Prologue: A Whole New World
The future is disorder. A door like this has opened up only five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.
The mathematician Valentine, in Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia
This book reaches the public eye at the dawn of a new era in human history—perhaps more so than any previous era that inspired historians to give it a name signifying its import. Looking back hundreds of years—thousands of years, say some1—this new era may be unmatched in the scale of its effect on humankind. Numerous credible authors have testified in their writings that something this big is happening. Francis Fukuyama declared the end of a major cultural ...