By Alexander Stille

ISBN-10: 0312420943

ISBN-13: 9780312420949

ISBN-10: 0374159777

ISBN-13: 9780374159771

An engrossing examine the cultural outcomes of technological switch and globalization

Space radar, infrared images, carbon courting, DNA research, microfilm, electronic facts bases-we have higher know-how than ever for learning and conserving the earlier. And but the by-products of expertise threaten to destroy--in one or generations--monuments, artistic endeavors, and methods of lifestyles that experience survived millions of years of complication and struggle. This paradox is critical to our age. We use the web to entry and verify limitless quantities of information--but comprehend much less and not more of its old context. Globalization might ultimately profit nations world wide; it's going to additionally, probably, bring about the disappearance of thousands of neighborhood dialects, languages, and entire societies.

In The way forward for the Past, Alexander Stille takes us on a travel of the earlier because it exists at the present time and weighs its clients for the next day to come, from China to Somalia to Washington, D.C. via incisive pictures in their protagonists, he describes high-tech struggles to save lots of the good Sphinx and the Ganges; efforts to maintain Latin in the Vatican; the electronic glut contained in the nationwide data, that may have misplaced additional info within the info age than ever prior to; an oral tradition threatened by way of a "new" expertise: writing itself. anywhere it takes him, Stille explores not only the previous, yet our rules concerning the previous, how they're changing--and how they are going to need to swap if our prior is to have a future.

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