Friday, May 05, 2006

Who Are These Americans?

Published in 1939, when Sears was 47, Who Are These Americans? was Sears' sixth book and probably the third that was known to the general public. His astute grasp of what was ahead shows near the end of the book:

"The burden upon science will become not less but greater. Scientists will be pressed to develop new tricks, new gadgets, new short cuts to make today easier, regardless of tomorrow. That is how, so far, we have been using science. It has been like drinking liquor to make today pleasant without regard to the headache which comes in the morning. The pressure to use science in this way will have to be resisted by us all, for the future is everybody’s business."

Sears, who died in 1990 at the age of 98, lived to see many of his insights realized. Reportedly sharp mentally as well as physically active in his later years, he certainly must have followed events of the 1970s and 80s with great interest!

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