In the course of writing stories that take place in the future, I pay attention to the trends and predictions of what life could be like years or decades from now. I also compare the present to my childhood to estimate how quickly changes really did take place.
For instance, I’m still waiting for flying cars….
It’s also fun to peek into the past and see what their predictions were for today. Some of them had a good handle on what they were talking about, and some of them, well….
During my stint as a school secretary years ago, the computer teacher passed around a photo that had been taken, oh geez, in like the 1920s. It represented how people would have home computers one day. I was impressed they believed folks would own those. And like the old business computers back in the 1960s, the home version took up a whole room.
Instead of walls filled with reel-to-reel installations, however, there were various other accoutrements in the room, like cabinets with levers and gears. The gentleman modeling the computer stood in front of a steering wheel.
I guess that was for operating the hard drive….
Lots of predictions have been made that haven’t happened yet. We aren’t picnicking in domed enclosures on the moon; our appliances aren’t running on self-contained nuclear power; Y2K didn’t send us back into the Stone Age; and (well, it is closer than it was yesterday) the end of the world is still only near.
On a side note, I did a quick surf on the web to help jar my memory about future predictions that went wrong. The search engine threw up some ads in conjunction with my inquiry. Guess what? The ads were touting horoscopes and tarot cards.
You mean there really can be truth in advertising?
So when I’m flying around in my car someday, with a steering wheel used only to operate the hard drive, I’ll think about the future and smile … until I nearly hit some jerk in a jet pack!