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From an engineer and futurist, an impassioned account of technological stagnation since the 1970s and an imaginative blueprint for a richer, more abundant future.
The science fiction of the 1960s promised us a future remade by technological innovation. We’d vacation in geodesic domes on Mars, have meaningful conversations with computers, and drop our children off at school in flying cars. Fast-forward 60 years, and we’re still stuck in traffic in gas-guzzling sedans and boarding the same types of planes we flew in over half a century ago. What happened to the future we were promised?
In Where Is My Flying Car?, J. Storrs Hall sets out to answer this deceptively simple question. What starts as an examination of the technical limitations of building flying cars evolves into an investigation of the scientific, technological, and social roots of the economic stagnation that started in the 1970s. From the failure to adopt nuclear energy and the suppression of cold fusion technology to the rise of a counterculture hostile to progress, Hall recounts how our collective ambitions for the future were derailed, with devastating consequences for global wealth creation and distribution. He then outlines a framework for a future powered by exponential progress—one in which we build as much in the world of atoms as we do in the world of bits, one rich in abundance and wonder.
Drawing on years of original research and personal engineering experience, Where Is My Flying Car?, originally published in 2018, is an urgent, timely analysis of technological progress over the last 50 years and a bold vision for a better future.
From the Publisher
Praise for Where Is My Flying Car?
“One of the best and most interesting books on technology.” —Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
“There are many writers with optimistic visions of the future. However, the goals I most often hear are all the negation of negatives: cure cancer, eliminate poverty, stop climate change. . . . This is good, but it is not enough. [These techno-optimists] are content with bringing the whole world up to the current best standard of living, but not increasing it. In this context, I found Where Is My Flying Car? refreshing. Hall unabashedly calls for unlimited progress in every dimension.” —Jason Crawford, Roots of Progress
“Whether there is ‘tech stagnation’ or a revolution about to swarm the skies, Where Is My Flying Car? offers piercing questions and answers about what it might take to make the dream come true.” —David Brin, astrophysicist and author of Existence and The Postman
“This book is an inspirational roadmap to an amazing future that can be ours if we will only reach for it. Hall’s bold new perspective on technological progress is a must-read for anyone who claims to be a futurist.” —Robert Freitas, nanotechnology scientist and author of Nanomedicine
“America’s ‘golden quarter century’ of technological and economic progress ended 50 years ago. Instead of flying cars, we got Facebook. J. Storrs Hall brilliantly explains the reasons for this Great Stagnation, and what to do to bring about another golden era of growth and prosperity.” —Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
From Where Is My Flying Car?
“The key to [our] future will be our visions: whether we can imagine, want, and try hard enough to achieve great things—things worthy of the capabilities of a people with intelligent robots, complete control of the structure of matter, and the limitless power of the atom. Our muscle awaits, if only we can find our muse.”
“We need to understand how to harness our enormous creative energies for improvement instead of virtue-signaling. We need to understand how to live beyond Earth’s fragile soap bubble of a biosphere. We need to begin to appreciate how much more there is to even our small solar system.”
“We need hopers and dreamers; we need visionaries who can see a better future worth striving for. We need great, important things to do with the staggeringly huge capabilities that lie within our grasp. Science fiction must get back down into the gutter and start looking back up at the stars.”
About the author
J. Storrs Hall, Ph.D., is an independent scientist and author. He was the founding chief scientist of Nanorex, Inc. and a president of the Foresight Institute and is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and an associate editor of the International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation. He was also accredited as an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the field of computational climate models. His previous books include Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine and Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology. Now residing on Chesapeake Bay, he dabbles in aerodynamics design under the auspices of Eastern Shore Flying Cars, LLC.
About the publisher
Stripe Press publishes books about economic and technological advancement. Stripe partners with hundreds of thousands of the world’s most innovative businesses—organizations that will shape the world of tomorrow. These businesses are the result of many different inputs. Perhaps the most important ingredient is “ideas.” Stripe Press highlights ideas that we think can be broadly useful. Some books contain entirely new material, some are collections of existing work reimagined, and others are republications of previous works that have remained relevant over time or have renewed relevance today.
Related titles by Stripe Press:
The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell WaldropStubborn Attachments by Tyler CowanThe Art of Doing Science and Engineering by Richard W. HammingWorking in Public by Nadia EghbalScientific Freedom by Donald W. Braben
Publisher : Stripe Press; First print edition (November 30, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 332 pages
ISBN-10 : 1953953182
ISBN-13 : 978-1953953186
Item Weight : 1.75 pounds
Dimensions : 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches