What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008? (Nov, 1968)

Well, we do have flat-screen computers you can write on that fit in a briefcase, but I’m still waiting to take my 250 MPH car to a business meeting in another domed city. Perhaps by the end of the year.

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40 Years in the Future

By James R. Berry

IT’S 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, and you are headed for a business appointment 300 mi. away. You slide into your sleek, two-passenger air-cushion car, press a sequence of buttons and the national traffic computer notes your destination, figures out the current traffic situation and signals your car to slide out of the garage. Hands free, you sit back and begin to read the morning paper—which is flashed on a flat TV screen over the car’s dashboard. Tapping a button changes the page.

The car accelerates to 150 mph in the city’s suburbs, then hits 250 mph in less built-up areas, gliding over the smooth plastic road. You whizz past a string of cities, many of them covered by the new domes that keep them evenly climatized year round. Traffic is heavy, typically, but there’s no need to worry. The traffic computer, which feeds and receives signals to and from all cars in transit between cities, keeps vehicles at least 50 yds. apart. There hasn’t been an accident since the system was inaugurated. Suddenly your TV phone buzzes. A business associate wants a sketch of a new kind of impeller your firm is putting out for sports boats. You reach for your attache case and draw the diagram with a pencil-thin infrared flashlight on what looks like a TV screen lining the back of the case. The diagram is relayed to a similar screen in your associate’s office, 200 mi. away. He jabs a button and a fixed copy of the sketch rolls out of the device. He wishes you good luck at the coming meeting and signs off.

Ninety minutes after leaving your home, you slide beneath the dome of your destination city. Your car decelerates and heads for an outer-core office building where you’ll meet your colleagues. After you get out, the vehicle parks itself in a convenient municipal garage to await your return. Private cars are banned inside most city cores. Moving sidewalks and electrams carry the public from one location to another.

With the U.S. population having soared to 350 million, 2008 transportation is among the most important factors keeping the economy running smoothly. Giant transportation hubs called modemixers are located anywhere from 15 to 50 mi. outside all major urban centers. Tube trains, pushed through bores by compressed air, make the trip between modemixer and central city in 10 to 15 minutes.

A major feature of most modemixers is the launching pad from which 200-passenger rockets blast off for other continents. For less well-heeled travelers there are SST and hypersonic planes that carry 200 to 300 passengers at speeds up to 4,000 mph. Short trips— between cities less than 1,000 mi. apart—are handled by slower jumbo jets.

Homes in Mi’s 80th year are practically self-maintaining. Electrostatic precipitators clean the air and climatizers maintain the temperature and humidity at optimum levels. Robots are available to do housework and other simple chores. New materials for siding and interiors are self-cleaning and never peel, chip or crack.

Dwellings for the most part are assembled from prefabricated modules, which can be attached speedily in the configuration that best suits the homeowner. Once the foundation is laid, attaching the modules to make up a two- or three-bedroom house is a job that doesn’t take more than a day. Such modular homes easily can be expanded to accommodate a growing family. A typical wedding present for the 21st century newlyweds is a fully equipped bedroom, kitchen or living room module.

Other conveniences ease kitchenwork. The housewife simply determines in advance her menus for the week, then slips prepackaged meals into the freezer and lets the automatic food utility do the rest. At preset times, each meal slides into the microwave oven and is cooked or thawed. The meal then is served on disposable plastic plates. These plates, as well as knives, forks and spoons of the same material, are so inexpensive they can be discarded after use.

The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer. These electronic brains govern everything from meal preparation and waking up the household to assembling shopping lists and keeping track of the bank balance. Sensors in kitchen appliances, climatizing units, communicators, power supply and other household utilities warn the computer when the item is likely to fail. A repairman will show up even before any obvious breakdown occurs.

Computers also handle travel reservations, relay telephone messages, keep track of birthdays and anniversaries, compute taxes and even figure the monthly bills for electricity, water, telephone and other utilities. Not every family has its private computer. Many families reserve time on a city or regional computer to serve their needs. The machine tallies up its own services and submits a bill, just as it does with other utilities.

Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.

Computers not only keep track of money, they make spending it easier. TV-telephone shopping is common. To shop, you simply press the numbered code of a giant shopping center. You press another combination to zero in on the department and the merchandise in which you are interested. When you see what you want, you press a number that signifies “buy,” and the household computer takes over, places the order, notifies the store of the home address and subtracts the purchase price from your bank balance. Much of the family shopping is done this way. Instead of being jostled by crowds, shoppers electronically browse through the merchandise of any number of stores.

People have more time for leisure activities in the year 2008. The average work day is about four hours. But the extra time isn’t totally free. The pace of technological advance is such that a certain amount of a jobholder’s spare time is used in keeping up with the new developments—on the average, about two hours of home study a day.

Most of this study is in the form of programmed TV courses, which can be rented or borrowed from tape _ * libraries. In fact most schooling—from first grade through college—consists of programmed TV courses or lectures via closed circuit. Students visit a campus once or twice a week for personal consultations or for lab work that has to be done on site. Progress of each student is followed by computer, which assigns end term marks on the basis of tests given throughout the term.

Besides school lessons, other educational material is available for TV viewing. You simply press a combination of buttons and the pages flash on your home screen. The world’s information is available to you almost instantaneously.

TV screens cover an entire wall in most homes and show most subjects other than straight text matter in color and three dimensions. In addition to programmed TV and the multiplicity of commercial fare, you can see top Broadway shows, hit movies and current nightclub acts for a nominal charge. Best-selling books are on TV tape and can be borrowed or rented from tape libraries.

A typical vacation in 2008 is to spend a week at an undersea resort, where your hotel room window looks out on a tropical underwater reef, a sunken ship or an ancient, excavated city. Available to guests are two- and three-person submarines in which you can cruise well-marked underwater trails.

Another vacation is a stay < on a hotel satellite. The rocket ride to the satellite and back, plus the vistas of earth and moon, make a memorable vacation jaunt. While city life in 2008 has changed greatly, the farm has altered even more. Farmers are business executives running operations as automated as factories. TV scanners monitor tractors and other equipment computer programmed to plow, harrow and harvest. Wires imbedded in the ground send control signals to the machines. Computers also keep track of yields-, fertilization, soil composition and other factors influencing crops. At the beginning of each year, a print-out tells the farmer what to plant where, how much to fertilize and how much yield he can expect. Farming isn't confined to land. Mariculturists have turned areas of the sea into beds of protein-rich seaweed and algae. This raw material is processed into food that looks and tastes like steak and other meats. It also is cheap; families can have steak-like meals twice a day without feeling a budget pinch. Areas in bays or close to shore have been turned into shrimp, lobster, clam and other shellfish ranches, like the cattle spreads of yesteryear. Medical research has guaranteed that most babies born in the 21st century will live long and healthy lives. Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet. If hearts or other major organs do give trouble, they can be replaced with artificial organs. Medical examinations are a matter of sitting in a diagnostic chair for a minute or two, then receiving a full health report. Ultrasensitive microphones and electronic sensors in the chair's headrest, back and armrests pick up heartbeat, pulse, breathing rate, galvanic skin response, blood pressure, nerve reflexes and other medical signs. A computer attached to the chair digests these responses, compares them to the normal standard and prints out a full medical report. No need to worry about failing memory or intelligence either. The intelligence pill is another 21st century commodity. Slow learners or people struck with forgetful-ness are given pills which increase the production of enzymes controlling production of the chemicals known to control learning and memory. Everyone is able to use his full mental potential. Despite the fact that the year 2008 is only 40 years away—as far ahead as 1928 is in the past—it will be a world as strange to us as our time (1968) would be to the pilgrims. •

  1. jayessell says: March 24, 20084:59 am

    Did you say domed or doomed?

  2. jayessell says: March 24, 20085:14 am

    Great find Charlie!
    Repost it in November.

  3. Mary Burkey says: March 24, 20086:29 am

    Your blog is fantastic! I love being able to step into the past and then go back to the future – which is, I must say, pretty accurate. But where is my forgetfulness pill??

  4. Steam McQueen says: March 24, 20086:43 am

    A fair amount of accuracy. The U.S. population is in excess of 300 million now. Home shopping, data transfer, microwave ovens, self-diagnosing appliances all exist.

    Still waiting for those flying cars though.

  5. jayessell says: March 24, 20089:25 am

    Charlie, I see a bit about 40 (now 80) years ago.
    Can you post that?

  6. Charlie says: March 24, 20089:32 am

    I’m going to, but I also have the first issue of MI (then MM) so I’m going to post them together. I’ve scanned that issue but have not yet edited the images.

  7. sporkinum says: March 24, 200810:57 am

    “People have more time for leisure activities in the year 2008. The average work day is about four hours.”

    With the other 4 hours spent screwing around on Modern Mechanix….

  8. William Hudgens says: March 25, 20089:06 am

    Did you see the ad (2nd to last page). Make money by stuffing envelopes. 12 bucks and hour in 1968. I guess that’s about $100 an hour in 2008?

  9. jayessell says: March 25, 20089:44 am

    No, it’s still something less than zero, as it is a scam.
    They want you to buy the machine FROM THEM.
    The supplies FROM THEM.
    The list of prospective customers FROM THEM.
    (Probably taken from the phonebook.)

  10. Kevin says: March 25, 200810:23 am

    Fabulous! Funny how the author got somethings right (modemixers) and other things wrong. Regardless, even if the author was off-course with his 300 mph cars and rocket trips to other continents, I still believe we are already living in the science fiction era.

  11. Tim Danke says: March 25, 200810:49 am

    Oh man! I can’t wait!!!!

  12. Candis says: March 25, 200810:52 am

    So who’s going to write the article on how life will be in 2048? I’d like to read that one.

  13. Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey says: March 25, 200811:13 am

    Do you have information somewhere (or a site you can recommend) about the publishing history of these magazines? Like, when did Mechanix Illustrated live and die? What’s the history of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics? What about other vanished rivals?

  14. jayessell says: March 25, 200811:18 am

    Bill… just google. We ARE in the 21st Century!
    PS and PM still exist!

  15. MovvBuzz.com says: March 25, 200811:19 am

    I was very surprised by this. I just hope that futurist today can guesstimate this close to how we will live 40 years from now.

  16. jayessell says: March 25, 200811:24 am

    Candis, I have an idea for 2048, but it’s Dystopian.
    Stock up on mustard.

  17. ReadTheWords says: March 25, 200811:44 am

    Still no flying cars, check out the second page on robots doing all house chores, guess we’re still stuck with maids. Great find!

    Welcome to ReadTheWords.com. A free service that enables you to add a badge to your blog or website to read text in any given page. You can listen, download, podcast, and embed files on your blog/website. This service is currently in beta testing, if you’re interested, visit:


  18. Alan J. Richer says: March 25, 200812:12 pm

    Re: Robots doing the household chores:

    Sir, my Roomba and Scooba are most offended at your anti-robot (pro-maid) attitude… 🙂

    Tongue firmly in cheek, Alan

  19. Serveck says: March 25, 20082:50 pm

    we have almost everything mentioned here, like the cleaning robots (the little carpet vacuuming robots), and the “Moller sky car M400” (but its expected to be released to private investors by 2012). the main reason we do not have these mainstream is due to the lack of funding being put towards these things.

  20. VR says: March 25, 20083:50 pm

    Nice find

  21. jayessell says: March 25, 20084:17 pm

    The Moller SkyCar has been promised too long too many times, to the point the company seems a poor investment.
    As soon as one takes off, climbs to 1000 feet, flies 10 minutes and lands.
    Without refueling.
    THEN I’ll concede the existence of a flying car.
    (Technically, to be a flying CAR, you would have to be able to drive it on the ground. City and Highway.)

  22. Deed says: March 25, 20084:33 pm

    The main problem with flying cars is that, if it stalls, it stalls from several metres in the air. Unless it was to work from natural magnetism, you’re then essentially dead.

  23. Jim T says: March 25, 20084:40 pm

    The flying cars were never a good idea. But if something like the envisioned public transportation had been built, we’d all be better off. Maybe forty years from now?

  24. Roger says: March 25, 20084:42 pm

    Here’s the BIG thing they got wrong in 1963: They thought that in the future we’d work less (4 hours a day). Instead, we work MORE!

  25. Ron says: March 25, 20088:38 pm

    You always hear about how the rate of change is accelerating but weren’t the changes from 1928 to 1968 greater than the changes from 1968 to 2008? In 1928 there was no TV, no interstate highway system, no atomic bomb, no jet aircraft, no computers. Since 1968? – personal computers, the internet, cell phones, Com and weather satellites, GPS, genetic engineering. Seems like the changes have actually been smaller in the past forty years than from 1928 to 1968.

  26. GT says: March 25, 20089:03 pm

    This line cracks me up:

    “Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.”

    because it assumes Americans will have positive bank balances in 2008 instead of living off borrowings.

  27. Neil says: March 25, 20089:04 pm

    This is great. But obviously written by a bloke who thought a lot about technology but less so about changing social roles:

    The housewife simply determines in advance her menus for the week…

  28. Charles Wilson says: March 25, 20089:09 pm

    I guess the notion of pollution and conservation was not popular 40 years ago.

  29. Willy says: March 25, 20089:23 pm

    Gender roles were something that no sci-fi writer or futurist of the era seemed to think would change. Novels or short stories would have flying cars, super-intelligent AIs, matter transport, telepathy … but all the women did was sit at home waiting to push the button on the microwave. Oh, and religion was non-existent.

    Futurists aren’t so good at predicting the really big changes, like cell phones or women’s liberation.

  30. Allan says: March 25, 200810:25 pm

    > Oh, and religion was non-existent.

    Yes, that will take another 40 years.

  31. Joe says: March 25, 200811:05 pm

    2048: The oil ran out, and nobody was prepared. The world market crashes. Your average work day is 0 hours, because nobody can find work. You can’t drive or use any other transportation, because everything has turned to shit, the oil is gone and the power grid failed quickly after – being completely overwhelmed by the sudden surge in electricity usage by people trying to charge batteries and stay warm.

    You starve to death, or are shot to death for your left sock.

    Would you like to play again?

  32. David Short says: March 25, 200811:15 pm

    This is like most predictions of the future world that I have seen. The technological side is fairly accurate, but the social side is laughable.

    The prediction suffers due to the person’s naïveté as regards the way society functions. Specifically, there is a lack of understanding of capitalism. I have seen many predictions that technology will lead to shorter working hours, but even a basic understanding of capitalism brings you to predict that it will lead to higher unemployment instead.

    When they predict that diets will be better, they suffer from the same naïveté about marketing and communication in a capitalist society.

    Similarly, unthinking acceptance of selfish individualism and total ignorance of environmental concerns lead them to believe that improved transit of human beings can come about via flashy technological advances in the motorcar, rather than greater investment in public transport.

    Apart from the implausibility of machines that tell you what maintenance needs to be performed on them (if the fault is as predictable as that, it will always be easier to take preventive measures than to install countless delicate sensors), they failed to understand that goods would be so cheap to make that people would no longer even consider taking them to be repaired by an skilled workman.

    It’s quite interesting.

  33. Konrad says: March 25, 200811:19 pm

    So who’s going to write the article on how life will be in 2048? I’d like to read that one.

    simple take the article above:

    1) change the year
    2) substitute cybernetic internet connection for TV
    3) update some of the examples (schematics will be sent directly from brain to brain with no physical drawing).

    and your done.

  34. Skyzrnecki says: March 26, 200812:14 am

    Remember Back to the Future?
    I want my flash frozen pizza which i can cook in 4 seconds!
    ( oh and flying cars, yea, them… )

    Suppose we’ll have to wait till November for the dome thingy.

  35. Punky says: March 26, 20086:54 am

    Does anyone know if James R. Berry is still alive? I’d love to know what he thinks about his predictions and how they have turned out.

    I’ve tried googling but can’t really pin him down.

  36. James Clements says: March 26, 20086:58 am

    Surprisingly accurate in many ways, but for several specific reasons I think it will be a long time until flying cars are generally available. 1. Inefficiency; it takes a lot of energy to hold an object up in the air in addition to the energy needed to travel horizontally. 2. People have enough trouble navigating in two dimensions; add a third dimension and you have chaos, especially on Saturday nights! Maybe a few flying/hover cars would be handy the way helicopters have specialized uses now. For example I can see how a high speed flying ambulance could save lives and the gas mileage be damned!

  37. dUc0N says: March 26, 20087:16 am


    Yes. In 1968 when that was written, that wasn’t considered sexist. In some places, it’s still considered acceptable, as is the male equivalent (usually “stay-at-home husband/dad”).

  38. mayloveheal says: March 26, 20088:28 am

    perhaps the story “ascende” i started to write might be fitting in here

  39. Cobras4ever says: March 26, 20089:38 am

    One problem though; this guy goes to work in 90 minutes. Average 200MPH thats 300 miles. In the article it says intercity travel is done by modemmixers in 10-15 minutes.

  40. Brian says: March 26, 20089:46 am

    OK, no flying cars, but we have the iPhone. You can’t have everything…

  41. Mike says: March 26, 20089:57 am

    Cobras4ever – it says he is headed to a business appointment not necessarily to his office and it also mentions that he passes by several cities on the way.

  42. Hans anders says: March 26, 20089:58 am

    This is funny you never know what future brings. but he is complety wrong.

  43. Matt says: March 26, 200810:20 am

    @Willy: “Gender roles were something that no sci-fi writer or futurist of the era seemed to think would change.”

    Gene Roddenberry says hello. But I guess there’s a difference between predicting 40 years and 300 years into the future.

  44. jayessell says: March 26, 200810:28 am

    I would have hoped the speedboat impeller was computer designed and not just a sketch from some guy in a car!

    Where are the napkins from our last design conference?

  45. Webb says: March 26, 200811:07 am

    I don’t see such things in another 100 years from now.

  46. Kelly says: March 26, 200811:12 am

    I wonder if the author of this article is aware that his work is being read in “straight text” on “multi-function TV’s” around the world. That must be satisfying to be so right….if he is still alive….

  47. Kathleen Pearlman says: March 26, 200811:18 am

    The world will not change because there are people who want to remain in the past – theirs or their ancestors. I’m not talking about conservation or parkland – I’m tlakingabout wanting to preserve battlefields! A small area of a battlefield , like Gettysburg, ie, would be enough – educate the people about the tragedies of war, but don’t enslave the populace to maintain and keep a field that can be used for desparately needed housing or something more … usable. History needs to be learned, but not at the cost of the future. JMHO

  48. Tim says: March 26, 200812:21 pm

    > So who’s going to write the article on how life will be in 2048? I’d like to read that one.

    We’ll all be facing Mecca five times a day to pray. Or shot as infidels.

  49. B22 says: March 26, 200812:29 pm

    We do have flying cars that can travel at 250 mph +. That is, if you count train carriages as cars. I’m talking about the Transrapid train that runs between Shanghai and Pudong Airport, of course. Technically, the train doesn’t fly on an air cushion, though; it uses electromagnetism to levitate, instead.

  50. RoverDaddy says: March 26, 200812:43 pm

    Many of the previous comments are quite valid. What I find interesting in these forecasts is how so much of the past is obliterated by future generations. The old roads are gone, the highways, the buildings, the suburbs (assuming those domes and modemixers have to go somewhere!). It’s always as if energy and resources are so plentiful in the future that we have the luxury to clean the slate and start fresh everywhere at once. Consider how absurd this is even from the perspective of 1968. Cities in 1968 certainly had buildings 50, 75 or 100 years old. Yes, new interstates were being built, but the old inter-city routes weren’t being destroyed in the process. New homes are built all the time, but old ones aren’t razed on a city-wide basis. The future grows piecemeal, and somewhat ‘organically’, as the needs of society/politics/capitalism drive it. I suspect the world of 2048 will -look- largely the same as the world of 2008, even if a number of unimaginable creations have transformed the daily life of billions of humans in the developed world.

  51. TCo says: March 26, 200812:43 pm

    “A typical vacation in 2008 is to spend a week at an undersea resort, where your hotel room window looks out on a tropical underwater reef, a sunken ship or an ancient, excavated city. Available to guests are two- and three-person submarines in which you can cruise well-marked underwater trails.”

    Even this is possible now, amazing prediction! The Poseidon undersea resort in Fiji is 40 feet (12 meters) underwater which will open on september 2008(!!)

    Check it

  52. bob friedly says: March 26, 20082:21 pm

    The great developments in human history can be categorized, in a large part, as related to communication or transportation. Does it seem peculiar that almost all of the communication advances mentioned here are now old hat, already achieved and then some, while the transportation advances seem to be highly futuristic? Could it be the result of incredible resistance by oil companies and their kin to fossil fuels?

  53. Verda Stelo says: March 26, 20082:28 pm

    In a science fiction novel written in 1928 similar predictions were supposed to materialize by 1958, which of course did not happen even now in 2008.
    Substantial changes happen at a much slower pace, than the “futurists” would like us to believe. With the prevalence of usage of computers in today’s workplaces though, the the rate of change could be accelarated somewhat.

  54. jayessell says: March 26, 20083:41 pm

    Verda, can you remember the title? Was it non-english language?

  55. logic says: March 26, 20083:58 pm

    Man, this is depressing. As someone else noted, the rate of progress appears to be slowing, not accelerating. Between 1928 and 1968, tremendous changes for the better. Between 1968 and today.. not so much.

