Many a man has traced his fingers in the smooth sands of the future, foretelling stories of glory or grisly reality. Few (none I have read) have held up to time's test for accuracy and foresight like Mr Brin's work in Earth. Written over 7 years ago, I (yesterday) finished the experience and turned on the television, checked my email, and, like a whispering fortuneteller, the television news described the probable mental effects of today's solar flares, the flooding in the great plains, greenhouse gases, and Greenpeace activists misguided efforts to save the arctic wastelands and getting frozen in the act, so to speak.
I gave this book to my girlfriend, with encouragement to keep a dictionary close by and "just get through the first fifty pages". The purpose was to create considerable fodder for discussion for many eves to come. It seems to me this rigorous and scientific work has a wisdom and coherence that can be appreciated only by those willing to put down all preconceptions about human limits, and capable of ingesting the depths and implications of modern science. I am convinced two years of university schooling could be substituted for a thorough study of just this book.
Multifaceted, multilevel, and, best of all, multi- perspective. I admit some of the detail could have been left out to avoid losing the interest of the scientifically literate, and simplifying the daunting task of the reader whose mind has yet to consider the implications of who and what we are, and what the future holds for humanity.