From a VICE magazine columnist, “a deeply entertaining—if occasionally horrifying” (Joshua Piven, coauthor of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook) look at how humanity is likely to weather such happenings as nuclear war, a global internet collapse, antibiotics shortages, and even immortality. If you live on planet Earth you’re probably scared of the future. How could you not be? Some of the world’s most stable democracies are looking pretty shaky. Technology is invading personal relationships and taking over jobs. Relations among the three superpowers—the US, China, and Russia—are growing more complicated and dangerous. A person watching the news has to wonder: is it safe to go out there or not? Taking inspiration from his virally popular VICE column “How Scared Should I Be?,” Mike Pearl games out many of the “could it really happen?” scenarios we’ve all speculated about, assigning a probability rating, and taking us through how it would unfold. He explores what would likely occur in dozens of possible scenarios—among them the final failure of antibiotics, the loss of the world’s marine life, a complete ban on guns in the US, and even contact with extraterrestrial life—and reports back from the future, providing a clear picture of how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances. For fans of such bestsellers as What If? and The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, The Day It Finally Happens is about taking future events that we don’t really understand and getting to know them in close detail. Pearl’s “well-researched speculations induce daydreams and nightmares and mark [him] as one of his generation’s most interesting writers” (Alec Ross, New York Times bestselling author).
The flood of information technology (I.T.) products and services entering the market place often obscures the need to nurture the research enterprise. But as I.T. becomes integrated into all aspects of society, the need for research is even greater. And the range of issues that need to be addressed is broader than ever. This new book highlights the fundamental importance of research to ensure that I.T. meets society's expanding needs. Against the background of dramatic change in the I.T. landscape, the committee examines four key questions: Is the scope of I.T. research broad enough-particularly in the arena of large-scale systems-to address government, business, and social applications? Are government and industrial sponsors providing sufficient funding for I.T. research? Is the research net big both big and diverse enough to capture sufficient financial and intellectual resources to advance the field? Are structures and mechanisms for funding and conducting research suited to the new sets of research challenges?