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Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact

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New York Times, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Discover bestselling author Steven Kotler has written extensively about those pivotal moments when science fiction became science fact…and fundamentally reshaped the world. Now he gathers the best of his best, updated and expanded upon, to guide readers on a mind-bending tour of the far frontier, and how these advances are radically New York Times, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Discover bestselling author Steven Kotler has written extensively about those pivotal moments when science fiction became science fact…and fundamentally reshaped the world. Now he gathers the best of his best, updated and expanded upon, to guide readers on a mind-bending tour of the far frontier, and how these advances are radically transforming our lives. From the ways science and technology are fundamentally altering our bodies and our world (the world’s first bionic soldier, the future of evolution) to those explosive collisions between science and culture (life extension and bioweapons), we’re crossing moral and ethical lines we’ve never faced before. As Kotler writes, “Life is tricky sport—and that's the emotional core of this story, the real reason we can’t put Pandora back in the box. When you strip everything else away, technology is nothing more than the promise of an easier tomorrow. It’s the promise of hope. And how do you stop hope?” Join Kotler in this fascinating exploration of our incredible next: a deep dive into those future technologies happening now—and what it means to be a part of this brave new world.


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New York Times, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Discover bestselling author Steven Kotler has written extensively about those pivotal moments when science fiction became science fact…and fundamentally reshaped the world. Now he gathers the best of his best, updated and expanded upon, to guide readers on a mind-bending tour of the far frontier, and how these advances are radically New York Times, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Discover bestselling author Steven Kotler has written extensively about those pivotal moments when science fiction became science fact…and fundamentally reshaped the world. Now he gathers the best of his best, updated and expanded upon, to guide readers on a mind-bending tour of the far frontier, and how these advances are radically transforming our lives. From the ways science and technology are fundamentally altering our bodies and our world (the world’s first bionic soldier, the future of evolution) to those explosive collisions between science and culture (life extension and bioweapons), we’re crossing moral and ethical lines we’ve never faced before. As Kotler writes, “Life is tricky sport—and that's the emotional core of this story, the real reason we can’t put Pandora back in the box. When you strip everything else away, technology is nothing more than the promise of an easier tomorrow. It’s the promise of hope. And how do you stop hope?” Join Kotler in this fascinating exploration of our incredible next: a deep dive into those future technologies happening now—and what it means to be a part of this brave new world.

30 review for Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    Follow your Weird: "Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact" by Steven Kotler Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy (ARC - Uncorrected Manuscript Proof) of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review. (The book is due to be published on May, 2015; review written on 08/05/2015).   “Follow your weird.” (Bruce Sterling)   By means of communications and implant techn Follow your Weird: "Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact" by Steven Kotler Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy (ARC - Uncorrected Manuscript Proof) of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review. (The book is due to be published on May, 2015; review written on 08/05/2015).   “Follow your weird.” (Bruce Sterling)   By means of communications and implant technologies we are simultaneously here and there. Using graphs and prostheses, we blend our physical being with that of others and with artifacts. By extending our knowledge of the body and the ancient arts of nutrition, we have devised hundreds of ways of constructing and remodeling ourselves. We can change our individual metabolism through the use of drugs and medicaments, which serve as physiological agents. And the pharmaceutical industry continues to discover new active principles. Kotler states: “In 1935, veterinary nutritionist Clive McCay found that limiting caloric intake in lab animals – which slows metabolic rate – decreased and delayed the onset of age-related diseases and significantly extended life span. [ ] Denham Harman postulated in 1954 that oxygen radicals or free radicals are both byproducts of metabolism and responsible for the damages associated with aging and death.”     The rest of this review can be found elsewhere.  

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Some interesting topics, from growing kidneys to developing Geordi's VISOR from Star Trek, but I was not impressed at all with the author's grounding as a science journalist. Trust and regard sailed out the window when he hailed the average increase of height and bodymass following industrialism as proof that humans can evolve much more quickly than previously expected. Um...no, that's proof that our present geneset can do more when it has better materials to work with, i.e more access to differ Some interesting topics, from growing kidneys to developing Geordi's VISOR from Star Trek, but I was not impressed at all with the author's grounding as a science journalist. Trust and regard sailed out the window when he hailed the average increase of height and bodymass following industrialism as proof that humans can evolve much more quickly than previously expected. Um...no, that's proof that our present geneset can do more when it has better materials to work with, i.e more access to different kinds of food, and less work to do fighting off vicious diseases. Have the South Koreans evolved past their primitive ancestors in the north, or are their shorter northern cousins just malnourished? Kotler also referred to a cure for cancer as a vaccine. Cancer isn't a microbe you fight off with antibodies! Sure, maybe he was dumbing things down to increase potential readership, but forgive me if I don't take the chapter on medicinal ecstasy too seriously after that.. This is not on the level of Michio Kaku. It's more like a collection of Newsweek fluff pieces.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim Kahn

    I wanted to like this book, but it is a very pithy, unscientific and shallow collection of case studies on a few emerging technologies such as new types of nuclear power, artificial vision, and (theoretically) meteor mining. I became truly annoyed with the chapter on stem cells, which was clearly written sometime around 2008, as if nothing had happened in the seven years since this book was published. There is nothing profound here, move along people....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary

    This book was first reviewed on Own Your Geek. Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact is a book that seems to polarize people. Many have commented on how shallow it is, and the fact that it's a little bit out of date. Others love it regardless. Personally, while I didn't love it, I did enjoy Tomorrowland. In Tomorrowland, Steven Kotler gives the reader a collection of essays on various topics that are turning from science fiction to science fact. Some topics he mentions ar This book was first reviewed on Own Your Geek. Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact is a book that seems to polarize people. Many have commented on how shallow it is, and the fact that it's a little bit out of date. Others love it regardless. Personally, while I didn't love it, I did enjoy Tomorrowland. In Tomorrowland, Steven Kotler gives the reader a collection of essays on various topics that are turning from science fiction to science fact. Some topics he mentions are stem cells, cybernetics, bio-warfare, and near death experiences. He goes in depth on some stuff, skims over others, and it's no secret that he is proud of the fact that he was 'there' for some of the developments. It's not perfectly written, it's not extremely educational, but it is thought-provoking. Some of the stuff he talked about I had heard of. Others (like the artificial vision) I had no clue about. Even the stuff I was familiar with, though, he managed to keep interesting by giving me details I hadn't known. (Like California's role with stem cells.) There were many times when I was listening to this that I found myself pausing in whatever else I was doing just to pay attention to it. Kotler has a way of writing and speaking that snares you. Tomorrowland is written for the casual reader. People who have a background in science or any of the particular fields mentioned are probably going to be dissatisfied with the information presented because it does just skim the surface. However, I found that he gave me just enough information to make me curious, and there are several things that I want to know more about now. And that, I think, is what makes the book a success. I want to know more. I'm intrigued by the advances he mentioned. I'm going to end up looking up quite a few things just to see how far we've come. Overall, Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact is well worth the read. Don't take it as gospel because it is a bit out of date, but let it hook you and make you realize how far we've come. Science fiction becoming science fact is happening every day around us, and (for the most part) it is awesome.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard

