Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Risks of Prediction

I know there have been many grumpy books and articles about the wonderful future that never happened. ( For instance, Where’s my jetpack? : a guide to the amazing science fiction future that never arrived / Daniel H. Wilson ; illustrated by Richard Horne. New York : Bloomsbury USA : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, c2007)  But I like to think I was in the vanguard, since I mounted a display back in 2000 about the many unrealized predictions for that year.  I limited my material to respectable academics and think tanks, though I did use a few pictures from old science fiction pulps.  Here's a future chronology I used from The Book of predictions / [compiled] by David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, Irving Wallace.  New York : Morrow, 1980, c1981

A Chronology of the Future

 People work a 4-day, 32-hour week.

 The U.S. legalizes marijuana.

 The first human being is cloned.

 Weather forecasting achieves accuracy for 30-day periods.

 Daily body checkups by computer provide ample warning of any impending illness

 The first human is brought back to life after being frozen and thawed.

 After a stock market crash and major depression, the U.S. ceases to be a great power.  The Soviet Union dominates most of the world.

 First tourist service to outer space.

 Cocaine is legalized in the U.S.
 A shortage of oil starts a large-scale migration of people from cold to warmer parts of the world.
 50,000people are living and working in space.
 The first children are born off the Earth.

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