Donna's Reviews > Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century

Visions by Michio Kaku
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Jul 13, 07

bookshelves: general-nonfiction
Read in July, 2007

I inadvertently made this book even more intellectually intriguing than it would have been otherwise by waiting ten years to read it.

Published in 1997, Visions is a futuristic look at what’s likely to happen in the decades to come in three areas of science that are rapidly converging: computer science, biotechnology, and quantum physics. As nearly as I can tell as a layperson, Kaku has been dead-on for the first decade since the book’s publication. Consequently, even his most off-the-wall predictions have more credibility with me than they would have had if I’d read the book right off the press.

Some of these mind-stopping predictions include DNA tests that can provide detailed physical descriptions of crime suspects, self-replicating machines the size of molecules, and computers that possess both self-awareness and common sense. (Kaku did not predict when the majority of human beings might be expected to achieve common sense!)

It’s amusing to read a book published so recently that “predicts” things we already take for granted: online travel companies and book stores, widely accessible cable and satellite communications, LCD screens replacing CRT monitors. Sequencing of the human genome was completed two years before scientists predicted it would be. Much of the “future” predicted by Kaku has already arrived, and it’s clear that the pace of change is accelerating faster than even the experts could have imagined a short time ago.
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