    In fact, it appears that inflation adjusted wage per American worker have fallen 30% since 1968, if you use consistent indexes. No wonder we’re so gloomy these days:


  56. Charlie says: March 26, 20084:03 pm

    logic » I don’t really buy the argument that the rate of progress is slowing. It just depends on where you look. Yes, in terms of progress in transportation, energy production and such things are certainly slowing. But partially that’s because we don’t really need them to go any faster. Progress is fastest when it has little cost. Right now the most bang for your buck in improvements is in information technologies. Computers, networks, storage, all of these are increasing and improving at a prodigious rate. Medical science is kind of slow, but the actual research is starting to take off as bioinformatics, and functional research improves. Because we are now able to leverage information processing tech in medicine we are seeing great improvement. I think that eventually this will also effect other areas. As computer control becomes more efficient travel costs and risks will go down, etc.

  57. Verda Stelo says: March 26, 20084:56 pm

    The 1928 book I was mentioning was in Czech language. It was actualy a book for adolescents, describing some interstellar travel adventures of young people, but specificaly mentioning the year as 1958. Only as a background it was describing the earthly automated high-speed individual transport, automated households, agriculture, domed cities and a wrist-attached device enabling limitless communication and containing all of the humanity’s knowledge instantly retrievable, which supposedly made all schooling obsolete.
    I read it in the early 1960’s as a then youngster myself and I considered that old and tattered book amusing. At that time there were the first man-made satellites orbiting the Earth and a man on the Moon was only a speculation.
    I really don’t remember neither the title nor the author, too bad, now I would consider it less of a joke as then.

  58. aig says: March 26, 20086:21 pm

    Why progress is taken for granted as a desired aspect of modern society? What does progress mean anyway? Many different cultures have many different understandings in relation to what progress means. Progress in terms of conserving the survival base of humanity is definitely slowing if it ever existed in modern Western society. Do you think personal flying cars are really desirable? In what terms?

    As an additional comment, everything in this article changes dramatically except the social role of woman, i.e. “housewife dealing with menus”. I find the crooked and overtly technocentric yet traditionalist american view of life, which hasn’t changed in the past 40 years, so naive and hilarious. please continue to have 5 kids per family and send them to middle east to fight for petrol which will be fed into your flying cars. oh, and of course disposable plastic cutlery is a great idea since everything can be substituted by money and cost determines the overall benefit.

  59. B22 says: March 26, 20087:53 pm

    Charlie says “Progress is fastest when it has little cost.” I’m not sure that’s right, actually. For instance, when it comes to computers, new fab plants for making chips and memory can cost billions, but they get built all the same. I think probably progress is fastest when politics is not involved. Politics is involved in transport in a big way. That’s why, even though what is theoretically possible is amazing, nothing much has changed for nearly a century. If we combined maglev with the PRT concept, and enclosed the system in vacuum tunnels to minimize drag, we could have supersonic ground transport that used no more energy than our present cars — probably less. At least, that’s what theory indicates, and that’s what one company is proposing (see http://www.magtube.com ). Yet getting even moderate, incremental improvements in transport infrastructure, never mind something revolutionary, is nigh impossible.

  60. Dennis Dowling says: March 26, 20089:01 pm

    I think this article as quite wonderful and very accurate! If we had not had to fight various wars throughout the world, all mankind would be further along!

    In my mid sixties now, I am please that I have experienced such terrific innovations, progress, and great science applied to every aspect of our lives.

    When one says, the good ol’ days, I stop and think, why? I wouldn’t trade today them for anything. Today is wonderful.

    Thanks you to all of you scientific innovators. Thank you for all you have done in every aspect and field of science!

  61. oppman says: March 26, 20089:05 pm

    IN 40 years from NOW Duke nukem Forever will be released..

  62. Harve Alan says: March 26, 20089:06 pm

    Excellent find. Very fun! It’s interesting that the writers imagined such advnaces in only 40 years. My readers on www.harvealan.com will get a kick out of the article and your site. Mine is a media commentary site (focused on radio and audio entertainment), but this will fit in nicely sincemuch of what I write about is the future and what we can expect next.

  63. GSorensen says: March 26, 20089:53 pm

    I think one reason that change appears to have been slower than a futurist of the past might have reasonably predicted is that as a society we have certainly gotten a bit soft. We are currently more interested in our personal satisfactions and endless social/legal/political arguments than in scientific and technical progress. Even the notion of progress in that sense somehow sounds trite to our jaded ears. Way too many of us are so wrapped up my-me-mine that we even forget to uh… reproduce? (a rather essential part of shaping the future), nevermind support essential R&D and bold, long-term engineering efforts.

  64. Marcwolf says: March 26, 200810:44 pm

    Well – if you want to have a chuckle – sit back and watch 2001 Space Oddessy, or even a couple of episodes of Space 1999

    Picturing the future has always had issues

  65. Rick says: March 26, 200810:51 pm

    Too bad they didn’t see the upcoming of radical Islam. No one would have believed it anyway I suppose, since so many still don’t believe it even now. Not too many domes around here yet, except for water storage. Computers and interactive TV were on the money it seems. It is sad that space exploration fell under the bus. Now we have no space vehicles ready to replace the shuttle and we’ll be dependent on the Russians and others, eeegads!

  66. Tom Dockery says: March 26, 200810:53 pm

    I’m amazed that no one has mentioned how far off the author was on his predictions for education.

    Even in 1968,one had to realize that the teachers unions would never allow home schooling to become commonplace.This artificial cost is probably a huge reason why we haven’t as quickly as the author thought.

    I’ll give him a pass on the population estimate.He couldn’t possibly anticipate Roe v Wade.

  67. Jarad Evans says: March 26, 200811:33 pm

    I personally blame it all on the dark ages, and the destruction of the library at Alexandria. We were THAT close….

  68. Hans says: March 27, 20081:37 am

    I keep hoping on those 4 work hours a day… to Nov 18 we have more than 6 month to achieve that.

  69. Willem says: March 27, 20083:40 am

    It is remarkable how many things are right, even though some are way over the top. What I found interesting though, is that things such as studying at home, underwater holidays and TV shopping/courses just dont work!!
    Studying at home can still be done, but the author should’ve known it wouldn’t be half as effective as a proper university course. TV shopping and studying has been tried way before, but it just doesn’t have the same advantages of going to a shop and physically seeing the products. As for underwater holidays, the costs of maintaining an underwater resort somehow doesn’t seem to weigh up against the fascinating idea of staring out into the darkness of the ocean as opposed to having a good old fashioned beach holiday.

  70. Bill M. says: March 27, 20084:06 am

    The way it could’ve been without carter reagan ford nixon and the bush brigade. Think if all those admins were as fun as clintons era.
    Good products ie proliferation of ipods, more hdtv, broadband and other Progress not war without end.

  71. Joe S. says: March 27, 20085:05 am

    1. Greedy capitalists will STILL be selling batteries in 6 packs when all electromagnetic devices require 4.

    2. Future message board readers will be amazed to discover that all of us were too brainwashed to notice the IMPENDING ECOLOGICAL APOCALYPSE of 3012 due to the alarming rise of Sodium Benzoate levels in drinking water and topsoil erosion from flying snails that emerged from this water (Those idiots back in 2008 were too preoccupied with a laughable fairy tale called “Global Warming” just as their idiot parents were duped by the “Population Bomb” and “Coming Ice Age” 40 years earlier- humans never learn!)

    3. Oil will jump to $200 a bbl when Saudi Arabia and Kuwait announce their oil reserves will begin to FINALLY (honest to gawd this time, seriously, no more joking) take a dip in 3075.(Las Vegas casinos are unimpressed as they start booking wagers on which will occur first, Oil Depletion or THE FLYING CAR production model.)

    4. Ex-President Barak Obama will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery by the current President, Barak Obama-Soros the 3rd. Legions of Black Preachers, Wealthy Rap Stars, and Millionaire Basketball Players use this occasion to complain how Black folks have it rough and still can’t catch a break from the white man or whitey’s new bosses in China.

  72. Stef says: March 27, 20085:17 am

    The most accurate vision:

    “You simply press a combination of buttons and the pages flash on your home screen. The world’s information is available to you almost instantaneously.”

    Today this is named “Internet”.

  73. jayessell says: March 27, 20085:23 am

    Stef… also the world’s misinformation and disinformation.

    (Why only 3 inches?)

  74. becks says: March 27, 20085:33 am

    >We’ll all be facing Mecca five times a day to pray. Or shot as infidels.

    Here in Europe, that may (will?) come sooner than 2048 if we’re not very careful, my friend!

  75. Anthony says: March 27, 20086:07 am

    It’s amazing how accurate he was with most things, especially how he predicted the Internet, in a sense. What made me laugh was how he predicted that there will be artificial hearts and other organs.

    It reminds me of stories my Dad told me of when he went to church back in the 1950s has a kid and how the priest would condemn movies like “Frankenstein,” saying how it would never happen. Now, we are reattaching limbs or even using parts from dead people to help sick or injured ones.

  76. Lori P. says: March 27, 20086:10 am

    When I started reading I thought “This is going to be a great laugh.” But as I read on I was more like… “Whoa.” I can’t believe how many nails he hit on the head. Paper/plastic plates and utensils, internet, direct deposit, shopping from home (I’m a huge fan of Amazon lol), online college courses where you only have to go to lab once or twice a week, automatic bill pay, Turbo Tax! lol, premium cable channels… I know I’ve missed some. A good amount of those, of course, are a far cry from realization but just as many are in the works! Amazing. I, too, would like to know if this guy is still alive. Very fascinating.

  77. Art Trombley says: March 27, 20086:33 am

    This article was clearly written by a person with a scientific mind, because it is so nieve, We don’t have the flying cars because of the greed of Big Oil, they have held Us all back and because of this fighting over oil, We will all pay in the end. Just think of how different this World would be if We had no use for the Oil in the middle East, there would be no money to finance the Terrorists. Thanks Big Oil.

  78. Abdel Fattah Radjab Abdel Fattah says: March 27, 20087:18 am

    So, Can everyone tell about his vision for the future?

  79. Justin Kaz says: March 27, 20087:21 am

    Love to see that international computer for cars, far as long as the government doesn’t regulate it.

    To bad oil companies will all go away eventually, when we open our oil rigs in Texas.

  80. Alan M. Balkany says: March 27, 20087:38 am

    There is a memory-improving pill available now: Centrophenoxine. It’s not available in the US because the patent has expired and it’s quite cheap, so there’s no incentive for any drug company to get it approved in the US. The US pharmaceutical system is set up for drug-company profits as the highest priority. Centrophenoxine can be ordered from European companies, however.

