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The Long View

On sale

30th March 2023

Price: £10.99

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Selected: ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472285232

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A wide-ranging and thought-provoking exploration of the importance of long-term thinking.

Humans are unique in our ability to understand time, able to comprehend the past and future like no other species. Yet modern-day technology and capitalism have supercharged our short-termist tendencies and trapped us in the present, at the mercy of reactive politics, quarterly business targets and 24-hour news cycles.

It wasn’t always so. In medieval times, craftsmen worked on cathedrals that would be unfinished in their lifetime. Indigenous leaders fostered intergenerational reciprocity. And in the early twentieth century, writers dreamed of worlds thousands of years hence. Now, as we face long-term challenges on an unprecedented scale, how do we recapture that far-sighted vision?

Richard Fisher takes us from the boardrooms of Japan – home to some of the world’s oldest businesses – to European laboratories where scientists work as custodians on centuries-long experiments. He examines the psychological biases that discourage the long view, and talks to the growing number of people from the worlds of philosophy, technology, science and the arts who are exploring smart ways to overcome them. How can we learn to widen our perception of time and honour our obligations to the lives of those not yet born?

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Reviews

Marcia Bjornerud, author of TIMEFULNESS
The Long View is a manifesto calling for a radical reconception of our relationship with time. Richard Fisher documents the social, psychological, and economic reasons we have become stranded on the Island of Now - and charts routes for us to get back to the mainland.
David Robson, author of THE EXPECTATION EFFECT
Few books can claim to shake your perspective on life, but The Long View does exactly that ... a landmark book that could help to build a much brighter future for many generations to come.
Thomas Moynihan, author of X-RISK: HOW HUMANITY DISCOVERED ITS OWN EXTINCTION
A soaring hymn to all that might lie in the future; alongside the diverse and beautiful ways to think about it. Overflowing with wisdom and insight.
Rowan Hooper, author of HOW TO SPEND A TRILLION DOLLARS
Hope-filled and revelatory... Beautifully readable and scholarly, rich and personal, this book shows how, to leave a robust legacy for the future, we need to overcome our bias for the present.
Tom Chatfield, author of HOW TO THINK
A wise, humane book laced with curiosity and hope. It will open your mind and horizons - and leave you giddy at the prospect of all that we may yet become.
David Farrier, author of FOOTPRINTS: IN SEARCH OF FUTURE FOSSILS
Urgent and profound. Richard Fisher's The Long View shows how thinking differently about time can change the world. The future begins with how we imagine it.
Vincent Ialenti, author of DEEP TIME RECKONING
Moving beyond the abjection that dominates today's headlines about the future, Richard Fisher charts a hope-fuelled path toward the twenty-third century. Lucidly written, The Long View challenges us to remove our temporal blinkers and embrace a more long-minded awareness of humanity's future possibilities. An astounding read.
Prof. Lewis Dartnell, author of THE KNOWLEDGE
I cannot recommend enough! Profoundly thought-provoking, and at times movingly personal, it's a deep exploration of our relationship with time and how we can navigate the coming centuries.
Andri Snær Magnason, author of ON TIME AND WATER
Philosophical, insightful and entertaining. In a world of short-sightedness, The Long View is a helpful guide to understand and connect us to the future. In the light of the climate emergency, long-term thinking is more urgent than ever.
Thomas Suddendorf, Professor of Psychology, University of Queensland, and co-author of THE INVENTION OF TOMORROW
Some of our greatest powers derive from our ability to think about the future. Fisher takes us on a fascinating tour of long-mindedness, and why it matters.
Ian McEwan, Sunday Times bestselling author of ATONEMENT and LESSONS
A captivating guide... The Long View is simply crammed with interesting ideas. This is a beautifully turned, calmly persuasive but urgent book.
The Sunday Times
Fisher has poured a decade's worth of thinking [into the problems of short-termism] into The Long View. The result is an erudite survey of a subject he believes could decide the fate of humanity ... compelling ... I hope our political class reads and absorbs this book.
SAGA Magazine
In this uplifting and hopeful book, science journalist Fisher explores the folly of short-termism and invites us to revise our attitude to time, to embrace the long view, not as a solemn duty but for a deeper, more fulfilling life.
Literary Review
Immaculately researched, splendidly written and an antidote to despair.