    The main problem with this book is summed up in the introduction, where Steven Kotler waxes lyrical about the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project in the south of France. “How far has hope taken us?” he muses. “From the very first time one of our primate progenitors sharpened a stick to a star. A freaking star. In a lab. Created by us. Let there be light.” What Kotler does not mention is that the world’s largest nuclear fusion machine has already cost three times as muc The main problem with this book is summed up in the introduction, where Steven Kotler waxes lyrical about the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project in the south of France. “How far has hope taken us?” he muses. “From the very first time one of our primate progenitors sharpened a stick to a star. A freaking star. In a lab. Created by us. Let there be light.” What Kotler does not mention is that the world’s largest nuclear fusion machine has already cost three times as much as budgeted ($20bn and counting), with the completion date now being shifted from 2016 to 2019. The production of ‘burning plasma’ is unlikely before the 2030s. Being a long-time SF reader, I have an ambivalent attitude towards technology, an attitude I believe is shared by much of the genre’s writers and readers. It might come as a surprise to outsiders that SF stalwarts do not believe that technology is the be-all and end-all of humanity’s growing list of intractable hurdles. The problem is that technology can never be neutral, as it is always enmeshed in an intricate weave of social and political issues, from government control, such as weaponisation, to moral and religious complexities, such as with cloning and gene splicing. It is a pity that Kotler did not take his own maxim into account that “journalists tend to be cynical by nature and disbelieving by necessity.” He explains that this book is essentially a collection of articles he wrote between 2000 and 2014 for major publications such as the New York Times, Wired and Atlantic Monthly, which he subsequently updated for this book. Such an approach shows, for there is little narrative continuity here, and only a tenuous exploration of the most interesting aspect: the impact of technology on what it means to be human. Granted this is not a technical or academic treatise, but rather a popular account for the layman who wishes to be updated on (some) of the latest scientific progress. Still, it is a pity that Kotler does not explore his ideas a bit further … which might have tempered some of the dewy-eyed optimism.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    Put simply, this book is a great look at how many elements from science fiction have been transformed into present-day reality or science fact. Plus, of course, a look at how other items might become real and available in the future. Written in an open, accessible manner the reader is taken on a fairly broad journey, dashing around scientific disciplines. You don’t need to be an expert, just a bit of curiosity and interest to learn is recommended. The author splits the book into three main areas: Put simply, this book is a great look at how many elements from science fiction have been transformed into present-day reality or science fact. Plus, of course, a look at how other items might become real and available in the future. Written in an open, accessible manner the reader is taken on a fairly broad journey, dashing around scientific disciplines. You don’t need to be an expert, just a bit of curiosity and interest to learn is recommended. The author splits the book into three main areas: the science fiction that is reality today, what the future probably will deliver and what it could deliver sometime in the uncertain future. All of this is packaged up into fairly short, easy-to-read chapters that drag you in and make you want to keep reading. An ideal book to read when travelling for the curious, if you will. The author’s enthusiasm for the subject shines through, yet this is not a sci-fi nerds unrealistic dream but a sensitive, evocative and knowledgeable look at the subject, all nicely weaved together and packaged into a keenly priced book. This was an enjoyable read. A nice, unexpected find that is available for less than the cost of a couple of coffees at a high-street chain which can have something for almost everyone: even if they don’t yet know it. Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact, written by Steven Kotler and published by HMH New Harvest. ISBN 9780544456211, 304 pages. YYY http://syndicate.darreningram.com/tom...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim Johnson

    I just watched Back to the Future II and according to that movie we should already have legit flying cars, personal fusion devices that utilize garbage for fuel, and rejuvenation clinics that can make your entire body 20 years younger. Or maybe Doc Brown brought all that stuff from even further in the future than 2015. The cars were all flying, I definitely remember that. If Doc landed in the real 2015 he'd be terrified, zoom back to 1955, and blow up the time machine thinking "Those poor bastar I just watched Back to the Future II and according to that movie we should already have legit flying cars, personal fusion devices that utilize garbage for fuel, and rejuvenation clinics that can make your entire body 20 years younger. Or maybe Doc Brown brought all that stuff from even further in the future than 2015. The cars were all flying, I definitely remember that. If Doc landed in the real 2015 he'd be terrified, zoom back to 1955, and blow up the time machine thinking "Those poor bastards haven't even come close to developing hoverboards!" Kotler's book does have some really interesting stuff in it, especially when it comes to medical science. He starts with the advances made in prosthetics (unfortunately receiving more attention due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but at least someone will benefit). This is followed by sections on visual implants, genetically enhanced mosquitoes, terraforming of the Everglades, and the virtues of steroids until stem cell-based therapies come available. All great and really interesting stuff. I was just really disappointed that the closest we've come to a flying car (according to the book) is basically a motorcycle/helicopter hybrid available in a kit.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gustav Von

