Reviewed by Eloise Farmer
This book is unlike most books students and teachers might encounter in a school library or classroom. It is both up–to–date and soon (in a "rush") will be dated.
The book is divided into six major sections. The first three chapters address the meaning of acceleration as “progress over time” and provides a short history of computer technology from 1974 to the present. The third chapter describes the impetus to the “rush” as efficiency.
The book then proceeds to identify five trends in science, technology, and medicine that are accelerating: cloud computing, nanotechnology, the huge capacity of present–day computers (with an explanation of Moore’s Law), global warming, and the human genome. Each section or part includes a description of accelerating growth in that area, a detailed description of the technology and how it works, and the societal implications of the technology.
The author provides commentary at the beginning of the book, and in an epilogue. Footnotes are used throughout the book to highlight particular ideas and provide more commentary connecting directly to information given. The proximity of the footnotes to the text make it easy to follow and also provide interest.
The advantage to having this book available for students and teachers would be to update them on the latest technology in an easy–to–read, condensed way. It also contains extensive references for anyone who wants to further pursue any topic. However, the very theme of this book is the speed at which technology advances, and it will be the victim of its own idea and will soon be obsolete. Thus its value as a print book in a school would be fleeting. It could be highly valuable to a technology class if the publisher could provide on–line updates. It also would be useful to inform those who want to know more about the status of technology in our society at the present time.
It would be a good reference in the very short term for a teacher to use when teaching a class in Science, Technology, and Society, and the material could be used as reading material for high school students in such a course. In a few years if could be used as a reference point to see how much farther technology has progressed.
Review posted on 3/11/2013