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Byron Reese is a historian. In his latest work, Infinite Progress he sets a high bar for Internet and Technology. He spells out his optimism in his title “How the Internet and Technology will end ignorance, disease, poverty, hunger and war. Yikes! As a fellow Internet aficionado and technology practitioner, I just had to see what this was all about. In the first chapter I worked my way up the ladder of “optimism shock” – a kind of sugar shock, just without ingesting a ton of jelly beans.
The basis for Reese giving you his predictions are built on five principles: 1) futurists often get it wrong; 2) history can help us get it right; 3) internet technology + human ingenuity = infinite promise; 4) accelerating progress is inevitable; and, 5) the new renaissance has begun. Pretty heady stuff! Of these five principles there really is only one real premise three assertions and one dollop of hope. I really don’t think Reese made his argument in the end. But....
I have read other books in this genre, for example the "Next 100 Years" by George Friedman and this work has a place along side. I would have to say that spending 10 hours dwelling on things might go right instead of 10 hours of the things that have gone wrong was a refreshing change. Even if you don’t buy what Reese is selling, I give him credit for putting his message out there. If you have the time and want to hear some good, non-political, speculation give it a read.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have, which in my opinion is the best, and that's one reason why I've tried this book
Any additional comments?
No Peter Diamond or Steven Pinker, but all right. The world needs more optimists, but the author is almost dreaming, in my opinion. To say that there will be less war or less hunger in the future, I can easily see…but no war? The book is good, no doubt, but just not a master piece like Abundance. But I am glad that it is Grover Gardner that read it, makes it all worth the time to listen to.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful