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[[ EPUB ]] ✷ The Visioneers Author W. Patrick McCray –

The Visioneers In 1969, Princeton Physicist Gerard O Neill Began Looking Outward To Space Colonies As The New Frontier For Humanity S Expansion A Decade Later, Eric Drexler, An MIT Trained Engineer, Turned His Attention To The Molecular World As The Place Where Society S Future Needs Could Be Met Using Self Replicating Nanoscale Machines These Modern Utopians Predicted That Their Technologies Could Transform Society As Humans Mastered The Ability To Create New Worlds, Undertook Atomic Scale Engineering, And, If Truly Successful, Overcame Their Own Biological Limits The Visioneers Tells The Story Of How These Scientists And The Communities They Fostered Imagined, Designed, And Popularized Speculative Technologies Such As Space Colonies And Nanotechnologies Patrick McCray Traces How These Visioneers Blended Countercultural Ideals With Hard Science, Entrepreneurship, Libertarianism, And Unbridled Optimism About The Future He Shows How They Built Networks That Communicated Their Ideas To Writers, Politicians, And Corporate Leaders But The Visioneers Were Not Immune To Failure Or To The Lures Of Profit, Celebrity, And Hype O Neill And Drexler Faced Difficulty Funding Their Work And Overcoming Colleagues Skepticism, And Saw Their Ideas Co Opted And Transformed By Timothy Leary, The Scriptwriters Of Star Trek, And Many Others Ultimately, Both Men Struggled To Overcome Stigma And Ostracism As They Tried To Unshackle Their Visioneering From Pejorative Labels Like Fringe And Pseudoscience The Visioneers Provides A Balanced Look At The Successes And Pitfalls They Encountered The Book Exposes The Dangers Of Promotion Oversimplification, Misuse, And Misunderstanding That Can Plague Exploratory Science But Above All, It Highlights The Importance Of Radical New Ideas That Inspire Us To Support Cutting Edge Research Into Tomorrow S Technologies.

[[ EPUB ]] ✷ The Visioneers  Author W. Patrick McCray –
  • Hardcover
  • 351 pages
  • The Visioneers
  • W. Patrick McCray
  • English
  • 17 April 2018
  • 9780691139838

    10 thoughts on “[[ EPUB ]] ✷ The Visioneers Author W. Patrick McCray –

  1. says:

    It may sound like a job at a Walt Disney theme park where designers are called imagineers , but visioneer is Patrick McCray s portmanteau word combining visionary and engineer not a hand waving futurologist, but a scientist or engineer who is coming up with blue sky ideas that are, nonetheless, based on the projection of solid science and engineering.The two key figures here are physicist Gerard O Neill, who devised space colonies, and engineer Eric Drexler who was at the forefront of the nanotechnology movement, both dating back to the heady days of the 1970s Their ideas are put in the contrasting context of limits an influential group, the Club of Rome had recently published dire warnings of the limited resources available to human beings, and arguably both these threads were about ways to escape the limits, either by reaching outside the Earth, or into the microcosm.The opening of the book promised a lot it looked as if it was going to be really exciting and engaging But overall McCray doesn t really deliver The problem is that this is essentially a social history rather than a piece of popular science writing Historian McCray makes it clear early on he isn t going to be dealing much with the actual science and technology which is perhaps just as well when one the few mentions he has of ac...

  2. says:

    The Visioneers by Patrick McCray traces the careers of two visionary engineers Gerard Kitchen O Neill 1927 1992 and K Eric Drexler 1955 Since both men were strongly influenced by the 1972 classic Limits to Growth, McCray sets the stage with a detailed account of the Malthusian vision set forth in Limits in the first chapter Utopia or Oblivion for Spaceship Earth In the first chapter, McCray give Kenneth Boulding credit for coining the term Spaceship Earth, which first appeared in print in his classic 1966 article The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth In this article, Boulding contrasts the cowboy economy which he associates with reckless, exploitative, romantic, and violent behavior with the spaceman economy where the earth is a single spaceship, without unlimited reservoirs of anything Boulding, however, did not claim that the Earth was a closed system, since it constantly receives a tremendous energy input from the Sun which explains, in part, why we witness the growth of knowledge both in Earth s ecosphere the gene pool made up of DNA fragments and in the noosphere the knowledge stored in brains and human artifacts such as books and computers But Limits authors Donella and Dennis Meadows did tend to model the Earth as being analogous to a closed system, and accordingly their famous World3 model emphasized the exponential growth of population and economic consumption of finite resources Although the Meadows did factor in the growth of knowledge, they made the co...

  3. says:

    An excellent history of science focusing on space exploration and nanotechnologies, that is, for better or for worse, very much a research manuscript The work is done well and is meticulous in its research, but it is very, very dry However, what it excels in is its analysis of Drexler and O Neil I found it fascinating how the creation of a new kind of technology would rapidly outpace and consume the founders of the idea, as well as the critical junction of popularizing a scientific field Working in quantum computing myself, I cannot help but imagine the difficult balancing act by the founders here Devoret and Schoelkopf among them that is required to gain research funding and public interest while avoiding the pittraps of over simplification of a complex term Drexler, in particular, seemed like a pariah or a scapegoat, forced to bear the shortcomings of the overenthusiastic public.Read this if you want to better understand the complex r...

  4. says:

    I really enjoyed this book McCray looks at different figures he deems visioneers, or people who have a vision of the future and use their resources, in most cases, to enact it The focus of the book is 1960s 1980s, with a little bleed over ...

  5. says:

    I was intrigued by the title Only the title is a lie It s not about an elite group of governmental bureaucrats pushing papers to justify their large pension plans 2019 And the decades are slowly increasing since humans have went further than the lower orbit.

  6. says:

    Though I wish this book had done than gloss over the 21st century transhumanism singularitarianism, it provides an excellent historical context for today s brand of futuristic idealism The book doesn t focus on science fiction authors, but instead real scientists and engineers from about the 1960 s to the early 1990 s, which I appreciate since that sphere tends to be overshadowed.I found sense in its explanation for why America lead the visioneering movements though I m sure...

  7. says:

    I was a big fan of Dr O Neil s High Frontier and have always been intrigued by Drexler s ideas about nanotechnology This book discusses the two of them and describes their roles as both engineers and visionaries, coining the term visioneer to describe their roles in the advance...

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