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The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolution Paperback – Feb 18 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (Feb. 18 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195139224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195139228
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #542,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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John Randall was in 1939 a thirty-four-year-old English physicist who had made an undistinguished career in solid-state physics. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
...---
Rating: "A/A+" -- another excellent essay collection by an
outstanding scientist-writer.
_The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet_ covers scientific
revolutions, technology & social justice, and the exploration &
colonization of space: familiar Dyson topics all, and delivered with
his usual grace. The three items in the title are Dyson's hope for
generating wealth in the world's poor villages: the sun for cheap
solar power, the Net to end rural isolation, and genetic engineering
for better crop plants. For example, he presents the hope of
engineering "trees that convert sunlight to liquid fuel and deliver
the fuel directly ...to underground pipelines." A neat solution to
declining oil reserves, if it works. Dyson cheerfully admits his
record as a prophet is mixed, but "it is better to be wrong than to be
vague."
Fresh and unexpected insights are a frequent pleasure in this
(and other) Dyson books. For instance, he describes his
mother and aunts, prosperous British matrons all, who, in the
interval between the World Wars, accomplished such things as
opening a birth-control clinic, managing a large hospital, winning
an Olympic medal, and pioneering aviation in Africa -- "it was
considered normal at the time for middle-class women to do
something spectacular." They were able to do this only with the
support of a large servant class. The introduction of labor-saving
appliances helped to emancipate the servants, but left middle-class
women less free than before, a general pattern, says Dyson: "the
burdens of equalization fall disproportionately on women.
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Format: Paperback
The title is misleading - the essay that addresses "the Sun, the Genome and the Interent" is only a small part of this short book. I found it the most interesting, though, which is probably why it is thus titled. Dyson paints a future world in which villages are repopulated through solar power processed by bio-engineered trees (which will provide the fuel), and the Interent (which will provide the connection to the larger world). A very simple, elegant idea. He addresses other issues here, too - the role of ethics in science, how to get into space cheaply, and the coming changes due to biotech. The biotech portion was very compelling, with speculation that we will soon be re-enigneering the human race. I have read such predictions before but Dyson does a good, thoughtful job here, and examines the implications.
All in all, a good, economical book of lectures which you will finish quickly.
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By Aquatic Ape on Sept. 28 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dyson's future is a utopia based on advanced technology, the benefits of which are equitably distributed to all. Whilst somewhat politically naive, the book is compelling, and leaves the reader hungry for more detail.
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Format: Paperback
This superb book by Freeman Dyson was largely based on the 'Three Faces of Science' lectures he gave at the New York Public Library in 1997. It consists of three chapters.
CHAPTER 1: SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
Dyson revisits scientific disciplines that have come about as a result of brilliant minds exploring a previously unexisting path of research. In doing so, he makes an effort to extrapolate out of today's most rapidly growing areas of science (molecular biology and astronomy) what the future scientific revolutions might be like, and gives wise words of advise to medical scientists and biologists on how to make faster progress in their disciplines by changing some of their fundamental research paradigms, learning from the ways of astronomers.
CHAPTER 2: TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
In more than one way, it reminds me of a very pivotal article written not too long ago by Sun Microsystem's Bill Joy in Wired Magazine, which dealt with genetic engineering, robotics and nanotechnology, and their ethical implications.
Dyson's new list of important things for us to 'worry' about gave way to the book's title. He looks "for ways in which technology may contribute to social justice..." by mitigating evils such as rural poverty. This chapter is a brilliant exercise in which Dyson puts his mind to fly and actually makes his vision very easy to grasp by non-technical readers. When you read through the chapter you can almost feel that his vision is happening already, although there are some very real and respectable hurdles still separating us from it, which need to be overcome.
CHAPTER 3: THE HIGH ROAD
Although the book consists of three chapters, the reason for the title is more aptly dealt with in chapters 1 and 2.
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Format: Paperback
This small book contains of such an inspirational reading. So long many scientists have predicted the future of this world in a sort of deterioration. Freeman J. Dyson is among the one who look at the future in a different way. He believes that the scientific revolution in the next century will be driven by the development of tools. Dyson picks up the most important tools in his viewpoint which are The sun, Genome, and internet. The energy from the sun to fullfill the requirement of people and replace the old kind of energy, the genome studying to make a better life for human beings. And the internet to connect all people around the world together. He makes a very insightful comment and eye-opening thought throughout this book. The most impressive part is about the comment he mention in the book about the improvement of society. He believes that "ethical" technology leads by human will reflect to the development of better life toward poor people rather than geeting the money from rich people. This will finally be "an equal" society. Pick this "Gem" book. It's small and it won't take long time to finish. It's not complicated but it will stick within your brain and make you think about it for long.
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