I’m currently listening to Neal Stephenson’s 1995 nano-tech bildungsroman on audiobook.
The story itself is incredible – wild, dense and visionary. But what makes the audiobook such a fantastic way to absorb the book is the performance of the reader, Jennifer Wiltsie. Her range of accents and voices is flawless, from Neo-Victorian John Percival Hackworth’s stiff british accent, to the innocent small voice of our Little Hero Nell. But it’s not just the main characters who get this treatment. Every character no matter how small (and the cast is huge) gets their own voice and personality. She single handedly transforms Stephenson’s novel into an truly immersive experience.
It seems as though every day we are coming closer and closer to living in what we perceive to be The Future. In fact, a brief walk down 23rd street and you’ll know that we’re there already, judging by the amount of people staring into the small black rectangle they are holding in their hands.
But the “The Future” is about a lot more than ubiquitous computing and telecommunications. It’s a time and place full of marvelous feats of engineering, biological breakthroughs and mastery over the natural world.
This list of emerging technologies page on wikipedia is like a ones-stop-shop for every interesting technological development happening right now. It’s great place to keep track of “The Future” as it arrives.
In addition to being a really handy list, the technologies are broken down by industry (Agriculture, home appliance, etc.) and then into a handy table that includes the potential applications of the innovation along with links to relevant articles, and perhaps most interestingly a box for marginalized technologies – that is current technologies that will be replaced by new innovations.