    The four-hour workday prediction didn’t take into account the capitalist system and suppression of unions. Corporations kept the same workday and kept all increases in productivity as profits for investors.

    I predict 2048 will be a much gloomier era, since most of the oil will have been used up by then. (We’ve just reached the halfway point, and it will cost more to get the remaining oil. Google “hubbert peak”.) It’s hard to see how mass die-offs can be prevented in the next 40 years, as the (expanding) population is unsustainable with the dwindling oil supply. (Some have suggested the world’s elite (Google “Bilderberg Society”) have plans to forcibly reduce the world’s population by 80% before this happens.)

    Plant life produces oil from carbon dioxide in the air, water, and sunlight. In 2048 I predict this mechanism will be reproduced synthetically, and there will be oil factories, but research into this will be delayed by oil corporations that want to get every last cent of profit from oil pumped from the ground. The synthetically-produced oil will be too little too late to help humanity.

    Recycling will become crucial in the coming decades as we go through the limited supply of natural resources. I predict in 2048 robots will be mining the landfills of 20th-century garbage for raw materials such as metals.

    In 2048 the corporate takeover of the world’s democracies will be complete. Civil liberties will be a quaint idea from a simpler time. Corporations and governments will merge as only political parties financed by corporations will be allowed. Surveillance of citizens will be almost continuous, and all communication will be monitored and censored at will.

    Only a small minority of the population necessary for corporate functioning will have a decent standard of living. The majority of the population will be in poverty, struggling to survive. As a result, a strong security force (like a combination between police and army) will have a presence everywhere to maintain “order”.

  81. jayessell says: March 27, 20087:54 am

    Alan… What the Nazis had planned to do after WWII, had they won?

  82. TomJ says: March 27, 20087:59 am

    “@Willy: “Gender roles were something that no sci-fi writer or futurist of the era seemed to think would change.”

    Gene Roddenberry says hello. But I guess there’s a difference between predicting 40 years and 300 years into the future.”

    As, indeed, does Isaac Asimov; Susan Calvin first appeared in a story in the mid-forties.

  83. Kyle says: March 27, 20088:17 am

    I predict that 2048 will be strikingly similar to the world of today. There will be no catastrophes that make the world a hugely different place. It will still snow in Virginia and Missouri and people will still transport themselves manually. I *hope* that trains catch on as a method of interstate transport since the government has regulated air travel to the point where it is not only inconvenient but simply not an option for some people. Amtrak might be less bankrupt.

    Uhhh lets see. Cows will still provide milk and less things will be made out of plastic since its charm as a be-everything substance is wearing off. Plenty of stuff will be but metal and rubber will come back into style for a lot of stuff. Recycling will be more important as the worlds raw ore mines start to charge more and output less. Landfills will be “mined” for old metals which can be melted down and re-used. As this system becomes more set in, the idea of imposing the duty of recycling on each consumer will fade and regular garbage collection and transfer stations will come back into style where they were phased out, for cost and efficacy reasons.

    Police will still need warrants to search houses and tap your phone, you will still have your right to bear arms and smoke cigarettes (even if they cost more), people will continue to be looked down on for smoking pot even if the laws are relaxed, people will still go to church, people will still use phones that are plugged into walls… racism will not be eliminated, homophobia will still be widespread, we won’t be able to save everyone from an unnatural death or curable disease, and the internet will still be full of people with grandoise ideas about the way the world works, or will work.

  84. Brynne Sissom says: March 27, 20088:45 am

    Hey Kids,

    I found a James R Berry author of 4 SF titles. Galactic Invaders, Quas Starbrite, Magincian of Erianne, and Stranger from a Distant Planet. I tmay be the same columnist who wrote this 1968 futurist piece.

  85. Bob says: March 27, 20088:50 am

    I published a link to this on my SQL Sever Reporting Services blog, http://bobp1339.blogspo….

    Thanks for the article. I love it!


  86. snazzlefritz1800 says: March 27, 20089:04 am

    2048 alas shall not arrive with humans or much other life on the planet as we know…. we will not see 2020.. cataclysmic natural events begin to occur approximately 2012 with massive earthquakes in parts of the world that haven’t had them before. Pangea continues to move continents northward at an accelerated rate now, the sudden (approximately 425 year occurance) axial shift from vertical to 32.8 degrees southerly throws earth’s rotation off by 2.78% at the end and literally all things attached to the crust are totally destroyed, the oceans replacing much of the land as the warming of the current polar icecaps decimate the lands. Increasing violent weather brought on by the massive landshifts and subsequent ocean currents produce biblical floods to all parts of the globe….
    Not to fear, life will return to the planet… sometime around 5000 – 10000

  87. David C says: March 27, 20089:17 am

    In 2048, futurologists will be predicting that the four-hour working day will be coming Real Soon Now…

  88. Art Trombley says: March 27, 20089:20 am

    I forsee in the near, make that very near future, more terrorist attacks on the free world, war, atomic war and those surviving will still use oil driven vehicles, science will still be repressed. they have just announced a 500 billion barrel oil find in North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri, this will fuel BIG OIL for another 100 years, the powers that are have known of this oil for decades, they have just been waiting for the $100 a barrel mark. Greed is the ugliest face of Mankind. I have nothing against the People of the middle East, they have a right to be angry, just as the Black People of America do. In closing, I see a very bleak future, I wish and hope to be proven wrong, For My Grand Daughters sake, May God Bless Us All.

  89. Myles says: March 27, 20089:55 am

    I agree that this is a great article with many accurate predictions. Let’s talk about the domed cities for a second. Why would you do this, what material would you use to build the domes, and how much would that cost? The advantage would be an air conditioned city where you could have short sleeves all the time. But what kind of power plant would be required to recirculate all the air in the city, and keep it warm or cool? Who would be willing to pay the bill for all that power? Would one really want to sit in one’s back yard and stare up into a glass plate?

  90. Andrew says: March 27, 200812:20 pm

    Apparently the authors did not anticipate the opposition from environmentalist wackos . . .

  91. Scott Houdek says: March 27, 200812:33 pm

    Jane!, How do you stop this thing…………………….,Oh!, I am sorry about that, that was The Jetsons!
    The Imagery is beautiful, but sadly this never happed, and you call that THE FUTURE?(sigh!)
    “women liberation?”, that irrelevant (that’s weird), I think women HAS not changed at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, I love woman!, who ever wrote that subject, Just mind your own manners!!!!!!!! , where was I?, oh!, The Jetsons!, It’s amazing that where are now starting to complain about “OIL”(dirty word) , but not the “future”

  92. Mai says: March 27, 20081:21 pm

    @ Scott Houdek: make moar sense pl0x. kthxbai

  93. David says: March 27, 20082:33 pm

    In 2048 silicon chips will have long been fullly developed to the limits of what silicon can accomplish. This will mean that computer chips will finally get out of their decades long speed race and let prices come down as never before. It will usher in the age of true interconnectiveness amongest all electronics. These chips will be stronger then a quad core use less energy then a single core and cost less then a can of pop. They will be in everything that runs on electricity and allow them to connect with each other wirelessly and/or through the power grid. This along with lowered costs in all electronic devices will also allow the coveted $100 laptop to be made and most likely go down to $50 or lower. Which in turn will let all people around the world even in the most poor and remote areas of the world have computer access if they wish. Coupled with an increased population this will lead to cooperative computing projects many times greater then SETI at home.

  94. jayessell says: March 27, 20082:56 pm

    Stef… Re #73… Misinformation.


    The webmaster of the above website doesn’t understand the energy to electrolyze water
    exceeds the energy gained from it as a fuel.
    Also, an explosive fuel /oxygen mixture in the air intake doesn’t sound safe.

  95. robert says: March 27, 20084:13 pm

    Yes, and the housewife will have such an easy time preparing all the meals, and we’ll just throw all our plastic everything away after one use, because who cares, it’s cheap! On to the future!

  96. GSorensen says: March 27, 20084:34 pm

    It’s possible that China will FAR outstrip us in the technical and scientific domains simply because:

    a. They produce way more human resource to take up these occupations than we in the West do. I think I read, something like a few hundred times more Engineering graduates per year. Do they need a “No child left behind” program? I doubt it.

    b. Those same grads will work for the wages that an illegal Mexican landscaper gets here (in the U.S.)

    c. They have huge cash reserves to invest and the foresight to do it.

    d. Are much more lightly encumbered by ethical considerations, social welfare concerns. Stem cell debate? Cloning debate? Nuclear power debate? Problems with teaching Evolution in schools? Don’t think so.

    e. Although they do have some internal ethnic strife have a stronger collective identity than we do, which can be more easily focused toward national goals. Furthermore, care about China first and everybody else in 10th position and below, with nothing in between.

    China is casting a huge shadow forward into the next few centuries.

  97. Dave says: March 27, 20084:50 pm

    Well, I’ll take a shot at 2048 predictions:

    – applying Moore’s law, computer processing power should increase to billions of times what it is now. This will make human intelligence quaint. Surely, within the next 40 years, someone will be stupid enough to make a computer smarter than him, or her.

    – travel between countries, or even cities for that matter, will be near impossible due to the quarantine restrictions, what with all the old-fashioned natural and new man-made infections. Because of this, most activities will be online, rather than in person: school, shopping, meetings, etc.. Public transportation will be for the desperately poor. Most local transportation, for freight or rare personal traveling, will be by computer-guided individual cars on high-speed express lanes. These cars will talk with each other, negotiating on the fly, and spacing will be sub-meter even while speeds exceed 200Km/h. For those wanting to maintain manual control, these express lanes will be off-limits.

    – Populations everywhere will be shrinking and we’ll still be talking about the “demographic time bomb.” Old people everywhere will be wondering if their pensions will be worth anything, or who’s going to help them. Some things never change.

    – There will be no privacy, none. The young people of today will demand complete transparency in all activities. They will not associate with, nor vote for, anyone that demands or even expects the slightest level of privacy. Some level of publicly embarrassing information will be expected; those without it will not be trusted.

    – The biggest debates will be on how much we’re going to be augmenting our children. After all, simply normal children won’t be able to compete in a society that demands 80hr work weeks. At a minimum, children will have to have a genetic tolerance to amphetamines, or whatever stimulant replaces them. Coffee will be a quaint drink that children get before bedtime.


  98. Jim McIntosh says: March 27, 20085:00 pm

    If you are interested in how technology may develop in the next 50-100 years, read “The Singularity is Near” by Ray Kurzweil. He considers technology to be the next stage of evolution for humanoids.

    Notice that two areas that haven’t made the progress predicted are roads and education, both of which are provided by government. In “Revolutionary Wealth” the Tofflers compare the speeds at which different institutions change. If business and companies change at 100 mph, government bureaucracies and agencies change at 25 mph, the government-run education system runs at 10 mph, and political structures (Congress, Senate) in wealthy countries change at 3 mph.

