2020 - 2060

Chapter Eight: The Future Of The State

Chapter Nine: Language And Other Cultural Markers

Chapter Ten: Gaia And Other Global Stoppers

Chapter Eleven: Mechanisms Of Human Evolution In The 21st Century

Chapter Twelve: Future Roads For The Human Psyche

Chapter Thirteen: Reinventing People - Robots, Cloning, Downloading

Book One and the work's Introduction emphasized the importance of the human group in understanding the origins of human social behaviour. The nation state is seen as having subverted much of the group-inspired collective wisdom of human societies. Many current problems can be traced to this cause.

Book One described the ongoing process of globalization in a number of dimensions. It showed that the process is both unstoppable, short of a major catastrophe, and desirable. It also introduced the idea that some of the most prominent cultural and institutional features of our contemporary society, including language and the nation state, will undergo fundamental change in the new century, both as a result both of globalization and also because of advancing technology, particularly the Internet.

Book One has repeatedly credited globalization and the Internet with key roles in recreating a structure for human society more in tune with its collectivist (group-centred) roots, while preserving the advanced consciousness of individuality which has been one of the fruits of modern societal development.

Book Two will explore in some detail how the intertwined factors so far set out will affect human culture and the structure of society during the next 100 years. The impact of developing technology on human evolution, both physical and cognitive, will be a key focus.

As with Book One, it is necessary to point out that Book Two is written from the perspective of a citizen of a 'developed' country. Yet a high proportion of humanity lives in 'undeveloped', even outright poverty-stricken regions. Much of the material in Book Two must obviously be taken as applying to the developed world. It would be ludicrous to suggest that a subsistence farmer on an African plain will usefully be able to employ a house-cleaning robot in 2020.

However, this is a short-term problem (not for 2007's unfortunate subsistence farmer, of course). As Book Two will show, the next fifty years will see abundant economic growth and a series of 'boot-strapping' initiatives directed at less fortunate parts of the world which will level up the playing field to such an extent that by 2050 poverty will be largely a thing of the past, and a very high proportion of humanity will be able to participate in the globalized world described in the book.