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Future In Plain Sight Paperback – Jan 31 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (Jan. 31 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452282993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452282995
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 254 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,766,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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DURING AN EXTRAORDINARY FOURTH-month period starting on June 27, 1997, the currencies of Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Korea all went into a free fall. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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I read one or two of these futurist books a year and I found this as good as any. He has done a good job of categorizing all the things that effect civilization on the planet.As with most of these types of books we are shown that most trends have come out of nowhere and completely unforseen and unpredicted.Of course; there has always been struggles between peoples,natural disasters,major outbreaks of diseases,financial upheavels,conflicts among religions and political ideologies,rich and poor,elimination of resources and species,and on and on.At any point in history when one stops and looks back one sees a string of major events causing great turmoil at the time but as time goes on they all get consumed in the process and progress.However;looking forward always tends to make one think that we have been lucky so far ;but all indicators are pointing at the future as being on a direct path to disaster.Nobody knows what the future will bring ,but if we have to guess,it must be bad.Normally, predictions in books like this are so vague that no matter what the future brings it can be construed to fit the prediction. The other approach is to make the prediction so far in the future that nobody remembers it.A case in point; that the limiting factor for the number of vehicles would be that there was only enough rubber trees to make so many tires,..guess what, we learned to make synthetic tires which ended up better and cheaper.
It's tough enough to predict the near (a couple of years)future, but when it comes to several decades--it' fun to fantasize,but don't take it seriously.
The author thought he would try anyway.So,remember now, he wrote this book in 1998.
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Format: Paperback
Author Linden's basic premise is that history fluctuates between periods of stability and instability. The last half of the 20th century was stable. The first half of the 21st promises to be anything but stable. The book is tremendously well thought out, and persuasive.
Linden visits nine areas, including climate change, increased population and larger cities, resource depletion, environmental degradation, religious fundamentalism/fanaticism, economic instability, etc. These analyses are then followed by realistic, but speculative, scenarios describing life in the event of the anticipated change. Author Linden does an excellent job in avoiding the Cassandra-style, apocalyptic language so common to writers in this area. Surely, the facts alone are sufficient, and Linden is to be praised for discerning the difference.
All are well done, but I was particularly impressed by the chapter on religious fundmentalism. As Linden so carefully describes matters, this fundamentalism, Christian or Muslim, is a response to the scientific and economic uncertainty of today's society. The true believer yearns to return to a simpler, more certain, time, and is perfectly willing to throw out the baby with the bath water to get it, including equal rights, scientific advances, better living conditions, etc. Anyone skeptical of this statement is invited to consider Iran, the Taliban, Creationism, and the like. I have not found Linden's peer in describing the origin and effects of religious fundamentalism on society as we know it. The whole book is more than worth it for this one chapter alone. Every thinking person should read it.
In short, the book is an outstanding addition to anyone's library. I recommend it very highly.
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By Rolf Dobelli on May 29 2001
Eugene Linden explains that most of civilization's history has included long periods of remarkable stability, including the last few decades. However, stability is not the norm and indications show it is ending. Thanks to overpopulation, technological change and environmental degradation, profound instability is likely in this century. The clues to future instability are in plain sight. You can see them when you compare what has happened in the past to what is likely to happen in the future.
In the first half of this book, Linden makes a persuasive case for some of his basic predictions, though he is definitely a pessimist. The scenarios in the second half of the book, intended to illustrate what will happen if these predictions come true, are really speculative fiction masquerading as futurology. Still, Linden's basic premise is sound and his warnings should be taken seriously. We... recommend the book to those involved in long-range business planning and trend research.
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By A Customer on Sept. 15 1999
Good book, nice reading. But... Mister Linder asks us to look for the signs, to recognize them. Well, many other signs are there to be noticed. Signs of the past, actual facts which tell us modern (western) mankind always find reasonability before it gets 'to late'. And why? Because it will cost to much otherwise. Wars ended because of the costs, the 3rd World War didn't burst out because of the costs, and we still use classical natural resources because of the costs. But... the more specialized we get about ww- financial - and marketing processes (the more knowlegde we gain about those issues), the more we'll try (and succeed) to keep that concept alive. And better: to improve and expand. The internet is a great example of that (building a second - virtual - world), but also the Marsian (and other) explorations are. We live in a beautiful era, and it is about time we acknowlegde our accomplishments so far, treasure our goods ánd faults, and give ourselfs to the accummulating evolution we as a species now go through. And this with the most of respect for all that is, and lives. (We are) Gods alike.
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