    I was unimpressed with the level of scientific analysis in this book. The chapter on "evolution" conflated evolutionary change with an example that illustrates instead the often variable phenotypic expression of the genome resulting from differing environments. The counter argument to how large the average humans who are measured have become in the 21st century is the data on military recruits in the second world war. 40% of these teenagers were rejected for service because they failed the minim I was unimpressed with the level of scientific analysis in this book. The chapter on "evolution" conflated evolutionary change with an example that illustrates instead the often variable phenotypic expression of the genome resulting from differing environments. The counter argument to how large the average humans who are measured have become in the 21st century is the data on military recruits in the second world war. 40% of these teenagers were rejected for service because they failed the minimum standards for height and weight. The guidelines were a recruit must weigh at least 120 pounds and be 5 feet tall. That 40% of recruits were rejected by this standard spoke to the destitute world and near starvation diets of the depression. The major disappointment with the book was the lack of literary fiction references for science fiction contrivance that have found their way into our lives. Star Trek alone gave us the proximity opening doors, the flip phone and hand held diagnostic devices. This just wasn't what I expected.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I have to admit that this book wasn't what I thought it would be when I bought it. I often like to look at GR reviews before I buy a book (often, not always) and there were some cautionary warnings. But, for me, this had a lot of new information even though I do try to keep up with our rapidly changing world. I do understand that if you are well versed in a field that he writes about you will find the information well known to you. My expectation was a little more techy considering the SciFi ref I have to admit that this book wasn't what I thought it would be when I bought it. I often like to look at GR reviews before I buy a book (often, not always) and there were some cautionary warnings. But, for me, this had a lot of new information even though I do try to keep up with our rapidly changing world. I do understand that if you are well versed in a field that he writes about you will find the information well known to you. My expectation was a little more techy considering the SciFi reference in the title. But I don't mind surprises when they turn out, at least for me, to be this good even though some of what he talks about is downright scary. Some of the covered areas: Bionic men,Immortality, out of body experiences, evolution, artificial yes. planetary engineering, flying cars, the future of nuclear energy, future sports, asteroid mining, psychoactive drugs, life extension, stem cells, and bio weapons.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rob Neely

    This is a nice easy layman read on some of the (keyword:) _potentially_ game-changing technologies that are in the lab, or soon to emerge. It's a good read for anyone who likes to imagine what life might be like in 10 or 20 or 30 years, so long as you don't get hung up on the fact that this isn't a peer reviewed science journal - just an imaginative ride. One thing I actually liked is that it didn't try to be overpretentious and delve into the details. It was almost what I guess you could call a This is a nice easy layman read on some of the (keyword:) _potentially_ game-changing technologies that are in the lab, or soon to emerge. It's a good read for anyone who likes to imagine what life might be like in 10 or 20 or 30 years, so long as you don't get hung up on the fact that this isn't a peer reviewed science journal - just an imaginative ride. One thing I actually liked is that it didn't try to be overpretentious and delve into the details. It was almost what I guess you could call a "bathroom read", as each chapter was standalone - and written (probably not coincidentally) to be about the length of a feature magazine or newspaper article. I'm guessing the author just stapled together a bunch of previously written articles for this book, but hey - why not?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daria

    I'm not really into sci-fi and I didn't expect much from this book but it pleasantly surprised me. Even though I work in technology and generally read a lot on the topic I still found some things that I didn't know in this book. The topics that the author selected were a great choice and covered a wide range of topics that were nevertheless unified by similar themes. The book was just enough high level philosophical musings and detailed descriptions of scientific advancements. This book is pretty I'm not really into sci-fi and I didn't expect much from this book but it pleasantly surprised me. Even though I work in technology and generally read a lot on the topic I still found some things that I didn't know in this book. The topics that the author selected were a great choice and covered a wide range of topics that were nevertheless unified by similar themes. The book was just enough high level philosophical musings and detailed descriptions of scientific advancements. This book is pretty short and it's totally worth it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    Pretty good popular science reporting, highlighting breakthroughs in fields like robotic prosthetics, LSD for end-of-life-pain, brain imaging and near-death experiences, space tourism and the potential vistas of genetically engineered biocrime. Kotler is clearly a comfortable interviewer, and has an eye for vivid examples and characters.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    A great book that covers many different topics of the science we're seeing now and in the near future. Some topics were more interesting than others, but that's down to personal taste. I wished some of the sections were a bit longer too, but that way there's need to be a whole other book written about one topic! A great springboard into further reading topics.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Guru

