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Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain Worldby David D. Friedman
Synopses & Reviews
Future Imperfect describes and discusses a variety of technological revolutions that might happen over the next few decades, their implications, and how to deal with them. Topics range from encryption and surveillance through biotechnology and nanotechnology to life extension, mind drugs, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. One theme of the book is that the future is radically uncertain. Technological changes already begun could lead to more or less privacy than we have ever known, freedom or slavery, effective immortality or the elimination of our species, and radical changes in life, marriage, law, medicine, work, and play. We do not know which future will arrive, but it is unlikely to be much like the past. It is worth starting to think about it now.
Book News Annotation:
Friedman (law, Santa Clara U.), whose specialty is the economics of law, fires off questions and provides answers in this disturbing survey of things to come. He finds that advances in technology in the next few decades will cause us to make choices about marriage, law, medicine, work and play based on no experience or preparation whatsoever. We will face questions about privacy, intellectual property, surveillance, the cyber world, amateur scholars and their strange output, computer crime and law enforcement, reproduction options, and drugs that literally give users new minds, and none of us has thought much about it. Friedman obviously wants to scare us enough so we can set frameworks and policies, personal and collective, and he succeeds. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Future Imperfect describes and discusses a variety of technological revolutions that might happen over the next few decades, their implications and how to deal with them.
About the Author
David D. Friedman is Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, California. His ﬁ
Table of Contents
Part I. Prolog: 1. Introduction; 2. Living with change; Part II. Privacy and Technology: 3. A world of strong privacy; 4. Information processing: threat or menace? or if information is property, who owns it?; 5. Surveillance tech: the universal panopticon; Part III. Doing Business Online: 6. Ecash; 7. Contracts in cyberspace; 8. Watermarks and barbed wire; 9. Reactionary progress - amateur scholars and open source; 10. Intermission: what's a meta phor?; Part IV. Crime and Control: 11. The future of computer crime; 12. Law enforcement x 2; Part V. Biotechnologies: 13. Human reproduction; 14. The more you know ...; 15. As gods in the garden; 16. Mind drugs; Part VI. The Real Science Fiction: 17. The last lethal disease; 18. Very small Legos; 19. Dangerous company; 20. All in your mind; 21. The final frontier; 22. Interesting times.
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