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The Day It Finally Happens: Alien Contact, Dinosaur Parks, Immortal Humans_and Other Possible Phenomena (2019)

de Mike Pearl

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Pearl speculates on many of the "could it really happen?" scenarios we've all talked about. He assigns each event a probability rating, and takes us through how it would unfold. The final failure of antibiotics, a complete ban on guns in the US, and even the arrival of aliens-- Pearl provides a clear picture of how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances. He makes science accessible while offering practical answers to some of our most worrisome questions. -- adapted from jacket… (més)
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The Day It Finally Happens: Alien Contact, Dinosaur Parks, Immortal Humans-and Other Possible Phenomena by Mike Pearl is a very highly recommended entertaining, yet serious look at nineteen different events that may spark some fear or trepidation from people.

Pearl writes: "I’m not a statistician or a physicist. In fact, I’m terrible at math, but I do like to predict the future, and I’ve made a job of it. I just approach it a little differently because my main qualification is a paralyzing fear of things that are going to happen. My fear comes from an anxiety disorder - a very common mental illness. It’s a mixed blessing for someone who works as an explanatory journalist: it fills my head with ideas, but I hate the ideas."

This is very well written examination of events that includes research, entertaining speculation, statistics, practical discussions, and a measure of personal anxiety. The scenarios he presents open with the title of the event to be discussed and/or feared then there is a breakdown covering: Likely in this century?; Plausibility Rating? (rating is a number out of a possible 5); Scary? (an assessment of how scary the situation is); and finally the question is posed, Worth changing habits? Pearl goes on to present the facts and information along with his thoughts about each situation, but does so in a funny, personable, and logical manner. It all combines to make The Day It Finally Happens a very interesting and entertaining look at events that can and do cause anxiety in many people. After the epilogue Pearl includes notes from each chapter.

The widely varied, yet potentially frightening events contemplated include: The Day the UK Finally Abolishes Its Monarchy; The Day a Tech Billionaire Takes Over the World; The Day Doping Is Allowed at the Olympics; The Day Humans Become Immortal; The Day Anyone Can Imitate Anyone Else Perfectly; The Day the Last Human-Driven Car Rolls Off the Lot; The Day Saudi Arabia Pumps Its Last Barrel of Oil; The Day a Real Jurassic Park Opens; The Day Antibiotics Don’t Work Anymore; The Day the Last Fish in the Ocean Dies; The Day the US Completely Bans Guns; The Day Nuclear Bombs Kill Us All; The Day a Baby Is Born on the Moon; The Day the Entire Internet Goes Down; The Day the Last Slaughterhouse Closes; The Day Humans Get a Confirmed Signal from Intelligent Extraterrestrials; The Day the Next Supervolcano Erupts; The Day the Last Slave Goes Free; The Day the Last Cemetery Runs Out of Space.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribner.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2019/09/the-day-it-finally-happens.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Sep 16, 2019 |
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Pearl speculates on many of the "could it really happen?" scenarios we've all talked about. He assigns each event a probability rating, and takes us through how it would unfold. The final failure of antibiotics, a complete ban on guns in the US, and even the arrival of aliens-- Pearl provides a clear picture of how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances. He makes science accessible while offering practical answers to some of our most worrisome questions. -- adapted from jacket

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