    This came highly recommended but I was pretty disappointed by this collection of arbitrary pieces on "future" tech. There are barely a couple of pieces that stay with you - rest are just a waste of time. Particularly the pieces on the return of psychedelic drugs in palliative healthcare and sperm bank chapters - I could not figure out why are these "hot" topics for the near future. Avoidable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    jim martin

    Too biased for me. I enjoyed the book overall, it was well written and entertaining, however I wish it wasn't so political,. The author does a great job making people who are republicans or Christians look like idiots.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Morrison

    I won this book through the giveaways. Tomorrowland is a decent book about technology and sci-fi. It seems a bit outdated but could help people understand concepts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony Boyles

    I was pleasantly surprised by the strong but unstated transhumanist undercurrent. Unfortunately, the quality of the content degrades as you read through the book. I recommend the first 75% of it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zain Hashmy

    When I first started this book, I was excited to read about the advent of new technologies. I'm not sure what I expected, but I certainly did not expect what was coming. The book is written by a journalist who, to his credit, makes no claims of credibility, but that is probably because they would be laughed at. The writing style flows well enough, and the book reads well too. That is actually what earned him one of two stars that I gave him for this book. The book examines "cutting edge technologi When I first started this book, I was excited to read about the advent of new technologies. I'm not sure what I expected, but I certainly did not expect what was coming. The book is written by a journalist who, to his credit, makes no claims of credibility, but that is probably because they would be laughed at. The writing style flows well enough, and the book reads well too. That is actually what earned him one of two stars that I gave him for this book. The book examines "cutting edge technologies", and looks at their future, and the impact that they could have on our daily lives. It is written in the form of unconnected essays and articles about each technology, and the 'disruptive effects' of said technologies on society. One part pure speculation and one part garbled data does not make a good article. The events listed in the book are correct, to some extent at least, but they have been tainted by faith healing and miracle cures which 'modern medicine cannot explain', with no evidence aside from anecdotal bits and pieces to back it up. When a writer writes 20 credible well researched articles to establish credibility and trust, and tries to use that credibility to sell a piece of utter fiction, he usually end up damning the every other article he wrote. That is exactly what has consistently occurred throughout this book. Let's agree on one thing: Predictions about the future of technology are hard work, especially in the field of science. That leaves the writer with some room for speculation, and a stretch of imagination to explore a technology and it's possibilities in the future. Without that stretch of imagination, without that intuitive leap, there is no hope for progress. Lord Byron once said about the future of science: "X-rays will prove to be a hoax. Television is utter nonsense." Well, I'm sure his spirit is resting peacefully. That being said, packaging wild speculation as believable reality is not the best way to go about it. Steven Kotler either writes to deceive his readers on purpose or writes because he believes what he writes, and that leaves room for him to be either a charlatan, or a fool. The problem with writing like this is that people will buy into it, and believe whatever is said, because who really bothers to follow up. There are some points made well, and some things written beautifully but all of it comes to naught towards the end of the book. Another major flaw is that the technologies talked about have not been explored to a fraction of their potential, but just been touched on the surface. An example of this is one of the later chapters where Kotler argues that the greatest threat to the President of the US is a biological attack because it is impossible to protect him from that. He goes on to talk about how the Secret Service can't protect him because his DNA is on everything he touches, and "other governments already have a database of the president's DNA". At this point, killing Donald Trump with a viral organism would virtually guarantee funding for the biohacker in question from the rest of the extremely grateful world, I would suspect. That however is not the point. When you examine a revolutionary technology within a minute paradigm you are insulting the people who worked on it, and trivialising what could truly be achieved with it, and creating an unnecessary Frankenstein where there need be none. This is a small example of the way the book has gotten on my nerves. On a slightly more positive note, if one follows up on the article and keeps a sceptical mind , they will find that a lot of what has been written about in the book is true enough. What Steven Kotler really needed to do before writing this book was read Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible, and then try tackling the same subjects. I'm going to stop this review here because I do not like commenting negatively on someone else's work, but rest assured, there is plenty more to be said. Read this book at the risk of hair loss. Because you'll rip it out in frustration.