    As for greed (e.g. capitalists and oil companies), as long as they can’t force me to buy what I don’t want, as long as they can only earn money by providing goods and services we want and value, then I have no problem with them. But when the government interferes and prevents or limits competition then I have a problem. (Remember when Bell was the only long distance company?) When greed is able to co-opt politicians, we are in trouble.

    As far as shopping goes, we do have online and TV shopping as predicted. What he missed was the shopping mall. Back in 1948, supermarkets were just starting to replace the corner grocery store.

    As for predictions of apocalypse, I’ve lived through a few; the Year 2000 (computer) non-crisis being more recent, the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth” was somewhat earlier, and Malthus’ predictions of global starvation were even before my time. We will not run out of oil suddenly; it will happen gradually while the price increases. (I read somewhere that about 100 years ago we were running out of oil, whale oil. There was a huge concern about how we would light our streets and homes.) As the price of oil increases, reserves that were too expensive to pump will become economicly viable. Alternatives for energy, such as solar and geothermal, will become competitive. Recycling will be more profitable. The human mind thrives on solving problems, especially when there is an incentive, be it financial rewards or survival.

  99. Michael says: March 27, 20085:45 pm

    Forgetfulness pills can be purchased from www.smart-drugs.com

  100. Mike says: March 27, 20086:04 pm

    You can tell where the most innovation and greatest growth will occur by looking at those areas that are subject to the least amount of government regulation. Examples from this article, from 1968 to 2008:

    1. Consumer electronics, little regulation, progress evenly to underestimated.
    2. Transportation, moderate to heavy regulation (and taxation), progress overestimated.
    3. Medicine and education, very heavy regulation, progress overestimated.

    The bottom line: leave mankind free to innovate and trade on an open market, and we will. Here’s aviation visionary Burt Rutan making the point with regard to space flight:


  101. Doug says: March 27, 20086:56 pm

    Reminds me of my friend Joe when i mention sci fi movies like “Space 1999″ and he jokingly replies, Oh yeah you mean like on the History channel!” As so many books, movies and such have dates that have come and past. Star trek ok so far it’s dates still far in future;)

  102. uXuf says: March 27, 20088:49 pm

    How funny is it that the author failed to speculate on the role of the West on general global strife. Don’t want to be shot as an infidel? Stand up against the oppression and give the poor Middle East people a break. Or cut down on the greediness.

  103. GSorensen says: March 27, 20089:07 pm

    I think we need to seriously accelerate the space program so that as soon as possible we can find a separate planet to relocate Islamic nuts like #102, who can’t live in peace with anybody else.

  104. Nomad of Norad says: March 27, 200810:31 pm

    Speaking of History Channel and retro-future… they’ve got a fascinating series called “Ancient Discoveries,” about how the ancient world actually had a number of technological devices we thought were only recently invented, like flame-throwers, grenades, and landmines, vending machines, fancy clocks (including astronomical clocks), and even a kind of robotics. In fact, the ancient Chinese actually drilled for oil with their own oil derricks hundreds upon hundreds of years ago!

    As for Space 1999 and 2001: A Space Odyssey…. there were some things about both that even today seem perfectly plausible… albeit we didn’t see many of them due to a loss in momentum in the space program. The Tube Train in Moonbase Alpha could probably be built today with existing technology, those Commlink things are basically just video cellphones, the Eagle Transporter, visually, looks almost like it could probably be built with today’s tech… except it wouldn’t be useful as a planet-to-Moon-and-back-again vehicle but as a vehicle to travel from one place on the Moon to another. Other technology in Space 1999, though, was pure space-opera. (Force-field projections over the Moonbase! Electronically-generated gravity that could be dialed up and down!) And then there were technologies still in use on the show that now seem laughably backwards. (One big computer taking up a whole wall of the command center! And at one point, a character was writing a report using an electric typewriter! What, no laptop or desktop computers?!?)

    2001: A Space Odyssey, if you deleted all year-references in it, could almost be taken today as a vision of… say, 2068, or 2099… except, of course, some of the human-interfaces (like that identify-your-nationality-and-destination video terminal on the space station) seem too simple (that terminal should have had more buttons, or should have had a touch-screen interactive system in which the menu items could easily be changed out as needed), and of course, since the movie came out, AT&T has changed its corporate logo… several times, and of course Pan Am is long gone, it exists now only as a company name that has itself changed hands multiple times.

    “Blade Runner” expected the future to change quite a bit more than it probably should have expected it to, also. That movie expected roughly 40 years into the then future we’d have cities filled with buildings hundreds of stories tall, artificially created people who you couldn’t tell from natural born people until you started talking to them for awhile, and of course the obligatory flying cars.

    “Always in motion is the future,” said Yoda. “Difficult to see.”

    But of course, as someone else here pointed out, 40 years from now probably won’t be that different than the world of today, we’ll just have smaller and cheaper computers, more personal electronics of various types, groundcars that behave more or less like those of today, traveling on roads not that much different than those of today, going to and from houses and office buildings looking almost the same as those of today… but there’ll be devices and services we never dreamed of today that will be commonplace, and some devices that today we think will be around forever will be simply gone.

    Look back at Heinlein’s novels that had us still using slide-rules centuries from now, or look at all those science fiction novels of the 40s and 50s that assumed that all our radios and computational devices would still be using vacuum tubes even into the 22nd Century! And of course none of them predicted MP3 players or Garmin street navigators. Some of them did predict pocket calculators, though. Go figure. Uh… if you’ll pardon the unintended pun.

  105. B22 says: March 27, 200811:19 pm

    It occurs to me that some of the bigger shopping malls are pretty close to being examples of domed cities — well, roofed cities, since the roofs are sometimes arched, but rarely domed.

  106. Tonsure Wimple says: March 28, 200812:07 am

    “Future not available in Africa, Central and South America, India, China, or Asia” – MST3K

  107. pmichael says: March 28, 20086:47 am

    Amazing how many of the comments mention the lack of flying cars now when the article clearly states that the 300mph automatic vehicle is riding on a PLASTIC ROADWAY.

  108. Cap'n Kelly _/) says: March 28, 20087:03 am

    Zager & Evans gave a bleak futuristic prediction in their song, “In the Year 2525”

    In the year 2525
    If man is still alive.
    If woman can survive, they may find.

    In the year 3535
    Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies.
    Everything you think, do and say, is in the pill you took today.

    In the year 4545
    Ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes.
    You won’t find a thing to chew.
    Nobody’s gonna look at you.

    In the year 5555
    Your arms hanging limp at your sides.
    Your legs got nothing to do.
    Some machine doing that for you.

    In the year 6565
    Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife.
    You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too.
    From the bottom of a long glass tube. Whoa-oh

    In the year 7510
    If God’s a-comin, he oughta make it by then.
    Maybe he’ll look around himself and say.
    Guess it’s time for the judgment day.

    In the year 8510
    God is gonna shake his mighty head.
    He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been.
    Or tear it down and start again. Whoa-oh

    In the year 9595
    I’m kinda wonderin if man is gonna be alive.
    He’s taken everything this old Earth can give.
    And he ain’t put back nothing. Whoa-oh

    Now it’s been ten thousand years
    Man has cried a billion tears.
    For what he never knew,
    now man’s reign is through.

    But through eternal night.
    The twinkling of starlight.
    So very far away.
    Maybe it’s only yesterday.

  109. Madame MARY LIGGETT says: March 28, 20087:06 am

    i got a good laugh about the household menu planning & shopping + the maids… i also enjoyed the part about the advances in medical technology, since for the past month i’ve been in and out of hospitals, laboratories, etc. and i’m rather fed up with the pain and constant fatigue i’m now experiencing at a mere 46 years of age… i feel more like 80!

    personally, i wish that 2008 NEVER even existed. (well, actually it all began in 2007, and seems to be never-ending…)

    BOTH of my hands have recently suffered neurological damage – i am normally right-handed but now i can barely hold a pen – thank god for computers; at least i can muster up enough strength for one-finger typing …! i live alone and no one comes ’round in the morning to help me get dressed (ever try to tackle simple daily things such as buttons & zippers when you’re nearly handicapped ?)= think i’m going to continue living in pyjamas from now on – it’s much easier!

  110. Karl says: March 28, 200810:34 am

    I think the major unexamined factor in these future fantasies is the interaction between public and private governance.

    A lot of the predictions are wrong for more than one reason (like the domed cities). But one reason they are wrong is that they assume the wrong level of public investment in infrastructure. For example, the proposed transit system with its 250 mph speeds would require an enormous public investment. Is that likely to happen? It may or may not. In the US, probably not.

    There have been enormous infrastructure projects in the past, like the US interstate highway system. The interstate highway system has shaped the US economy and technology enormously. For one thing, it took away traffic from the enormously more efficient railway system, and encouraged our love affair with big fast cars. Some would say both developments ultimately turned out to be negative.

    Public investment in infrastructure varies enormously as economic and political forces shift. No futurologist that I know of has ever considered that factor. They all assume that we will blithely pay whatever taxes are necessary to build that enormous dome over the city, for example, even if we would enjoy greater safety, security, wealth, and efficiency overall. As some of the comments above illustrate, that isn’t likely.

    I think that is a uniquely American failing. Public dollars projects change everything we see, but we refuse to acknowledge that. We cling to the fantasy that we can, by ourselves, with our own two hands, create our own lives out of whole cloth. For many elements of the life they want, Americans will have to buy them from their government with taxes.

    A second element that crystal ball gazers rarely acknowledge is the differences between the rich and the not-so-rich. The article proposes that most people will take classes of some kind for a few hours a day. How will that be paid for? If it comes out of people’s pockets, then not everybody will be able to pay for it. The people who can’t will fall further behind. Their productivity and consumption will drop, and the economy will suffer overall.

    A second example: All the cars and roads will have a system so that the cars can drive themselves safely at high speeds. But for the system to be optimally efficient, everybody will have to have a self-driving (or centrally controlled, or whatever) car. Even a few manually driven cars would slow down the overall system quite a bit, and would also increase the demands on the control system. The computers would have to continually react to an element that is outside its control, rather than being able to coordinate all parts of the system.

    So the problem is that if only a few cars have that feature, then it is worthless. The value comes when everybody’s car has that feature.

    So how would that happen, in a free market? How would that feature ever become universal? With other worthwhile features (like antilock brakes, say) some manufacturer introduces it in premium cars, and then the feature trickles down into lower priced cars until it is offered across the board. In the case of antilock brakes, that process has taken over 20 years, and they are still not universally available. That, plus the fact that people buy new cars only once every 7 years or so on average, means that antilock brakes are far from universal in cars actually on the street right now. And that is a feature that would appear to have pretty clear benefits to the individual driver. A “smart” car/road combination would have no benefit to an individual driver unless everybody else had it too.

