You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life.
Genetics will be the dominant language of this century. Those who can “speak it” will acquire direct and deliberate control over all forms of life. But most countries and individuals remain illiterate in what is rapidly becoming the greatest single driver of the global economy.
Wealth will be more concentrated and those with knowledge to sell–both countries and individuals–will be the winners.
Consider what will happen when:
• Your genetic code can be digitally imprinted on an ID card and your insurance company and employer see that you are genetically disposed to, say, heart disease.
• Pharmaceutical products are developed so that you can eat genetically modified broccoli to protect yourself from cancer.
• Cloning will be as common as in vitro fertilization and scientists can influence the genetic design not only of other species but of your own children.
• Creating wealth no longer requires many hands. Lone individuals are giving birth to entire new industries that rapidly become bigger than the economies of most countries on earth, but create very few jobs.
As the Future Catches You resembles no other book. A typical page may contain just a few dozen words. But each seemingly discrete fact is like a chip in an intellectual mosaic that reveals its meaning and beauty only as you step back and see the big picture. Juan Enriquez is like the best teacher you ever had, one who helps you to see something in a new light and makes you say, “Now I get it!”
Juan Enriquez’s main point is that technology is not kind, it does not say “please,” but slams into existing systems and destroys them while creating new ones. Countries and individuals can either surf new and powerful waves of change–or get crushed trying to stop them.
The future is catching us all.
Let it catch you with your eyes wide open.
Harvard Business School research fellow Juan Enriquez has great enthusiasm for his subject and his audience in As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth. "I would like you and I to have a conversation," he writes. "There is space on each page for your own notes, thoughts," etc. Space indeed, and more: this consideration of scientific advancement, technological and economic trends and their effects offers graphically arresting pages complete with pictures, highlighted words, graphs, and large blank margins. Enriquez's hyperventilating presentation (how many ellipses can one author use?) might get in the way of the facts at times, but the facts about the ability of genetically modified bananas to vaccinate those who consume them against particular diseases, for example can be very interesting indeed.