  19. 5 out of 5

    DW

    Picked this up because it looked like the sort of book I ought to be reading as an engineer, instead of chick-lit. I was less than impressed to get it home from the library and realize that it is just a collection of previously-published magazine articles, some as much as 15 years old. He claims to have updated them, but it really didn't seem that way. All the references to "in the next few years" "within the next decade" etc drove me crazy because I didn't know if that referred to the book publ Picked this up because it looked like the sort of book I ought to be reading as an engineer, instead of chick-lit. I was less than impressed to get it home from the library and realize that it is just a collection of previously-published magazine articles, some as much as 15 years old. He claims to have updated them, but it really didn't seem that way. All the references to "in the next few years" "within the next decade" etc drove me crazy because I didn't know if that referred to the book publication, or the original article publication (listed in the front). I also wasn't a huge fan of his irreverent writing style when talking about amputees and people with serious health problems. (Also, I don't think children stare at amputees because that's the worst thing they can imagine happening. I think children stare at anything they haven't seen before, and amputees aren't that common.) All that aside, this book did include interesting things to think about. I really liked the story about Hugh Herr, the mountain climber who lost both feet to frostbite, designed his own protheses specialized for climbing, and "became the first disabled athlete to outperform able-bodied ones at an expert level." That's awesome. The one about the blind person seeing with a vision implant in his brain was originally published in 2002, and I would have been really interested to hear an update. Same with the one about terraforming the Everglades - they must have data on whether or not it is working by now. About terraforming - usually in sci-fi, they talk about terraforming dead planets into live ones, not manipulating existing ecosystems with thousands of interdependent species. (Just checked Wikipedia, Dobelle died in 2004. Maybe the implant research died with him?) Some chapters sounded like conspiracy theories, and I haven't gone digging to verify the author's claims. If they are true, it's sad, though. Apparently IFR (Integral Fast Reactor) nuclear technology has been demonstrated to solve the problems of previous reactors, but it came at a bad time politically and so isn't being used. Apparently steroids only do good things for people, but the government decided that steroid use skewed sports results so they started propagating false information, and made them illegal, but really steroids could alleviate the suffering of aging and that's what most people want to use them for. Also, apparently psychedelic drugs can be therapeutic for people in intractable pain, but the government made the drugs illegal in the 70s and now nobody can do research on them. The idea of bioterrorism, or target bio-assassination based on the president's specific DNA, is very creepy. Does the Secret Service really try to keep everything the president touches? Anyway, now you can't say that all I read is chick-lit.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    For those who haven't read a book like this before it is good. But if you have ready a few Kurzweil or Diamandis books a lot of this is more of the same. Much like many of the good authors, Kotler takes a vague topic, "tomorrowland" and covers a wide variety of topics and hopes some of them appeal to everyone. In the end most people will feel like it was a pretty good book - but for various reasons. There are 4 major parts. Then he spends 6-8 chapters diving into each of these topics....usually For those who haven't read a book like this before it is good. But if you have ready a few Kurzweil or Diamandis books a lot of this is more of the same. Much like many of the good authors, Kotler takes a vague topic, "tomorrowland" and covers a wide variety of topics and hopes some of them appeal to everyone. In the end most people will feel like it was a pretty good book - but for various reasons. There are 4 major parts. Then he spends 6-8 chapters diving into each of these topics....usually topics he could cover in 1-2 chapters. Part 1 The section on synthetic limbs is sort of interesting but way too much detail on one idea. The mind uploading stuff was interesting. Artificial Vision was pretty fascinating. Part 2 Florida environmental restoration from sugar cane farms back to swamps - interesting. Flying cars - probably the same you can read in tech websites Nuclear energy - interesting updates on this, but nothing crazy Space Diving - great, probably the same you can read in tech websites Genetically engineered mosquitoes - probably the same you can read in tech websites Asteroid mining - interesting if you've never heard of it. Part 3 There is a whole section trying to convince you to take LSD and MDNA...not really good. Life extension / steroids - too detailed and again not interested in taking drugs. He seems to gloss over all the negative effects of taking drugs. Part 4 Stem cells are known by anyone that reads a newspaper but he goes into depth on sperm banks if that interests you. Copying the President's DNA was interesting. Summary If you read 20 books a years, sure this should be one of them. If you only read 4 books a year, check out a few others first and just read a lot of tech websites. Tell me what you thought or about other books you liked - [email protected] Similar books: The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil Bold by Peter Diamandis

