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Author Topic: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)  (Read 14552 times)

Eóin

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What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« on: August 24, 2008, 08:22:49 AM »
Some of these are fascinating. Attached is a scan but also linked is a typed up version which is much easier to read.

Predictions of the Year 2000
from The Ladies Home Journal  of December 1900

The Ladies Home Journal from December 1900, which contained a fascinating article by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years”.

Mr. Watkins wrote: “These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from the most learned and conservative minds in America. To the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning I have gone, asking each in his turn to forecast for me what, in his opinion, will have been wrought in his own field of investigation before the dawn of 2001 - a century from now. These opinions I have carefully transcribed.”

what-may-happen-in-2000-large.jpgWhat May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)

mouser

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 08:28:46 AM »
nice.  :up:

Eóin

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 08:34:18 AM »
In any collection of predictions there are always some ridiculous one but what impressed me are the ones which got concepts bang on even if the small details are off.

40hz

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 11:13:53 AM »
What I find most interesting is that everybody (futurists, sci-fi writers, etc.) all missed the single biggest thing that changed just about everything - the ubiquitous microprocessor.

I was talking to some 20-somethings last week, and I realized they couldn't really grasp (or maybe they just couldn't believe) what life was like back in 1970. I think that speaks volumes about how radically different are the ways we work, live, and play compared to just 35 years ago.

Lashiec

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 11:49:20 AM »
It's a shame some of the best predictions didn't turn out to be true (like those silent streets), and ironically some of them are told to be happen in the future as well, or are being researched at the moment. I wonder what was the reasoning behind those bigger fruits and vegetables, or the disappearance of the C, the X and the Q

What I find most interesting is that everybody (futurists, sci-fi writers, etc.) all missed the single biggest thing that changed just about everything - the ubiquitous microprocessor.

Sci-fi writers understood some kind of "machine" was needed for certain tasks (there you have HAL9000 or the Navigators in Dune), but the miniaturization needed for consumer adoption was a difficult thing to predict. Heck, not even those directing computing companies were sure about it.

Quote
I was talking to some 20-somethings last week, and I realized they couldn't really grasp (or maybe they just couldn't believe) what life was like back in 1970. I think that speaks volumes about how radically different are the ways we work, live, and play compared to just 35 years ago.

Then illustrate for us, youngsters, how it was back then :)

Shades

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 03:56:44 PM »
When you had a good idea in the 70's...a lava-lamp would spring to mind. ;D

cranioscopical

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 05:15:42 PM »
What I find most interesting is that everybody (futurists, sci-fi writers, etc.) all missed the single biggest thing that changed just about everything - the ubiquitous microprocessor.

I was talking to some 20-somethings last week, and I realized they couldn't really grasp (or maybe they just couldn't believe) what life was like back in 1970. I think that speaks volumes about how radically different are the ways we work, live, and play compared to just 35 years ago.
I grew up in England and recall being astonished, as a child, by the prediction that the world would some day cease to run on literal horse power. Milk, bread, coal and many other necessities came to our door on horse-drawn carts. My parents grew up before in-house electricity was common, and neither they nor their contemporaries had a telephone. Most of their generation had no access to radio, and television was unheard of. As always, things now are both better and worse.

Looking back, I think the late 60's early 70's were my favourite years... lava lamps notwithstanding.


Shades

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 07:13:59 PM »
I want my flying cars!!!! (with lava lamps of course)  ;)

cranioscopical

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 09:11:41 PM »
Quote
I want my flying cars!!!!

I'll trade you mine for your mint condition C,X, and Q  ;D

Shades

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2008, 11:10:53 PM »
Well, since I don't have a clue about the meaning behind C, X and Q...you can can be sure that they are in mint condition (as in never used). Maybe they are a little dusty  :huh:

harmonv

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 06:58:37 AM »
Well, since I don't have a clue about the meaning behind C, X and Q...

"A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling"

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g
j" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud
hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

- Mark Twain

tomos

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 09:01:13 AM »
I thought you was writing that harmonov, nise wone :Thmbsup:


a bit like lol-speak isn't it !?!
Tom

cranioscopical

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 10:23:00 AM »
Just as long as I can still have ghoti and chips!

Deozaan

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2008, 02:08:06 PM »
I think it's great how we look on our past history and laugh at the silly concerns and predictions they had, at the height of their science and wisdom. But we don't stop to think of how silly all of our current concerns and predictions will seem to those who come after us next century.

Just in trying to apply that concept to modern times, it kind of makes me wonder how relevant some of our major concerns will even be in 100 years. Take global warming for example. A hundred years ago one of the bigger environmental concerns of the day was how they were going to clean up all the horse manure from the streets. Automobiles obviously were the "solution" to this problem, yet I don't think they were created and marketed as the manure solution. They were just naturally better and more capable than horses. This is just me thinking out loud, asking rhetorical questions, but will the scientific progress we naturally make as time goes on make global warming as obsolete a concern as the horse manure from 100 years ago? Like I said, it makes me wonder. . .

Sadly, I don't think lol-speak is what they had in mind when they imagined an improved English language.  :-\


Eóin

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2008, 05:29:49 PM »
Perhaps the most interesting thing that can be learned from a history of predictions is just how misplaced our present concerns end up being. Be it because we come up with solutions or, as the past would seem to suggest, a new technology comes along which so completely changes the playing field that we end up with a completely new and unrelated set of concerns.

Renegade

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2008, 08:34:03 PM »
I didn't read them all, but the ones I did read were very good and very close to being true. Well, considering that they were looking a centry ahead, they did an excellent job of predicting things. Sure trains can go faster than 150 mph, but they got the right idea.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2008, 09:01:07 PM »
Perhaps the most interesting thing that can be learned from a history of predictions is just how misplaced our present concerns end up being. Be it because we come up with solutions or, as the past would seem to suggest, a new technology comes along which so completely changes the playing field that we end up with a completely new and unrelated set of concerns.

Gerald Weinberg mentioned Rudy's Rutabaga Rule: Once you eliminate your number one problem, number two gets an immediate promotion.

J-Mac

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2008, 11:13:32 PM »
I didn't read them all, but the ones I did read were very good and very close to being true. Well, considering that they were looking a centry ahead, they did an excellent job of predicting things. Sure trains can go faster than 150 mph, but they got the right idea.

Yeah?  Maybe where you live!

Jim

40hz

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2008, 11:01:49 AM »
Just as long as I can still have ghoti and chips!

An old proverb, modified for the way things seem to be going in the 21st Century:

"Give a man a ghoti and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to ghoti and you can shoot him for poaching. (Problem solved.)" 



We sure do solve our problems differently these days! :'(
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 11:13:09 AM by 40hz »

J-Mac

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2008, 11:18:31 AM »
.... and you can shoot him for poaching. (Problem solved.)" 

....which brings Rudy's Rutabaga Rule into play all over again...    (You're a cold ghoti...)   8)

Jim

40hz

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2008, 03:31:00 PM »
....which brings Rudy's Rutabaga Rule into play all over again...    (You're a cold ghoti...)   8)

Jim

Yes, rather sad isn't it?


tymrwt33

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Re: What May Happen in the Next 100 Years (Predictions from 1901)
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2008, 12:04:56 AM »
On the whole he got an amazing number of predictions right. May not have thought of microprocessors, but predicted events than microprocessor made possible.

Great find.