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The coming convergence
Date:5/29/2008

lso observes that the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was made possible by the malicious convergence of two separate trends in modern engineering and technology: the concentration of people in high rises within cities and the success of the passenger airline industry. The message is clear: the choices we make now will converge to create a near and distant future that will be almost unbelievably wonderful or unimaginably catastrophic, or both.

As John Gribbin, author of THE SCIENTISTS: A HISTORY OF SCIENCE TOLD THROUGH THE LIVES OF ITS GREATEST INVENTORS, puts it, "Stanley Schmidt's vision of the future manages to steer a fine line between doom and gloom. He warns us of the problems inherent in the runaway growth of technology, but also describes the almost unimaginable benefits that can occur when different technologies come together in a happy marriage. The overall effect is uplifting and inspiring; if you think the world has changed a lot in the past twenty years, as someone once said 'you ain't seen nothin' yet'."

Schmidt elaborates, "At a time when little is certain except the imminence of sweeping change, [we must] consider how we might scout out our future options and steer the ship wisely. Making those synergies happen will require breaking down barriers between scientific and technological fields, by such means as interdisciplinary education aimed at making scientists and engineers comfortable with working across disciplinary boundaries and collaborating with colleagues in other fields. Since those changes will affect everybody, it is important for as many of us as possible to have some understanding of what may be coming. If we play our cards right, [the future] may be better than anyone before us has enjoyed."

Stanley Schmidt, PhD has served as editor of ANALOG: SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT for twenty-five years. With a doctorate in physics from Case Western Reserve University, he has been a member of the Foresig
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Contact: Lynn Pasquale
lpasquale@prometheusbooks.com
800-853-7545
Prometheus Books
Source:Eurekalert  

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