DESIGNING THE FUTURE by Robert W. Prehoda

DESIGNING THE FUTURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Technical forecasting, or T/F, has recently gained the status of a separate discipline. Its practitioners figure out, not the date of a hoped-for invention, but the probable future capacities of science and technology. Prehoda outlines T/F methodology, then adumbrates possible developments in crucial areas. The sections on natural and physical science cover everything from controlled-fusion to robots and gerontology. A third section relates economic factors to science, education, defense, etc. It's hard to make a composite picture out of all this, for if one variable (like bigger brains or extraterrestrial communication) were realized, the others could be affected drastically and unforseeably. However, the book will be picked up by Scientific American types and others who don't know a Hahn-Strassman point from a trend curve, but feel curious about things to come. Its merits: a hearty respect for basic research, high readability, and a post-automation ""research society"" concept worth debating. Demerits: a dogmatic, oversimplified grasp of economics and a Rand Corporation perspective on international relations.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1967
Publisher: Chilton