Nordic Track Book Club Review: The Extreme Future

James Canton’s Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World kept my attention from start to finish.  I read a lot of future trend books as you know, and this is a keeper.  100 pages of excerpts are not shown here, so this book is chock full of margin scribblings.  4 out of 5 [NordicTrack] Ski Stars.


p.8 Developing a Predictive Awareness about the future is about knowing where to look, what to see, and how to apply it for benefit.

p.30 Much of what we want to accomplish in the future revolves around energy access. A new global order will emerge, perhaps based on energy.

p.43 Nanotech might through the self-assembly of matter, actually create a new clean and abundant energy source. Such an energy source would transform the world overnight.

p.46 New innovations will fuel the future offering a security and self-reliance about energy we have not had in the past. This new energy will be an enabler for future prosperity.

p.48 Bits, atoms, neurons and genes are the new building blocks of the innovation economy.  People and organizations who know how to leverage them will benefit.

p.62 It was never just about the computer; it was all about the power of the individual to use a powerful tool to be creative in a revolutionary way.

p.69 Imagine more than eight billion people linked in a vibrant, dynamic innovation economy by 2040. All of them selling, communicating, sharing and enabling the future through innovations that will still be evolving in power.

p.90 The Top Ten Workforce Trends. 7) Finding high-tech skilled employees from a global talent pool will be the greatest challenge for every organization and every nation.

p.92 The reality is that these are not temporary changes. Massive relocations will force companies to sell, merge or go out of business.

p.106 We are teaching kids about the past.  We need to teach kids about the future, how to survive the extreme future.

p.108 The problem is that most companies are not looking far enough ahead. Too often the expertise of talented managers is wasted by not being captured.

p.113 Talented people are the essential force of a successful organization, today and tomorrow.

p.120 Doctors will have an unparalleled diagnostic tool, a person’s own DNA.  The next stage will include engineered disease prevention, health promotion and life extension.

p.122 Are you ready to be enhanced?  If not, you may not be able to compete in the future. 

p.136 The next stage of health chips may be embedded in our skin. Upgrades via the wireless web will keep our personal health history current.

p.166 The most devastating impact of nuclear exchange would be felt in south Asia.  Up to 12 million people might die immediately, and another seven million might suffer serious injury.  But the affect will not stop there.

p.171 “China’s two billion stomachs.” An army marches either on its stomach, or to where the food is.

p.235 Top techno-privacy threats by 2020.  Databases holding financial information on consumer purchases. Personal genomic databases. All internet phone and email communications captured. All objects have an internet address and are online, connected, watching and being watched.

p.249 Will you be ready to deal with the furious emergence of radical science that is coming so fast that by the time this book reaches you as much as 10 percent of what I have called “the future” will be the present. Get ready to be astounded by the speed, intelligence and agility of what is coming.


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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.