Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible

Profiles of the Future An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible This book originally appeared in and was based on essays written during the period Since it was concerned with ultimate possibilities and not with achievements to be expected in the n

  • Title: Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible
  • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
  • ISBN: 9780575402775
  • Page: 140
  • Format: Paperback
  • This book originally appeared in 1962, and was based on essays written during the period 1959 1961 Since it was concerned with ultimate possibilities, and not with achievements to be expected in the near future, even the remarkable events of the last decade have dated it very little But Arthur Clarke has gone over the book making corrections and comments where necessarThis book originally appeared in 1962, and was based on essays written during the period 1959 1961 Since it was concerned with ultimate possibilities, and not with achievements to be expected in the near future, even the remarkable events of the last decade have dated it very little But Arthur Clarke has gone over the book making corrections and comments where necessary in order to bring it right up to date The author, amongst many fascinating excursions into what the future may hold, discusses the fourth dimension and the obsolescence of the law of gravity, the exploration of the entire solar system and the colonization of some of it seas will be mined for energy and minerals, and asteroids will be pulled to Earth to supply needed materials men, already bigger than they need be, may be bred smaller to be efficient on less food.

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    About “Arthur C. Clarke

    • Arthur C. Clarke

      Arthur C Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956 He is best known for the novel and movie 2001 A Space Odyssey, which he co created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.Clarke was a graduate of King s College, London where he obtained First Class Honours in Physics and Mathematics He is past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of the Academy of Astronautics, the Royal Astronomical Society, and many other scientific organizations.Author of over fifty books, his numerous awards include the 1961 Kalinga Prize, the AAAS Westinghouse science writing prize, the Bradford Washburn Award, and the John W Campbell Award for his novel Rendezvous With Rama Clarke also won the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1972, 1974 and 1979, the Hugo Award of the World Science Fiction Convention in 1974 and 1980, and in 1986 became Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America He was awarded the CBE in 1989.

    259 thoughts on “Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible

    • Arthur C. Clarke's "Profiles of the Future" is a fascinating exploration of the science and art of predicting the future in the context of science and technology. Clarke first studies predictions made in the past and tries to identify common mistakes and patterns. Armed with some takeaways he then focuses his intellect and imagination on charting future progress from 1960 (when the book was written!) to 2100. Reading the book in 2016 puts us approximately in the middle of this interval; Clarke g [...]


    • Let’s face it, fellow readers: the last ten years were such a stupid decade. I don’t mean politically, culturally, etc. (although we can trash it in the comments if you want) I just mean in general. I imagine the Eighties were pretty cool (I wasn’t ensouled for most of it), and I personally enjoyed the Nineties, but this? It’s been ten years and we’re still unsure what to call it. The Oughties? The Noughts? Something equally stupid and unhip? Screw it. I don’t care anymore. The whole [...]


    • 60- cı illərdə Klarkın elmi- fantastikaya, onun elmin inkişafındakı rolu, həmçinin gələcəklə bağlı şəxsi düşüncələrinin əks olunduğu bir kitab. Klark kahin deyil, onun bəzi düşüncələrinin indi bizə mənasız gəlməsi normaldır (bəzi düşüncələri də hədəfi tam on ikidən vurub). Kitabı XXI əsrə görə yox, Klarkın dövrünə görə nəzərə almaq lazımdır.



    • This book is an analyzation, topic by topic, by famed Sci-Fi novelist Arthur C. Clarke. It is a bit dated (written in 1970 I believe), but it is still a great and fairly accurate read to this day. Clarke discusses technological discoveries as proposed by science fiction novels, many of which have become reality years later. He details some of the most popular science fiction subjects, and presents a summary of the likelihood of each to come to fruition. I recommend this book to those that are in [...]


    • Another mindbogglingly Arthur C. Clarke book. Now we can see some of the predictions are exaggerated and beyond the time schedule, but there are some good ones too. Like his predictions on cloud technology and 3D printers. His theory on interdenominational beings is also very fascinating. There were some theories which I have never heard before. Totally worth the time spent on this short narrative. Clarke never leaves his readers empty handed.


    • This wonderful book by Arthur Clarke envisages and speculates our future, without taking into account the time frame in which the discussed innovations might occur. It's well chronicled and the author gives a valid scientific explanation about why some things cannot be ruled out. The fact that he accurately predicted the cellphone mode of communication back then reinforces the credibility of the author's claims. However, I was a tad disappointed with the book for mainly three reasons. First, the [...]


    • Considering that this book was written in the late 1960s, the ideas developed by the writer are in vivid detail and are very similar to how its all turned out. Arthur Clarke really let his imagination run completely wild in 13 different application areas ranging from the underground to space travel. Its probably not a book you can read end to end at one go as it all becomes a bit too overwhelming. I personally didn't read the last couple of chapters. One way would be to pick zour topics of inter [...]


