From an engineer and futurist, an impassioned account of technological stagnation since the 1970s and an imaginative blueprint for a richer, more abundant future
The science fiction of the 1960s promised us a future remade by technological innovation: we’d vacation in geodesic domes on Mars, have meaningful conversations with computers, and drop our children off at school in flying cars. Fast-forward 60 years, and we’re still stuck in traffic in gas-guzzling sedans and boarding the same types of planes we flew in over half a century ago. What happened to the future we were promised?
In Where Is My Flying Car?, J. Storrs Hall sets out to answer this deceptively simple question. What starts as an examination of the technical limitations of building flying cars evolves into an investigation of the scientific, technological, and social roots of the economic stagnation that started in the 1970s. From the failure to adopt nuclear energy and the suppression of cold fusion technology to the rise of a counterculture hostile to progress, Hall recounts how our collective ambitions for the future were derailed, with devastating consequences for global wealth creation and distribution. Hall then outlines a framework for a future powered by exponential progress—one in which we build as much in the world of atoms as we do in the world of bits, one rich in abundance and wonder.
Drawing on years of original research and personal engineering experience, Where Is My Flying Car?, originally published in 2018, is an urgent, timely analysis of technological progress over the last 50 years and a bold vision for a better future.