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     It is impossible to acknowledge everyone who has directly or indirectly had something to do with the writing of this book. For example, I owe a great debt to the countless persons who have been so generous as to provide information for free on the Internet. To those who have been my teachers, both in formal schools and in the school of life, thank you for your willingness to pass on your knowledge; and thank you to all of those who have touched me with grace.

     Without the valuable advice I received from my pre-publication reviewers, this book would be far less than it is today. Whether they managed the time to read my manuscript in whole or in part, their support and encouragement has been invaluable. These reviewers include: Ed Aborn, Rita Cofrancesco, Brian Drew, Teresa Fiske, David Gonzalez, Chris Gossett, Jeanne Hanson, Rio Hahn, Kathy Hart, Carla Higdon, Dev Horn, Susan Horn, Gus Kilthau, Mac Larson, Claudia Little, Ron Little, Bill Radacinski, Maggi Travis-Radacinski, Tony Rich, S.J. Richardson, Linda Shaw, Ken Symington, and Max Lamkin, who also assisted in developing the graphics for Chapter 2.

     Additionally, I would like to thank Jake Bowman for his insightful suggestions regarding what has become the final structure of this book. My close friend of many years, Billy Brown, played an important role in clarifying many of the core issues in the second chapter, and his strong encouragement helped me through many long nights.

     The first chapter of this book would not exist if it were not for the urgings of Bruce Damer and Galen Brandt. Their ability to conceive a wonderful future for humanity is only surpassed by the work they are doing to create it. I want to thank Casey Hardison for the significant amount of work he did in critiquing the draft he read. Not only did Casey provide insightful scientific information, his advice concerning writing styles has made me a better writer.

     For two special friends who have been with me from the beginning, I cannot say enough. Matt Pallamary, who is also one of my favorite writers, is someone I can always count on. Whenever I needed someone to give me a sanity check or just to tell me not to quit, Matt was there. The second person is my dear friend Amanda Feilding. Her encouragement and support have gone far beyond what could be expected from one's closest friends.

     I began writing this book the same week I was attending a seminar given by Gabriele Rico. The writing process of "clustering," which she developed and teaches, was the catalyst for many of the cognitive connections that are central to this book. What is more, by faithfully using Gabriele's process, I did not have a single hour of writer's block during an entire year of full-time writing.

     I am deeply indebted to Steven Rooke for the use of his art on the paperback edition of this book. On page you will find a brief description of the processes he uses to evolve his art. Besides being an artist, Steven is a scientist, world-class computer programmer, and a wonderful friend.

     A special thank you goes to Christina Saint Laurent. In the midst of a personal work-load of large proportions, Christina found the time to review my manuscript and then to provide many detailed and valuable comments. On the only day my resolve began to waver, her over-the-top letter of encouragement arrived. Thanks again for the boost. Another person whose encouragement was invaluable is my close friend and compatriot of many adventures, Minot Tillson. I cannot thank him enough for being there at some of the most important moments of my life, as well as for his invaluable editorial guidance and commentary.

     Grateful acknowledgment is made to the many other authors quoted in this book. In particular, I want to thank Ralph Abraham, Galen Brandt, Bruce Damer, Mark Pesce, Vernor Vinge, and Richard Yensen for agreeing to review sections of the manuscript in which I use their work.

     For teaching me the basics of networking, I am indebted to Howie Goldstein, quite possibly the best technical instructor in the land. I am forever indebted to my cousin, Helen Fox-Loschnig, for first encouraging me to read Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man.

     Should any of my pre-publication reviewers ever find the time to read this book in its final form, I am sure they will join me in thanking my excellent editor, Jon Hanna. Not only is Jon one of the best editors I have ever worked with, his detailed knowledge of an extremely wide range of subjects makes him one-of-a-kind. I cannot think of a single suggestion Jon made that I did not take to heart.

     To our tribe, I can never repay all of you for the lessons you have taught, journeys you have taken, and love you have shared. I am proud to be on your path, for it does have heart.

     To my children, Chris, Kelly and Dan, I want to say a particular thank you for being so gracious about encouraging your father to follow his heart and live his dreams. You have all made me very proud to be your father. And to my mother, Ruth, and stepfather, Leo, I could never have made it this far without your help, love, and support. Thank you for always being there.

     If I had my way, this final acknowledgment would not be necessary, for I consider my dear wife, Marycie, to be as much the author of this work as am I. Since she had no hand in the physical writing of this book, she did not want credit as the co-author. Nonetheless, she served as my primary editor over the many drafts of our manuscript, and contributed to the formation of many of the hypotheses set forth.

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