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Michael Hanlon


As a species we tend to be very short term in our thinking - we are preoccupied with the way things are now, and find it hard to think that it may be otherwise. In Eternity: Our Next Billion Years Michael Hanlon tries to get away from such parochialism and looks at our prospects for the long term.

Of course some things may not be so easy to change - global warming and the inequalities in wealth, for instance - but it is likely that in a century or so our concerns will be very different. Enhanced health and intellectual life are probable, although Hanlon doesn't think that the 'simgularity' particularly likely. Hanlon worries about what will happen to other species on our planet, as well as the loss of linguistic diversity. There's also a running theme throughout the book looking at what might happen if machines really did take over. The final chapter looks at the likely state of the earth in a billion years time.

I didn't think that the book was particularly deep - Hanlon is giving an broad overview of possible futures, rather going into detail of what the technology might be like or trying to argue for one particular path. However, it is an entertaining read, and has some thought provoking ideas.

Product Description
It has become received wisdom that our world is doomed. Mike Hanlon believes that not only is humankind not doomed, but that we may be around for millions, if not hundreds of millions of years. Humans will survive. Our future is in many ways bizarre, surreal and sometimes depressing - but it will still be our world, populated by us.