Looking Forward is an imaginative and fascinating book in which the authors take you on a journey into the culture and technology of the twenty-first century. After an introductory section that discusses the Things that Shape Your Future, you will explore the whys and wherefores of the unfamiliar, alarming, but exciting world of a hundred years from now.
You will see this society through the eyes of Scott and Hella, a couple of the next century. Their living quarters are equipped with a cybernator, a seemingly magical computer device, but one that is based on scientific principles now known. It regulates sleeping hours, communications throughout the world, an incredible underwater living complex, and even the daily caloric intake of the “young” couple. (They are in their forties but can expect to live 200 years.)
The world that Scott and Hella live in is a world that has achieved full weather control, has developed a finger-sized computer that is implanted in the brain of every baby at birth (and the babies are scientifically incubated—the women of the twenty-first century need not go through the pains of childbirth), and that has perfected genetic manipulation that allows the human race to be improved by means of science.
Economically, the world is Utopian by our standards. Jobs, wages, and money have long since been phased out. Nothing has a price tag, and personal possessions are not needed. Nationalism has been surpassed, and total disarmament has been achieved; educational technology has made schools and teachers obsolete. The children learn by doing, and are independent in this friendly world by the time they are five.
The chief source of this greater society is the Correlation Center, “Corcen,” a gigantic complex of computers that serves but never enslaves mankind. Corcen regulates production, communication, transportation and all other burdensome and monotonous tasks of the past. This frees men and women to achieve creative challenging experiences rather than empty lives of meaningless leisure.
Obviously this book is speculative, but it is soundly based upon scientific developments that are now known. And as the authors state:
“You will understand this book best if you are one who sees today only as a stepping stone between yesterday and tomorrow. You will need a sensitivity to the injustices, lost opportunities for happiness, and searing conflicts that characterize our twentieth-century civilization. If your mind can weigh new ideas and evaluate them with insight, this book is for you.
“We have no crystal ball. ... We want you to feed our ideas into your own computer, so that you can find even better ideas that may play a part in molding the future of our civilization.”