Soonish

15 May 2019 | future technology book

The thing about the future is that it keeps happening.

Even if you’re not ready for change, the past is overran by the present, harbinger of the future, constantly. So there’s an incentive to get ready for the endless, mercurial stream of incoming events. One of the ways of doing that is to read about changes which are here or nearly.

That’s how I came to read Soonish, a book explicitly about potential near-term future changes. All the changes seem pretty big deals with little clarity around what impacts we’ll see from them. In other words, fertile ground for fruitful speculation. Also, it has pictures, which is a nice break from the almost relentlessly optimistic treatment of technology.

If you’re a person who’s aware of technology, few if any of the topics addressed will be completely unexpected. If you’re a person who isn’t devoted to the study of developing technological breakthroughs, you’ll enjoy surprises as there is space devoted to detailed tangents which you might not otherwise have ever come across.

I recommend this work to the vast majority of readers who think it sounds interesting, as you’re almost certainly less cynical than I am. Listening to it instead seems like it would lose the useful breaks provided by cartoons but for all I know they’ve thought of that and replaced the cartoons with clips of people speaking after huffing helium.