2 Following


Currently reading

Cristofori's Dream
Robert Italia
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into The 3.5 Billion Year History Of The Human Body
Neil Shubin, Marc Cashman
The Enchanted Wood
Enid Blyton
The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell
The Ghosts Of Evolution Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, And Other Ecological Anachronisms
Connie Barlow

Looking Backward

Looking Backward - Edward Bellamy, Walter James Miller This book reads more like an economic manifesto than a work of fiction. A man from the late 1800s falls asleep and wakes up to find that he was in such a deep trance that it's now the year 2000. Nearly the entire book is a discourse on what has changed over the course of the century. Many of the changes really have happened, but most have not. Even though retirement at age 45 would be nice, the overall government-run utopia Bellamy suggests will never be possible unless human nature changes. I would have enjoyed this book more if there was an actual storyline somewhere other than at the very beginning and very end of the book.

Changes That Have Happened:
*artificial lighting
*absence of chimneys and smoke for heating
*"credit cards"
*programs for listening to music live ... possibly internet since it's by telephone connection
*doctors may only practice if they've passed medical school
*radio alarm clock
*women in the work place
*church by phone connection (internet?)

Changes That Haven't Happened:
*the rise of monopolies choked out small businesses finally and finally gave rise to one company that owned everything (without any bloody revolution because the people all wanted it)
*governments aren't allowed to have enough power to use for maleficent causes
*Harder jobs have fewer hours and easier jobs have more hours to make it so that there is someone who wants to do every job
*every person is a common laborer during the first 3 years of their work service
*there is no buying nor selling
*there are no banks
*everyone has the same salary
*"the nation guarantees the nurture, education, and comfortable maintenance of every citizen from the cradle to the grave"
*free immigration because one country doesn't have to feed and clothe the person anymore and the other gets a free worker
*waterproof enclosed corridor appears during rainstorms for going out without an umbrella
*retirement at age 45
*free education up to age 21 (about grade 18)