    And I think is another aspect of that American blindness to the need for cooperative, collective action. We would rather be left alone on our property, and if them dadburn revenooers ever step on our land, we’ll fill ’em up with buckshot. Well, there are certain problems we just can’t shoot.

  111. dsesertratdan says: March 28, 200812:26 pm

    I bet those credit cards have really messed up the panhandlers. Probably have to use Photon Ray guns to get change, So the adage will still ring true: Got a gun? Got a job! Seriously, if the U.S. spent more bucks expanding their research on something plausible like undersea gardens and just exploring our vast seas, our whole world would benefit, yet they still throw it away on space. Don’t get me wrong, but our oceans are a positive and space is still a maybe. If I may be so bold in expressing my belief that God gave us a world to learn how to live in, and while discovery is one of man’s greatest abilities and assets, why don’t we figure out what our seas can do for us? We have barely scratched the surface of our world, pun intended. Maybe there is signs of life out there, I’m okay with finding that out, but is it our life? Through personal experience I can believe “the truth is out there”, but let’s explore what has been given us by no matter who you believe in or for what reason. We have the inquisitive mind set, let’s get our direction on the right track-home! Stop wasting our tax dollars on a maybe, concentrate on the real and let the maybe confirm itself. According to the Mayan Calendar, the world is going to end in 2012 anyway, that’s as far as their calendars go, which probably seemed like a pretty long stretch to them. We could share our knowledge with other countries, come to grips with famine and maybe develop a new fuel for our massive transit. How many countries would actually attack someone who is providing food and keeping their children from dying an unnecessary death. Do we really need space or is it more practical to lift our feet up and see what is underneath. We have mountains we could build entire cities inside and oceans that can and possibly will support millions. The challenge today is not the Popular Science idea but the Popular Mechanics action. Shoot my words down if you must but how many millions, nay billions has been spent on space? Yet children die on the streets in many countries due to war, famine and disease. How many Horseman do we need to show us the way? Space is waste, you will never see that dollar again but what else could we do with that dollar? ~desertratdan

  112. dsesertratdan says: March 28, 200812:40 pm

    Karl, your comments are spot on, but we have to remember we cannot satisfy the whole and there are still a few people who believe “them Revenoors” are trying to force those ABS brakes on us, and would not have them on their car. The car makers want to sell all their new fangled equipment so they must compromise to the lowest [as they see it] level. I’ve always had ABS on my cars throughout the mellinium. Uh, that does stand for “Almost a Braking System” doesn’t it?

  113. Bill Wilson says: March 28, 20081:18 pm

    2048? In the USA social security and medicare long ago went bankrupt, not long after the universal healthcare system instituted in 2011 went belly-up. Western Europe is an Islamic caliphate closely aligned with the Islamic Republic of Iran which spans from Northern Africa across to present day Pakistan. China has taken over the old Russian Republic since rapidly declining birthrates left nobody to defend the resource rich country outside of Moscow. Japan, Singapore, Australia, SoKorea still are functioning but the trend towards women having fewer than 2.1 children starting in the 1990’s has depleted their populations and rendered them unimportant, declining nations.
    The USA is in the first phase of peacefully taking over Canada, another nation with a declining population. Mexico long ago was annexed by the US and provides most energy not bought from Canada. The USA is, of course, 75% hispanic– immigration from South and Central America being needed to keep population levels around 300 million. Only about 15% is non-hispanic white as that group long ago stopped having enough children to maintain a static population level.
    Oh, and no flying cars.

  114. unbreak says: March 28, 20084:47 pm

    The ones that have not come true like clean technology, speeding hovering fast cars, health for everyone, have been retarded artificially by the economic powers that gain profit from old fossil fuel technology and pharmaceutical companies who prefer to have sick people and make money out of them. A healthy person is a lost customer.

  115. unbreak says: March 28, 20085:04 pm

    James R Berry appears to be a Sci Fi writter

    here are some of his books


  116. B22 says: March 28, 20085:08 pm

    pmichael (#107), yes, it is gliding over a plastic roadway, but it is gliding on an air cushon. In that sense, it is a flying car. The point of such “flying” is that if you eliminate the friction between road and vehicle, you can travel much faster with a given amount of energy. In the 1960s, people expected to achieve this using hovercraft technology. Now, they do it in China using magnetic levitation.

    Oh, and Karl, I’m quite sure the private sector not building transport infrastructure is not due to the cost of it. The private sector routinely builds projects that cost more than suburban train lines or local freeways. Chip fab plants, oil refineries, skyscrapers, airports and large ships are just some of the things that cost more to build than light rail lines, and all are routinely built by the private sector. The real problem is lack of a legal framework and economic model whereby an investor in transport infrastructure can get their money back without involving the government as a client. If roads were charged to the driver rather than to the taxpayer, there’d be much more opportunity for privately-built transport infrastructure.

    Here’s how we could have “flying cars” well before 2048: the first step is to bring the Inductrack maglev system to maturity. This could happen within five years. The next step is to find a site that demands very rapid, very comfortable travel, and is willing to pay a premium. I can imagine, for instance, a link from Dubai to Abu Dhabi — about 120 km (75 miles). If someone built an exclusive track, with car-sized vehicles that traveled at 250mph (400km/h), connecting the two cities, the capital cost should be a lot less than the cost of building a system for big maglev trains, like the one running in China now. There would probably be quite a lot of business and affluent leisure travelers willing to ride between Abu Dhabi and Dubai for, say, $200 a ticket, to enjoy the thrill and simultaneously save 30 minutes of travel time. If not there, then maybe somewhere in China or Khazakstan, connecting an airport to a business district. In other words, somewhere up-and-coming, and optimistic enough to make room for an ambitious project just because it sounded cool in prospect. This could happen by 2015 or 2020. If it was a commercial success, it would surely spread rapidly. Green politics, being anti-aircraft, would probably encourage its spread.

    By 2048, there could be a web of these things spanning the globe, connecting every major city.

  117. B22 says: March 28, 20085:26 pm

    Bill Wilson (#113) I applaud you on thinking seriously about how demographics will affect the future. However, I think there are too many wildcards for us to predict reliably how demographic forces will go that far into the future. First of all, there’s the possibility that some countries will successfully implement nativist policies, and so grow their populations. Then there’s eugenics. A kind of private-sector eugenics is currently evolving based on embryo screening, surrogate mothers, private sperm and egg banks, etc., that could within a generation or two completely transform the structure of populations. Perhaps the rich and clever will begin reproducing at a greatly increased rate, relative to the rest, and produce offspring that are (subtly) superhuman. If this happens, we’ll have to say that all bets are off. Finally, there’s medicine. There’s a real chance that progress in medicine could in the next few years radically increase healthy lifespans. This could bring population decline to a halt, and also result in people being economically active for much longer. This could completely transform the prospects for countries like Japan, Italy and Russia, whose populations are currently declining.

  118. Ian Nicholson says: March 29, 20082:31 am

    I find the comments more fascinating than the original article. It seems there are 2 camps: the “I don’t have a flying car this guy got it completely wrong” and the “I’ve got a roombot and a computer this guy was pretty accurate”.

    It seems all you have to do is list enough predictions and some people will pick up on the few that are vaguely approximate to what happens and declare you a seer. The rest pick up on everything you got wrong and declare you an idiot.

    Anyway, enough about astrologers…

  119. B22 says: March 29, 20085:42 am

    There are also some comments theorizing about why he got certain predictions more accurate than others, so it’s not totally polarized.

  120. steve EE says: March 29, 20086:22 pm

    My eyes are popping out – or is my brain expanding,as Neil from “The Young Ones” would say Heeaaveeey Maaan!

  121. Sameer says: March 29, 200810:19 pm

    You should check out the Discovery channel series 2057 it’s interesting. And my 2 cents is that in 40-50 years the U.S. will be in serious trouble has we have not invested in our infrastructure in about 40 years back when that article was wrttien and modern highways were new inventions. They expected that the U.S. would continue with such ventures but sadly we have not and fallen far behind the rest of the world when it comes to modernizing our cross country travel. mag lev would definitly be well worth it but the U.S. population will not buy into it until its too late. Just look at $4 gas and people still drive SUVs and other gas guzzlers (I live in TX, LOL) so until gas hits $7+, which it will eventually, people will not demand smaller more efficient cars or a better transportation system. If we do not solve this problem it could cripple commerce in the future if we cannot deliver goods and services swiftly (if we still make anything in this country in 50 years). Also China and India will be the new super powers as the U.S. struggles to stay significant.

  122. Sameer says: March 29, 200810:31 pm

    Oh and he did get quite a few things right which you can say is luck or not but it takes a certain level of higher than normal intuition or insight

  123. Vendetta1000 says: March 30, 200812:44 am

    personally, I’m awaiting the day of cybernetic bodies like in the manga/anime Ghost in the Shell. problem is, by the time they come out, i’ll be either too old or too poor to be able to take advantage of having one

  124. Ken says: March 30, 20084:22 am

    Thinking from today to tomorrow. Our drinking water–what will that be like in 2048? Today we’re getting drugs from the water we’re drinking, recycled from our neighbor’s medicine cabinet via the water treatment system.

    Was that forecast in 1968? Of course not. Never even made it into the magazine article. Just taken for granted.

    Isn’t that what public officials are supposed to be doing at the direction of the voters? Planning for the future. But short-term thinking dominates.

    I wish I could feel optimistic but in reading all the comments what I see is the absolute waste of the last 40 years in gadget mentality that leaves the well off ok but with a disintegrating infrastructure around us.

  125. JoAnn says: March 30, 20087:51 am

    In the late 1930’s I was in awe of a future prediction in an ad, of a mother and son sitting near a large screen device out of which a strip of newsprint was bringing them up to date news. The Future was then! At the time I was just learning to form letters and look at books. I still prefer a book or magazine and an easy chair, but here I sit at a computer screen looking for the daily “news”. Few had jobs, much less money, so our dreams were much different than they turned out to be. Technology has its good points, but I still miss roaming the fields and peering under rocks, playing baseball with a stick and beaten up ball, and the laughter of neighbors sitting about in their yards calling to one another, etc.. I didn’t talk on a telephone until I was 8 and found no true value in it. Myfriends were all outside calling to me! It is truly most amazing to think of all that I have seen come to life and in use, but the downside still haunts me. My mother was born shortly before the Wright Bros. “flew”, and lived to jet around the country to see her grandchildren. I wonder what the future holds for my grandchildren, but I don’t think its what its cracked up to be. Color me old. You will be one day!

