One day soon, says author Glenn Reynolds, individuals will 'œpossess powers once thought available only to nation-states, superheroes, or gods.' The trend is as plain to Reynolds as the 500,000 hits his five-year-old political weblog, Instapundit.com, gets on a busy day. He sees more evidence when he steps into his basement recording studio or pours himself a self-brewed beer. Thirty or 40 years ago, the capital and specialized knowledge necessary for brewing, publishing, and record producing were hard to come by. Today, Reynolds writes, individuals 'œcontrol the means of production,' and the days of big corporations and dictatorial states are numbered.

What a pleasant change it is to read a smart book that 'œdoesn't say the present stinks and the future will be worse,' said John Podhoretz in the New York Post. Reynolds is a respected law professor and space expert, and his 'œinfectiously optimistic' survey of technology's current course sees multiple miracles just around the corner. Extrapolating mostly from his experiences with blogging, he predicts that nanotechnology and artificial intelligence will make the average Joe considerably 'œbetter and stronger and smarter' within the next 30 years. Though some of his readers may lose faith when he 'œwaxes enthusiastic' about our chances of arresting the aging process and colonizing other planets, said Frank Wilson in The Philadelphia Inquirer, he 'œknows how to pack a lot' of ideas into 'œa relatively small space.' This 'œconcise' but 'œhighly informative' book is 'œa must-read' for anyone interested in 'œthe direction things are taking.'

Reynolds never explains a crucial aspect of his optimism, said Andrew Keen in The Weekly Standard. Empowerment of the masses is ultimately a positive trend only if you trust that 'œman is inherently good.' Reynolds never says why he's so confident that's true. When writing of 'œthe blogging revolution,' said The Economist, he does acknowledge that the same technology that 'œspreads protests against tyranny' can also be used to 'œstoke sectarian violence.' He simply chooses to see the glass as half full. In his world, advances in communications technology are 'œmaking repression steadily harder,' and that can't help but spell progress.

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