SAFE: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World

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9780060577155: SAFE: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World

SAFE takes us on a thrilling ride with the scientists, inventors, and engineers who are working on the frontiers of technological possibility to combat terrorism and make a safer, better world.

SAFE introduces readers to the most fascinating and ingenious problem-solvers of our day - the gathering force of scientists, engineers, technologists, and inventors who have been trying to guard against both visible and invisible threats to our safety . Since 9/11, Americans and our leadership have been on a steep learning curve - trying to understand how new technologies can help protect against catastrophic acts of terrorism. Yet these men and women were hard at it long before most of us were aware that the advances that gave us e-mail, wireless connectivity, and access to the human genome, also paved the way for untraceable terrorist communications, cell phone-activated bombs, bio-terror, and chemical and cyber warfare, just to name a few.

SAFE moves us beyond these increasingly prevalent buzz phrases to reveal a rich, compelling narrative of discovery and breakthrough ideas, and of wonderfully idiosyncratic and inspiring characters whose work has been largely hidden until now. Consider this book The Soul of a New Machine, re-imagined for the challenges of a newly dangerous world.

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From Booklist:

This is not a book you should read if you're in a suspicious frame of mind. The authors explore an aspect of the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that hasn't been widely discussed. The world is full of new technology, affecting everything from home entertainment to commerce to communications to security, but do we understand fully the potential downside of such wondrous innovations? The authors argue that we can't ignore the fact that communications technology (for example) has made it much, much easier for terrorists to talk among themselves without fear of being overheard. New technologies, in other words, have the potential to be turned against us, and it's up to the men and women profiled in the book--scientists, inventors, government workers, and academics--to be aware of the dangers and to develop ways to guard against them. A fascinating study of how our future security is being protected behind-the-scenes by those who view technologies as complex systems with long-range implications for both good and ill. David Pitt
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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