  126. jayessell says: March 30, 200810:32 am

    Ken… maybe we should drink the water from our Hydrogen fueled cars!
    But seriously, the ‘drugs in our water’ story is a testament to the sensitivity of the detectors.
    It’s well under the biologically active level.
    (Yes, none at all would be preferred.)

  127. Stan 1 says: March 30, 20086:14 pm

    I dunno, seems like when I was wearing a younger man’s clothes, a much younger man’s clothes, I can remember when Buck Rogers’ escapades and equipment were relegated to the Sunday comics. Too much of those pages has come to fruition. Dick Tracy’s wrist two-way radio is also a fait acompli. We have no way ofknowing what the future brings but there was a time when horse and buggy wre state-of-the-art and airplanes, telephones, television and heart transplants were not even thought of let among other modern accomplishments were not even thought of. If you, I and our offspring live long enough we may yet see some of the things presented become fact.

  128. punky says: March 31, 20082:34 am

    Many thanks for the links unbreak. According to the site you linked to, James R Berry (if its the same guy, and the years all match), he’s still alive. I’d love to try and get him on the site.

  129. B22 says: March 31, 20089:24 am

    I wonder, is this material out of copyright yet, or does this site have permission to scan these articles? If not, James Berry might be a little annoyed to discover that he’s not earning any royalties off this.

  130. Big Daddy says: March 31, 200810:35 am

    Mr. Berry neglected to mention the most radical improvement in the last 40 years: Female breast augmentation!

  131. Netminder says: March 31, 20088:28 pm

    If I were James R. Berry, I would be pleased to see interest being generated in my books, and people taking the time to look them up and post web links where they can be purchased – even if they are used or old-stock. Free publicity is the best kind, and the gentleman deserves some.

    About flying cars – to me flying is not maglev or air-cushion. That’s just suspension, and nobody would have given the Wright Brothers very much recognition for it. The average person has no idea who invented the hovercraft or maglev.

    Who’s going to be in charge of Air Traffic Control for them? FAA? The only way it could be done is strictly regulated control in flight lanes by centralized computer systems. Nobody would want that – the whole “cool” factor of flight is freedom. To grab those controls, swoop around, loop-the-loop, and finish off with a victory roll.

  132. jayessell says: April 1, 20085:49 am

    Netminder… The personal flying vehicles would operate like Willie Wonka’s elevator.
    You select a destination and it follows a virtual highway (Back to the Future 2) to get there.
    I think that’s an acceptable flying car, even if it drops you off at the door and parks itself.

  133. Randy says: April 1, 20087:16 am

    “Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet.” Not quite. And what about diabetes? He failed to take into account that all of our leisure time would be spent in front of our multi-mode TVs eating processed foods. That’s what you get when your workday is 4 hours or less.

  134. Verda Stelo says: April 1, 20087:26 am

    Right on, Jaysell! You are getting my vote on this. And lwhile you are at it, please, let those flying vehicles come in in the same variety of sizes and capacities like the cars of today, so that we will not be doomed to travel only in our own personal capsule – as per the article in the “Scientific American” magazine (1966).

  135. B22 says: April 1, 20089:10 pm

    “About flying cars – to me flying is not maglev or air-cushion.” Flying cars exist. Quite a few designs have been built over the years, but nobody really wants or needs them. More to the point, James R. Berry didn’t mention flying cars. He talked about cars traveling along a road on an air cushion at 250 mph.

  136. jayessell says: April 2, 20084:50 am

    Citation needed.
    There’s ‘built’ and then there’s ‘flown’.
    (I could ‘build’ a time machine!)

  137. B22 says: April 2, 200810:52 am



    On Wikipedia, we are told that the most successful flying car of all time was/is the Aerocar, first built in 1949. http://en.wikipedia.org…

    It was a proper, street-legal car that had fold-away wings, and could fly, and was fully certified for flying.

    So, as you can see, flying cars were possible with 1949 technology, yet they never caught on. Plainly, there’s not much call for them.

    Now, a car that could drive itself at 250mph, that would be useful. If it could be done economically, there’d be plenty of demand.

  138. Auntie Hosebag says: April 2, 20083:00 pm

    Pretty cool. The only thing missing is any mention of global warming, the “War on Terror”, or the fact that the most powerful country spends the bulk of its resources on militarism, and constantly threatens other, less powerful countries to do its bidding in facilitating the takeover of their own economies by the bigger country’s already huge multinational corporations. The human race spins ever more out of control, self-control, into a cannibalistic, technology-fueled frenzy of consuming itself out of existence. What a beautiful thing.

  139. iwdw says: April 3, 200812:59 pm

    …or the fact that the most powerful country spends the bulk of its resources on militarism, and constantly threatens other, less powerful countries to do its bidding in facilitating the takeover of their own economies by the bigger country’s already huge multinational corporations.

    So, umm, like the British Empire…?

  140. David Downing says: April 3, 20083:49 pm

    What jumps out at me is the unabashed optimism of 1968 — the Utopian future would be wonderful. No question about it. That attitude was to be short-lived, as we soon moved to fear that the world would be done in by over-population, pollution, an ice age, nuclear war or global warming. That pessimism is evident in many of the comments here. Did the “audacity of hope” die out in 1968?

  141. B22 says: April 4, 20087:43 am

    #140, David Dowling:

    Yah, there’s been an awful rise of defeatism since the late 1960s, and technophobia is rampant. Only advances in computing are accepted without much complaint (occasional panics about the dangers of the internet aside) — significant advances in any other area of technology seem to provoke mass dread, and there’s a feeling that all technologies currently in the pipeline will surely never arrive. It’s odd.

  142. chad says: April 4, 200810:43 pm

    why do you think people have technophobia? can you give examples? i think most people are open to technological advances.

    by the way. i have a great question. how come we havent been looking into alternative fuel 30 yrs ago? why has it just been on the forefront since around 2002?

  143. David Downing says: April 5, 20081:35 pm

    Chad, you must be a young whippersnapper. We WERE looking into alternative energy 30 yeqrs ago. That’s when the ethanol push started. Waaaay back in 1980, when I was in high school, I even took a special class in alternative energy. That took off so well that the teacher behind it isn’t even in teaching anymore — he’s now a CPA. I think that’s why I’m skeptical/cynical about all the current “green” movements — I’ve seen it before. When oil prices drop, we’ll lose interest. (You say they’ll never drop from current levels? That’s what they said in 1980, too.) And being concerned about the environment isn’t new. Before we became concerned about petroleum and energy, the big concern was pollution. In school they used to show us these films of a future where everyone had to wear a gas mask to walk outside, and you could barely see the sun through all the pollution. But that was when we were still concerned that an ice age was coming! I’m sounding like an old man, and I’m only 44! It really is hard to find anything new. All the same stuff just goes around and around.

  144. dsesertratdan says: April 5, 20085:17 pm

    Well JoAnn and Stan 1, you are 2 people in this mob that I can commiserate with. You have to know one thing though, of all the modernization going on around us, part of that intelligence came from us, our genes, and our parents genes. We are the ones who decided we wanted more for our children than what we had for ourselves. Is this not true? We strive to progress and fought wars to deny and all of this resulted in the “new”, “the never heard of” and dare I say, technology of modern times. We are the leaders of technology, if not the brains of it. They can design it and they can build it but it took us to buy it and to believe in it. We unfortunately, have no one to blame for exclusion but ourselves. Look around you, do you see the same happiness that we shared as children? The freedom to roam the streets and countrysides without fear dominating our excursions? I’m not always too sure our desires were a success or a catastrophe. Now it gets mindlessly approved and built only for the dollar, not to see the happiness in little Stan and JoAnn’s eyes. Maybe the comment about Willie Wonka was closer to absolute. We are greedy and selfish and disrespectful as a Nation now and our own leaders are not there for the people, only the dollar. They raise taxes, cut Social Security and even take back benefits to our veterans at times, yet have always given themselves a pay raise like clockwork. I pay the scientist for he is my child, I pay the mechanic for he does what I cannot and I pay the ones who serve for the smile they bring to my heart. These are now what bring us, the older ones, pleasure in our life. I love nothing more than watching the sunrise or set, my old dog beside me and living with the knowledge that we are the ones that have set the standard and our children are the ones who modified it, just as we planned in our hearts. Progress has never been about satisfaction and we cannot expect a new generation and a newer generation after them, to be satisfied. It is now up to them to pass the torch and to enforce the standard and we get to watch the sunrise on a new era and enjoy the benefits that spill over to our endless appetites. ’nuff said. ~desertratdan

  145. B22 says: April 6, 20081:07 pm

    You ask for examples of technophobia, Chad. Well, in Shanghai, China, there have been protests against an extension of the maglev train line, because people fear it will bring “magnetic pollution”, which will cause all sorts of illness and death. Then in Nigeria, there were protests against polio vaccination, because the people believed it was a conspiracy to give people aids. In Britain, there was a long campaign against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) combined vaccine, because the people believed it would give their children autism. For a while, there were protests against phone masts, because people believed the radio signals would give them cancer. In Europe, people protest against genetically modified crops, because people believe somehow the DNA might be poisonous. It’s been going on forever — in the late 18th century, the “Luddites” protested against the automatic loom, fearing it would bring unemployment and poverty. In fact it brought them jobs and wealth like never before. However, there seems to be a lot more of it about, these days. People seem to be very quick to accept paranoid anti-technology theories, even if they are based on flimsy evidence or are totally crackpot, and they’re equally quick to dismiss scientists who say that this or that new technology is safe.

    As for nobody looking for alternative power sources until recently, that’s not true. People have been exploring solar and wind power for a long time, as articles on this website indicate:


    The thing about “alternative energy” is that we have a perfectly good form of alternative energy available already — nuclear — but technophobia (compounded by cold-war paranoia) prevents us from building enough nuclear plants.

    You will also find on this site, articles of an environmentalist theme going back all the way to the 1920s. This one is interesting, because it predicts global warming, when at the time it was probably more fashionable to worry about a coming ice age:


  146. dsesertratdan says: April 6, 20087:11 pm

    B-22 You have hit it on the head. It doesn’t matter about what progress can do for fellow man, the narrow minded will always take the dimmer view. Take the people in Shanghai for instance. The entire world is based on magnetism, yet they squawk at the mag rail. I’ve been there and Taipan also, and I don’t really see a change in behaviour. It’s fear, and the dominion of like minds that accelerates the ignorance of modern society as it has dominated the past, the witches of Salem were often only people who could heal a wounded person and yet they were condemned. I ask you if there is any one thing you could say or do to terminate this progression of thought? It hasn’t worked since the 1500’s has it? What about Jesus? Did it work then? Nah,I’m no Bible toten fanatic or super religious freak but think about where we stand. Are we getting through? We have to try don’t we? Beware 2012, let’s see if the Mayans were wrong.

