The "swine flu" outbreak that started in late April this year swept the whole world into a big fuss. Fortunately this time, the swift scientific analysis and action, together with the world wide sharing of information seem to have succeeded in preventing disastrous human, social, or economical damage.
If we look back carefully into our history as human beings, it is clear that our past had been a constant battle with pandemics, and basically, as mankind and their activities spread over this planet, this battle will inevitably keep on taking place repeatedly.
Look back into the history and think about the future. This is a very important large scale framework for thinking, whatever the theme may be.
"A Brief History of the Future: A Brave and Controversial Look at the Twenty-First Century" by Jacque Atalli was published in 2006, and its Japanese translation in 2008. This book writes about the history of mankind in a tremendous large scale and aims to foresee the world as it may be in the 21st century. The change described here is of an unbelievably high speed, unimaginable from our current common sense. But this could really happen.