The Roots of Progress

Where Is My Flying Car?

A Memoir of Future Past

J. Storrs Hall

A work combining historical analysis and bold futurism, looking for the causes of the Great Stagnation (including and especially our lack of flying cars) and painting a picture of what a technological future could look like.

I enjoyed this book a lot, and learned a lot from it. Hall’s vision of the future includes not only flying cars, but nanotechnology-powered manufacturing, nuclear-powered everything, and artificial intelligence. My biggest single takeaway from the book is the potential for nanotech to give us atomically precise manufacturing, and the mind-blowing possibilities for this. I also appreciated his analysis of the root causes of our current (relative) technological stagnation, including the centralization and bureaucratization of research funding, the growing burden of regulation, and the rise of an anti-technology, anti-industry counterculture. See my full review for more.

Highly recommended for everyone interested in progress.

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