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Emerging Tech That'll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything

Cover art for "Soonish"

It's easy to look back and rationalize the technological progress of the 20th century. The tough part is predicting what future technologies will impact the world of tomorrow. Together, Zach and Kelly Wienersmith tackle the question of how groundbreaking tech will shape the world of tomorrow in their book "Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything."

During this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Zach about the failed predictions on emerging tech in the past, some current technological roadblocks we face, and the cost/benefit of future technological advances.

In the book Zach and Kelly use humor and hard science to look at what these ten emerging technologies are, how they work, the challenges to their realization, their potential to improve the world, and their prospective doomsday scenarios. 

"One thing we are trying to fight against is uniformed optimism," says Zach. "We're optimistic people, but you should be a bit skeptical so you don't get taken in by nonsense."

Zach is a writer, illustrator, and cartoonist. He's known for his work in the award-winning web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. His wife Kelly is a parasitologist and a bioscience researcher at Rice University. 

Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River