There are two ways to read this book: as an extensive compendium of speculations on alternative futures, and as evidence of the conceptual quicksand upon which such speculations are built. Since, as the authors persuasively argue, futurist speculations will increasingly become necessary as a basis for choosing among policies, difficult problems regarding the limits of rational control overarch both the substance of the book and the mood of anticipation among planners and policy-makers which its pages reflect.
As a compendium of many futurists’ speculations this is a valuable handbook—actually half a handbook. It has sections on the “methodology” of speculating about the future, the nature of historical change,...
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