This is a particularly interesting to me because it was published in the month I was born.
In a lot of ways these people were exactly right about the problems of today, if not the will or ability of people to make the needed changes. Wealth inequality is getting worse, not better. There is a nascent back-to-the-cities movement, but suburbs, which are so environmentally wasteful, are still occupying ever larger swathes of the country. And people, or at least people in power still don’t care about reducing energy consumption.
We haven’t had the energy crunch they predicted yet, but climate change requires almost the same types of societal changes to combat and we just haven’t seen it.
Asimov nails the “global village” (internet) and instant communication with anyone at any time. Though for all my hyper-localized social media, I still don’t know the names of any of the people on my floor let alone the rest of my building.
I really liked Buckminster Fuller’s quote: “We have typewriters sleeping with the good plumbing and we have people sleeping in the slums.”. It does point out the glaring inefficiency if huge parts of our society. Say one thing about Foxconn, they don’t have this problem. It does seem wasteful to have all of this infrastructure that just sits idle at night.
Five Noted Thinkers Explore the Future
ARE the suburbs dead? Will there be an economic resurgence of our inner cities? Will larger and larger units of government take more and more control over land use? Is mankind in general entering an era of greater affluence, of new and different attitudes toward land ownership? Is the oil crisis a blessing in disguise?