    • A series of essays of and about forecasts of future technology.The essays were originally written for Playboy in 1961, and were then collected into the original 1962 version of this book. Clarke revised the book in 1973, 1982 and 1999. I read the 1982 version not long after it was published and found it stimulating. On reading the 1999 edition, I have been surprised to learn that some of my ideas for my own extreme-far-future sf novel were not my own thoughts, as I had thought, but ideas I'd for [...]



    • An easy read, but a little dull. It avoided the usual problem of extrapolating and prophesying - being quickly proved wrong - by mainly discussing ideas and concepts Clarke located so far into the future they have still to come to pass. The book was written in the 60s, updated in the 70s, and last printed in the early 80s - so it is of course already old hat, and Clarke knew little about the future development of microprocessors, genetic engineering, and so on. Nonetheless, one of the entertainm [...]


    • I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I wasn't disappointed. It contains essays by the author, some that were first published in the 60's and some that have been updated over the years. Each one deals with a single theme, such as transport, and explores what it means for our future, where current technology might take us and what could be the limit to what we can achieve. They are written brilliantly, not too technical or scientific, but with enough that you can follow the arguments t [...]


    • I read the original 1962 paperback, not the revision from 2000. While it didn't promise jetpacks, there was a lot of hot air (possibly of the focused kind) about hovercraft. That never really caught on, needless to say. Dated, and written in that kind of hokey pseudo-scientific paternal voice that's become a sci-fi stereotype, it still made me nostalgic for a past where progress seemed inevitable and wildly unpredictable. Clarke was looking forward to the establishment of colonies on other plane [...]


    • nwhytevejournal/1402031mlClassic book of essays by Clarke, originally written in 1962 mostly for Playboy, and updated by him in 1999 - so the first edition was written when he was a little older than I am now, and the revision when he was 82; will I be reviewing old blog posts for republication in 2049? It is all good solid stuff about the future of technology and space flight, and the nature of the universe. One notable miss is that he doesn't seem to have been very worried about environmental [...]


    • The predictions made by the author of the future are very imaginative and yet have a firm grounding on the laws of science and technology. He talks about - the fourth dimension, conquering the laws of gravity, the exploration and colonization of outer spaces, mining the seas for energy and minerals, pulling asteroids to Earth to supply needed materials, breeding smaller size and more efficient men who consumeless food etc.You will be astounded by author's vision.He had predicted - sattelite TVs, [...]


    • Много ми беше интересна. Впечатлена съм от сбъдналите се прогнози за сателитната телевизия и електронните книги. В някои отношения техническият и научен прогрес са надминали и най-смелите прогнози, но например в сферата на транспорта все още можем само да мечтаем за чудно [...]


    • Gives a fun and scientific look into the world of well now. Written in the 60's it shows Arthur C. Clarke's knowledge of almost every aspect of technological advances past present and future. The fact that he nailed it on so many ideas of technologies he predicted we would have to day is astounding. Read it, you won't be disappointed


    • Interesting reissue with updates by science fiction author (or should that be auteur?) Arthur C Clarke, here speculating about our collective future and what we or our descendants are likely to see and experience via various scientific discoveries and breakthroughs. Entertaining, especially where he outs his own earlier erroneous projections and shares his corrected vision.


    • There are several revisions of this classic available. I read the original from the early 1960's. Much of the information is dated, but a good deal of it also proved correct. A fun look at the future from the past, and with the benefit of hindsight.


    • It's a four for three reasons.1) The mention of anti-heterosexual legislation. Just that it even happened.2) The almost two paragraphs on what a boon zero-gee "erotica" will be.3) All the little tidbits of science I learned.Otherwise, it would have gotten a good three(ish).


    • This book is so dated. Ironic that the premise is to show that so many things are possible when all the experts claim them to be "impossible" and then Clarke gets on these points where he says things are not going to be possible.Skip this book. It is just too old.


    • For someone who is distinctly not scientifically minded I found this book very interesting and easy to read and (mostly) understand (the basic idea anyway)Fun fact: Clarke wrote this way back, predicting possibilities for the future. It's cool to see which ones came true in some way or another.


    • I'm sad that there's no cover art for my copy. However a turely interesting look at what minds thought our future would be like. Some stuff sounds good, some sounds completely out to lunch.


    • So dated yet so before its time still. Arthur C. Clarke speculates on the future of technology in this brilliant thought journey through possibility.



    • El libro danza sobre el futuro. Aquellos acontecimientos próximos para todos y el universo. No dudaría que la idea inicial de Matrix saliera de este libro.




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