Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fascinating Predictions

Here is a list of predictions of what the world will be like in the year 2000, made for a magazine in the year 1900. It is a really interesting list. Here are a few of the most interesting to me:

Mosquitoes, house-flies and roaches will have been practically exterminated.

Strawberries as Large as Apples will be eaten by our great-great-grandchildren for their Christmas dinners a hundred years hence.

There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary.

There will be no wild animals except in menageries.

Those are some of the ones that sound ridiculous, but there are actually plenty of others that sound familiar. For instance:
Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today.
Any that you find particularly interesting? Be sure to explain why.

(Source: Marginal Revolution)


Anonymous said...

Although some of these sound ridiculous and definitely not feasible, others have a lot of merit as predictions that have come true, might come true soon, or at the very least would have been logical and sensible at the time. For instance, though the actual population increase from 1900 to 2000 wasn't as great as they expected, the number of people in the US and the entire world has been increasing exponentially. We seem to have even surpassed the predicted life expectancy, and this has been due in most part to better "medicine, sanitation, food and athletics." With the reference to quick and cheap transit into cities from suburban neighborhoods, they seem to have even predicted mass transit. On the other hand, some of their predictions weren't so accurate: so-called "air-ships" would definitely be considered a vital form of transportation today, automobile traffic in New York City is still horrendous, and considering our current obesity epidemic, obviously personal fitness is not such a high priority as was expected.
-Nicole O.

Anonymous said...

I think it is interesting that they predicted that there would be no streetcars in large cities. I can understand why they would have though this because based on technological advances most people should be able to ride in trains, subways, or journey on moving sidewalks. The streets have not become silent in fact they might be louder (that’s hard to tell seeing as I wasn’t around in the 1900s). Also, I have yet to see at pea as large as a beet. I suppose there is no supply of these freaky vegetables because producers do not see the need to take their harvesting to the next level. And who would actually want to see a black rose… I mean really? University education is definitely not free. It has gone in the total different direction and skyrocketed. Our country is now producing more skilled workers to put into the labor force. People see the benefit of going to an expensive college to be great than the cost they will have to pay for it. They were right in saying that most people wouldn’t have to study Latin though (unless you are me)...

Anonymous said...

Most of these predictions seem to see the future as a very practical place. Unfortunately for Mr. Watkins, the world of today isn't quite so practical. Just because technology is advanced enough for things to happen like food modification, (and strawberries can be grown to be larger now), there is no call for gigantic fruit. Although it may have been logical for Nicaragua to wish to join the United States, it didn't happen because even though it may have been efficient and practical, that's not the way everything happens. So much of prediction must hold preferences and change as very important determinants.

-Kate Vanderlip

Anonymous said...

So this was actually quite fun to read because it is funny to think people actually predicted some of these things to happen. Personally, one of my favorites is the package delivering through tubes... the funniest part about it is that i have seen this in futuristic movies, just not quite a part of normal life though. I also find it interesting about how they used to think that the poor children going to school would almost have a right to a lot of free stuff. Although it is not like that today and optomotrists and such dont come to schools to hand out free glasses, but many organizations do work hard to put these children on vacations and give them the necessary items they need. I also liked how they were right about the weaponry we would develop as well as how they described it. They said air ships, which never really took flight... hahah... would attack cities, "hurling upon them deadly thunderbolts." That definitly made me laugh. But i think my favorite was the gymnastics in preschool, to develop the muscles early. Im not sure what the people back then were thinking about but i dont think we are trying to develop an army of kid soldiers, thats almost kind of like the kids over in russia with the whole gymnastics thing. They must have read this first haha.

Anonymous said...

I think the claim that C's, X's, and Q's would be eliminated from our alphabet is pretty interesting. To me, this failed prediction proves the tendency of people to give disproportionate value to the idea of tradition over that of efficiency. Obviously, it would be more efficient to have a national lexicon devoid of unneccessary letters because it would save money not only in documentation fees but also in the cost of computing (speeds would increase due to the smaller amount of variety in data). Making this change would also make it easier to teach children to read and write. The alteration, however, would require those already used to the current rules for spelling to abandon their habits and the traditional words they inherited from the previous generation. Obviously, this unwillingness to change, due partially to laziness and partially to nostalgia, has inhibited the streamlining of modern English like it has so many other aspects of society.
-Jordan Croom

epsychic said...

Predictions may sound absurd when first heard but it becomes ground breaking when it materializes into reality. However, some predictions are just based on the present happenings or advancements that might create a great impact in the near future.

accurate psychic readings

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