Thinking Big About the Future

The Best that Money Can’t Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty, & War by Jacque Fresco. Global Cybervisions. 2002. 164 pages. Paperback. Available from the Futurist Bookstore for $24.95 ($22.95 for Society members). cat. no. B-2407.

In The Best that Money Can’t Buy, visionary engineer Jacque Fresco presents a richly illustrated description of a cybernetically enhanced world system that allows all humans to benefit.

There are two key features of this book. First are the stunning photographs of the models that Fresco and his partner, Roxanne Meadows, have produced in connection with the Venus Project in Venus, Florida. (Details: www.thevenusproject.com.) Many of these photographs were reproduced in the January-February 2002 issue of THE FUTURIST, illustrating the machinery that may be required to build a techno-utopia like the Venus Project (e.g., desalinization plans, geothermal energy plans, and robotic megamachines for various construction projects).

The second key element of the book are the essays on values, economics, resources, lifestyles, and other aspects of the future that, as Fresco recognizes, must be addressed collectively in order to describe a preferred future comprehensively.

Whether the future Fresco envisions is probable or even possible is open to debate, but he succeeds in conveying the power of thinking of the future on a grander scale than we are used to. Some futurists talk about appliances that think; Fresco shows us cities that think.