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    "Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact" by Steven Kotler Judging a book by it's cover, I thought that this book would be more about spaceships and laser guns. Really it wasn’t and that turned out to be fine because I found this book to be a fascinating way to introduce many stories from technology’s future and accomplishments. I found it informative but not like a boring a textbook, and I researched several topics further on my own, which is what took me so long to read "Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact" by Steven Kotler Judging a book by it's cover, I thought that this book would be more about spaceships and laser guns. Really it wasn’t and that turned out to be fine because I found this book to be a fascinating way to introduce many stories from technology’s future and accomplishments. I found it informative but not like a boring a textbook, and I researched several topics further on my own, which is what took me so long to read the book! I was impressed by the number of topics that were discussed. I might have wished the book was longer since it covers so much, but I think it was done well. Some topics were underwhelming I think because we are so familiar with them. But understanding the journey to get to where we are made me appreciate them much more. Probably my favorite topics from this book were: - Future of Human Evolution, Obesity, and Genome Research - Pesticide Wars and GMO Mosquitos - MDMA Therapy, Fear of Death, Epilepsy and Oneness with the Universe - Stem Cells - Future of DNA Specific Cancer Therapy - Asteroid Mining/Space Exploration - Space Diving - Steroids - Protecting the President’s DNA & Bio-Hacking

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ezechel

    This is not a cohesive book. It's an odd collection of repurposed journal articles, and they have a hard time fitting together. It includes great info on some good real science stuff, like human-machine interface , asteroid mining. But he misses on some major issues: skirts around energy generation and food production, barely mentions artificial intelligence, and talks about genetic science through a few chapters but doesn't give it the pointed coordinated treatment it deserves. Long chapters abo This is not a cohesive book. It's an odd collection of repurposed journal articles, and they have a hard time fitting together. It includes great info on some good real science stuff, like human-machine interface , asteroid mining. But he misses on some major issues: skirts around energy generation and food production, barely mentions artificial intelligence, and talks about genetic science through a few chapters but doesn't give it the pointed coordinated treatment it deserves. Long chapters about fringe issues like psychedelic drugs, flying car, and the restoration of the Everglades (he confuses this one with terraforming of exoplanets). Ends on the anticlimactic tech of sperm banks (or is it "climactic" actually?) and then comes to a hard stop with no wrap-up or conclusion. Style wise, this author definitely subscribes to the idea that you always need to use a human story to make scientific facts interesting. Might be true in some cases, but I really got tired of long drawn out details about minor players in the scientific narrative. Found myself skipping page after page of those parts.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Tomorrowland is a series of explorations via case study of various things that are typically considered science fiction and how they have moved, are moving, or will move into the realm of science fact. There are some of these case studies that I think are a tad overblown; it may be very cool to think that DIY flying cars are 'on their way to the common person' right now, but I think the science, regulations, and the pricing still have a ways to come before they will be for anyone with a decent a Tomorrowland is a series of explorations via case study of various things that are typically considered science fiction and how they have moved, are moving, or will move into the realm of science fact. There are some of these case studies that I think are a tad overblown; it may be very cool to think that DIY flying cars are 'on their way to the common person' right now, but I think the science, regulations, and the pricing still have a ways to come before they will be for anyone with a decent amount of disposable income, a lot of time, and a very large degree of confidence in their building skills. However, I felt that most chapters were fair overviews of scientific game-chamgers that are at the cutting edge of science now (such as the chapters on bioengineering with DNA and robotics) or are likely to be at the cutting edge in the bear future because economic concerns are pushing the field forward (such as the chapter on asteroid mining to get materials that are rare on Earth but common in space). Overall, though, I felt that Tomorrowland presented decemt overviews for readers unfamiliar with the science or the implications.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    This was an enjoyable read about the technology of today and tomorrow. This book takes you on a fascinating journey through a number of different technologies that are impacting and will impact us into our future. It uses a great writing style of research mixed with stories to discuss each key technology advancement. The only key negative was each section was not brought to a conclusion on the key points for the technology, and also the book finished with a whimper, rather than a collated bang.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Apurv Kashyap

