly, squeezable pets.
. Tomorrow's kids will learn more from randomly clicking the Internet than
they ever will from their textbooks.
. Enemy governments will be nice to you and will badly want your tourist
money, but global outlaws will scheme to kill you, loudly and publicly, on
their Jihad TVs.
. The future of politics is blandness punctuated with insanity.
The future of activism belongs to a sophisticated, urbane global network
that can make money-the Disney World version of Al Qaeda.

Tomorrow Now will change the way you think about the future and our place in


I... don't *think* so...

Damien Broderick

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