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Deep Time Hardcover – Feb 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; 1st, First Edition, First Printing edition (Feb. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380975378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380975372
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,143,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Explains how the human race is sending a message about itself into the cosmos in the form of nuclear waste, global warming, and the extinction of species.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book really gets you thinking in a new way: going beyond your own petty life and petty concerns to think about the far past and the far future. So you think computer disks are so cool? Egyptian pyramids have a better record of surviving down the ages - already some of our data media are disintegrating and we don't have any working equpment to read them! When you call something the "way of the future," Benford points out, you need to think about exactly how far in the future you are looking.
Time capsules? We go to so much trouble to send trivial junk into the future...sometimes for only a few decades. A future archaeologist would probably learn more from mining our landfills, as we do from digging in ancient garbage heaps.
Benford also distinguishes between serious, scientific efforts to send a message to aliens (eg the plaques/records on the Pioneer space probes) and the "Kilroy was here" impulse ("Send your name on a CD-ROM to the stars!") being marketed so heavily. The latter, he notes, amounts to graffiti, worthless in the end except to someone's ego.
Finally, there are sections on saving the environment and biodiversity, to make sure we HAVE a future. Benford strikes a balance between the in situ/ex situ (conservation/zoos) approaches to saving species and the Puritan/technology prophet approaches to solving the greenhouse effect, a balance that is desperately needed when most so-called experts seem to be passionate ideologues one way or the other.
This book draws broadly on numerous disciplines and from a lot of research but leaves you really thinking in the end, and perhaps rethinking some of your assumptions about the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book a lot for the thoughts it provoked as much as what it contained. The notion that we send messages across deep time whether we intend to or not is fascinating. I recommend this book for people who want to think.
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By A Customer on 25 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a very interesting and informative look at the problem of communication and the ideas that have been spawned to solve such problems.
It is also an interesting look at how communications FAIL, even in the present. The look at the Cassini project's interstellar communication attempt is a very interesting study in how EGOs, INFIGHTING and POLITICS can derail even the best of plans.
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By A Customer on 24 Jan. 1999
Format: Hardcover
IF you're interested in saving the world, literally, then this book is required reading. Fascinating inside accounts of various projects to communicate across millenia, archive DNA, and send messages to the stars. Very interesting, at times entertaining, and totally unique. I really recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an intersting look at mankind's attempts to communicate across the ages from the pyramids to timecapsules to messages on spacecraft and to current efforts to mark radioactive waste sites for the people of future centuries.
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