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The Future Starts Here

Adventures in the Twenty-First Century
Narrated by: John Higgs
Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Science
5.0 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.38

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Publisher's Summary

At some point in the 1980s we gave up on the future. Before then, we imagined wonderful days to come, free from disease, work and want, in television series like Star Trek or events such as the 1939 Futurama World Fair. When we look ahead now, we tell dystopian stories of environmental collapse, zombie plagues and the end of civilisation. If it is true that we have to imagine the future before we build it, then this is deeply worrying.   

There are of course good reasons for this bleak outlook. Serious environmental and societal problems are building, most notably climate change, inequality and population demographics. These will be accompanied by technological advances, including artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which will amplify the rate of change and make the future increasingly unstable and unpredictable.   

But it is not just technology that is changing. We are changing too. The postmodern world is evolving into a metamodern one. In the metamodern world concepts previously shunned, such as meaning, purpose and sincerity, return not as absolute truths but as necessary tools. While the postmodern world view was detached, cynical and frequently pessimistic, the metamodern is naturally more optimistic. If we engage with the problems of the world, we can overcome them.  

John Higgs takes us on a journey to find the individuals who are engaging with the changes that are coming, and through that engagement finding their own sense of purpose. As a result, the characters we meet along the way will not be titans of industry or world-renowned experts but rather regular people who were curious about new technology and who have begun exploring its potential in ways that are meaningful to them. Through their stories, we will come to understand what this much-hyped new technology can and can't do, in order to see past the hype and headlines. In the process, we will come to a better understanding of what lies ahead and how, despite everything - despite all the horrors and instability we face - we can imagine a future worth building. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 John Higgs (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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  • WH Humphreys
  • 05-07-2019

Hope with reasons

A beautifully told, carefully reasoned journey into our potential future and how we have got here, filled with compassion, humour and insight. As usual Higgs makes startling connections, which then seem obvious. He gives the reader many reasons to hope for a better future, rather than buying in to the despair that is too often being sold to us. If you read or listen to one book this summer then make it this one.

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  • D. M. Brown
  • 21-07-2019

The most important book of the 21st C so far

Exactly what I say in the title. This book lays out neatly everything that has been swirling around my own head as emotional reactions to reality as it stands. Essential reading for people of all ages.

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  • oliver
  • 19-01-2020

Really enjoyable, and interesting book.

It’s great to have a well thought through positive book about the future. John Higgs brings lots of strands of thought together to create a book Well worth your time.

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  • J. Davis
  • 17-10-2019

Extraordinary Positive Inspiration

This is one of the most interesting and refreshing books I have read in a long time. It is a must read if you are a parent and would like to provide some hope for the future.

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  • C J.
  • 13-12-2019

Got bored

It started well but eventually I found I tired of the narrators voice. The book is good but the author isn’t a great voice over in my view. I stopped about half way

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  • 匿名
  • 28-08-2020

Like a tapestry of essential issues

Totally worth your time, comes together with a brilliant finish. Uplifting without ever being sentimental

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  • GW
  • 31-05-2020

Engaging. Funny. Informative.

Really enjoyed this. I have actually liked all the John Higgs audiobooks I’ve listened to. Thanks for your work John! :-)

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  • Laura
  • 10-05-2020

I love John Higgs, there I said it.

Higgs has a way of writing that feels like a favourite teacher. Warm, encouraging and engaging , this is a great read for those raised on dystopian fiction and bleakness. Can't recommend enough.

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  • Rushhoursoul
  • 17-04-2020

Another Enjoyable John Higgs Study

John Higgs never ceases to entertain, and this thought provoking book gave me a real insight into generational attitudes, specifically how - and why - the different generations think the way they do. And how this will affect the future of mankind. Definitely worth a listen if this interests you at all, and John's narration is very easy on the ear too.