    A perceptive study of technology What the undercover economist did for economics, this book aims to do the same for technology. Through a rigorous investigative journalist approach, the author breakdowns key technological advances of human society and puts them in perspective of the layman. Beyond the glamour that now pervades the industry as well as the subsequent controversy, we are able to take a subjective look through this book towards the direction technology is heading and what could be it A perceptive study of technology What the undercover economist did for economics, this book aims to do the same for technology. Through a rigorous investigative journalist approach, the author breakdowns key technological advances of human society and puts them in perspective of the layman. Beyond the glamour that now pervades the industry as well as the subsequent controversy, we are able to take a subjective look through this book towards the direction technology is heading and what could be its myriad implications for us from the smallest to the largest scale.

  26. 5 out of 5

    J.E.

    Well, here's a scary look into the future of our planet as all the tech goodies dreamed up by science fiction authors transform into reality. Some are interesting, some downright horrific. Imagine highway mayhem on the road AND in the air. Or dozens of sperm babies unaware of their mutual genetic history marrying. Kotler has spent his life researching and writing about these fiction-turned-fact arenas and presents his research along with the men and women behind the scenes bringing the concepts Well, here's a scary look into the future of our planet as all the tech goodies dreamed up by science fiction authors transform into reality. Some are interesting, some downright horrific. Imagine highway mayhem on the road AND in the air. Or dozens of sperm babies unaware of their mutual genetic history marrying. Kotler has spent his life researching and writing about these fiction-turned-fact arenas and presents his research along with the men and women behind the scenes bringing the concepts to life. A very interesting read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    jedioffsidetrap

    Blurby & journalistic so not always focused in depth on the science as I would like. Visual implant story was fascinating & new to me. Another features Brother Guy Consolmagno, Vatican astronomer and PhD in planetary science who taught at Harvard & MIT. Last story on creating personalized bio weapons (hypothetically targeting the US President. Whoa...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rich Humes

    Plenty of interesting information throughout, book does drag a bit in spots. The middle third of this book is excellent. My biggest takeaway is how hard technology has to fight against backwards politicians and inane bureaucracy. We would potentially be decades ahead technologically if government would just allow it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James McTague

    This book covers a variety of topics: flying cars, bionic limbs, synthetic biology, etc. It's exciting to see how far science has come but with any progress, the downsides are also frightening. I enjoyed reading about the individuals behind all of these advancements. They come from a variety of backgrounds and are obviously the types to "think out of the box."

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Manley

    Where is the ending, where has it gone? I was in expectation of some thought provoking summary that would draw all the strands together, instead I was faced with the Amazon 'buy next' screen.  Without this short piece of investment by the writer, this book fails to meet its promise. Perhaps one day the end will be written, and then I will reopen its pages for  re-read.

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