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SB70: Book Reviews

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future

Author: Daniel H. Pink

Review by Andres Cruzalegui

In this insightful examination at the shifts of occupational demand in our country, Daniel H. Pink offers a new perspective that challenges the traditional model of career development.  Beginning with a brief education of the neurological structure of human cognition, Pink sufficiently covers the difference between right-brain directed thinking and the correlating occupations (artists, designers, helping professions) and left-brain directed thinking occupations (engineers, programmers, accountants).  Pink asserts that abundance, automation, and outsourcing are key triggers to an eventual shift in our labor market, a shift from a strong demand of left brain jobs to a strong demand in right brain jobs.  A must read for anyone interested in career development, A Whole New Mind can reverse the discouragement some people might have in pursuing a career in the arts.


Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution

Author: Jim Blascovich, Jeremy Bailenson

Review by Dr. Tom O'Neil

The authors give compelling examples of how virtual reality may fundamentally change the human experience in the near future and then cite examples from research they have performed over the last 30 years. For instance, studies around how students learn in a virtual classroom when avatar behavior is closely controlled provide a glimpse into how education in the future may look drastically different than it does today. The book touches on many such socially relevant topics and is written in clear, concise language.


Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

Author: Michio Kaku

Review by Dr. Tom O'Neil

The author foresees technologies like "retinal display" contact lenses that connect directly to the internet, driverless cars, the mixing of real and virtual reality, and software "robotic doctors" that might replace most people's initial visit to the doctor and correctly diagnose 95% of common ailments. He is also optimistic about progress in medicine, biotech and nanotechnology suggesting that we'll have medical "tricorders" like the ones on Star Trek, miniature nanobots coursing through our veins and advanced gene therapy.

He contends that computers, artificial intelligence and robots will advance rapidly. It is a work that will make you think about the future, our future.