  147. Molly says: April 8, 20085:42 am

    I love how he foresees domed cities and 250mph self-driving cars, but can’t quite envision feminism.

  148. Kathleen Pearlman says: April 8, 20089:43 am

    It’s odd that he can’t foresee feminism, but it’s written by, if I recall correctly, the man who wrote the Star Trek books that were directly from the original series. There, feminism was at least hinted at. Despite the Captain…

  149. dsesertratdan says: April 8, 200810:30 am

    Molly and Kathleen, 1st I’ll let you know I support feminism as much as a male heterosexual can. What you must know, but might be too young to know was that feminists in the 60’s were known as “Bra Burners” and other derogatory remarks and it was considered a very inflammatory situation and quite likely if he did write about it, it probably ended up on the editors floor. There was a lot of troubles in the 60’s and a very controversial time, the Vietnam war, protests against it, blacks, females and others seeking equality, and the resurgence of mind expanding drugs hitting the streets. I can’t defend him or the 60’s and I’m not trying to, only to inform about actions that could have taken place.

  150. Kathleen Pearlman says: April 8, 200811:55 am

    I was there in the 60s, albeit younger. The climate was not favorable for a lot of things, but there were touches of feminism- especially in science fiction – and I believe Mr. Berry wrote some of it… Just saying… Uhura wasn’t a bra burner, but her character led a lot of feminists (despite the uniform) to believe in a future where women could work outside the home, be single and allowed to care about themselves.

  151. dsesertratdan says: April 9, 20088:26 am

    I wasn’t aware that Uhura had any kind of positive effect on feminism, let alone belief in being single and “allowed” to care about themselves. Like most males, I looked at her as a “token” female for the show and more or less “eye candy” like most of the female actors in space and beyond. I’m sure bra burning was way out of style in the time period her position portrayed. It is very good to know she had some positive impact on women. Thank you.

  152. Anne says: April 9, 20089:24 am

    Uhura was a strong female who didn’t need a man (nor did she seem all that interested either). Compare and contrast with Christine Chapel who was always fawning over Spock.

    So while perhaps not the best role model ever (in that she never actually took command of the ship), I’m sure she did have some positive impact.

  153. BigMG says: April 11, 20086:37 am


  154. Jason says: April 11, 20089:40 pm

    Look up youtube.com “the home computer in 1999” a hilarious representation of the future and just as accurate from 1967.

    Personally I think the flying car is being held back by 2 avenues. 1 that hasn’t been mentioned. No one even thinks about what the flying car would do to the world and its law enforcement. Before we could mass use flying cars we would need every police station to upgrade 2-3 cars to flying to be able to chase flying criminals.. Many businesses that use to rely on fences would need ways to stop flying cars from entering in some fashion. Flying would give DUI/DWI peeps thousands of more things to crash into with more devastating effects.

    From what I understand they have had flying car prototypes for over 10 years, but many things already mentioned on top of the above will make them a long time coming.

    As to 2048 future… The Mayan calendar, along with many other civilizations, say the world ends Dec 21st 2012 so it wont ever happen! heh

  155. WowScary says: April 14, 20083:01 pm

    2148 predictions (2048 is a little too soon)

    1. 90% of animal and plant life from 2008 is extinct. But everybody born after 2040 doesn’t notice since they were all born in cities that cover the globe and haven’t seen natural forests or any animals other than domesticated pets, fleas, mosquitoes and roaches, which are even harder to kill than ever.
    2. The work day is 12 hours a day with a 1.5 hour commute each way, and having one partner stay home to cook real food or take care of kids is unheard of. The kids are raised by robots and are expected to start work at age 12. Capitalism extremists make sure not to waste any precious “production potential”.
    3. The technical working class, the only non-upper-class that is educated to a fair degree in these times, is pacified by virtual reality games and recreation which keeps them in check.
    4. The 1% rich classes, when not warring with each other, are busy keeping the regular man down. They neglect their arts and science education and opt for manipulation, history, and marketing usually.
    5. Everybody owns (well, rents) a computer/phone/TV/GPS/monitoring-what-you-do device to help keep society “safe”.
    6. But just in case, everybody is monitored 24/7 anyway by various cameras, wiretaps, and internet data collection.
    7. People still own guns in the USA, but all guns are secretly equipped with a self-disable device so if the government detects any “bad guys” all guns outside the military-police will stop working.
    8. Owning your own home is a joke to the middle-lower-working classes, and everybody rents apartments.
    9. More but I’m out of time.

  156. jmyint says: April 14, 20085:43 pm

    Me thinks WowScary has a dim view of the future but to predict 140 years into the future, sheesh.

  157. kcrady says: April 14, 200811:22 pm

    Regarding the chuckles had at the expense of movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, one thing to keep in mind is that just a few years after that movie was made, we were seeing close-up pictures of Jupiter and Saturn taken by small robotic space probes. IOW, the gigantic multi-gazillion-dollar nuclear-powered ion-driven, crewed space cruiser was rendered obsolete before it was born by a better (i.e. far cheaper, more efficient, less risky) technology. The robots will only get better, smaller, smarter, and cheaper. The age of space exploration by un-modified biological humans is over, and it ended with the Viking lander.

    Flying cars: in addition to the problems already mentioned, flying cars (and other things like jetpacks, hover-boards and the like) are being stopped by the absence of an energy source denser (i.e. more power per unit of weight and size) than gasoline that is also safe and available to the public.

    2012: I can’t wait to see what all these New Age apocalyptic prophets will be writing on January 1, 2013. Most likely they’ll spin a katun or baktun here or there and say the Mayans predicted the End for 2025 all along. Or they’ll switch to the Hopi or the Dogon and say, “Mayans? Nevahoidovem!” Does anybody else remember Jose Arguelles predicting the Big Galactic Change (based, supposedly, on the Mayan calander) for 1992, in the lead-up to the “Harmonic Convergence” in the 1980’s?

  158. ironflange says: April 19, 200811:11 am

    I noticed the other article in this issue about Boeing’s new jet. It’s pretty cool that 40 years later, the 747 is still going strong.

  159. jayessell says: April 20, 200810:49 am

    50 years in the future!


  160. neverater says: April 24, 20086:07 pm

    i think its so cool when people make a web that shoes just what people need but just for a idea i think maybe you should also try talkiing about staying green i would love that

  161. joe says: April 27, 20086:18 am

    well we do IN A SENSE work less than back than
    in the sense that there was more physical work then than now
    today it is more mental than physical IN GENERAL

  162. Te Atatu Intermidiate says: May 7, 20084:23 pm

    we are in 2008 thaty did not happen

  163. Nautilus says: May 13, 20089:50 am

    Interesting, although many have predicted that we would become a more secular society, my observation is that the recrudescence of religious beliefs has increased full force in the past 10 years. Also, the article, though I confess I did not read it in its full length, appears to be an outgrowth of the Cold War era, which promised technological advances for society (and as we’ve seen without concomitant social development.) In lieu of flying cars, I would hope by the year 2030 that we’ve learned to accept individual/group differences more, put an end to foreign wars that buttress technological development, and by then hopefully we would witness a narrowing gap between the tailends of the economic distribution in terms of ‘quality of life.’ What is the social/existential trajectory of the United States? If we are becoming or have become a post-relativistic society how do we advocate to treat eachother more humanly, when the very defintion of the word lends itself to deconstruction. Everything that is solid melts into air…

  164. KoKo says: May 13, 200810:09 am


    You fill our ears with pretentious crap.

    To respond to one point, society has become slightly more religious, but only in the US. The rest of the developed world is increasingly secular.

  165. franklin says: May 15, 20086:53 am

    we are all gonna die in 2012 anyway
    the magnetic poles are gonna shift bc planet X is coming around the earth and is going to aline all the planets forcing this pull to creat crzy hurricanes tornados and posible volcanic eruptions covering the earth with ash, the only people who will survive are the ones who go under ground-no lie, this is not a joke-god be with all of you

  166. jayessell says: May 15, 20088:49 am

    franklin, you may enjoy…

    And what do you mean “we”?

  167. Richard Bartrop says: May 18, 200811:41 pm

    What the articles was predicting wasn’t a flying car as such, but a ground effect vehicle, which really is a bad idea for a road vehicle. We don;t have 300 mph cars, but there are a ew that will top 200 mph, and at least one manufacturer has a model that it claims will do 250. True, you could buy a nice house for what they cost, and there are no roads in North America where you can use that speed, but they do exist.

  168. KoKo says: May 19, 20081:55 pm


    Yes, they do. And they do cost a ridiculous amount.

    That’s my point about these kinds of predictions. They never consider the economic conditions, the infrastructure, and especially the political will necessary to make these things possible.

    These predictions actually say more about the time they were made (post-war, rapidly increasing prosperity, creation of the League of Nations and the UN, overall optimism) than about the situation they try to predict. Maybe that is why nobody does this kind of thing any more; we know better than to be blindly optimistic now.

  169. JMyint says: May 19, 20088:27 pm

    Koko,it is a sad thing that we no longer predict greater futures for ourselves. We have things now that were not even imagined forty years ago and yet we don’t see solutions to are mundane problems. In the past, even in the worst of times, people always had the belief the future would be better. For the most part they were right. Today we are face with problems and what do we hear, give up, cut back. Even though there are practicle things that can be done no-one really adresses problems like global warming, AIDS, world hunger, energy needs. Yeah people pay lip service to these problems but they don’t tell you they are solveable or even managable.

    It has been sited by many attempted suicides that they just no longer saw any future. Perhaps are Civilization is on the verge of suicide itself.

  170. jayessell says: May 20, 20084:39 am

    Charlie, see if you can find a “things are just going to get worse” article from the 1930s.
    And 1950s.
    And 1970s.
    And 1990s.

  171. KoKo says: May 20, 20087:57 am


    You say “It is a sad thing we no longer predict greater future for ourselves.”

    I would say it is sad if we can no longer realistically predict a better future. But it is not sad that we have stopped making ridiculously fanciful and unrealistic “predictions” like the stuff in the article.

    In either case, what matters is whether or not our views are realistic, not whether they are optimistic. Optimism for its own sake is lunacy.

    But you also say, “Even though there are practicle things that can be done no-one really adresses problems like global warming, AIDS, world hunger, energy needs. Yeah people pay lip service to these problems but they don’t tell you they are solveable or even managable.”

    You obviously haven’t been paying attention. Many, many people are working hard to address all those issues, and often they are making great progress. Even though I hate and despise Bush, his AIDS control plan in Africa has made significant progress, for example.

    Unrealistic (and uninformed) pessimism is just as bad as unrealistic optimism.

  172. Lucy says: May 21, 20086:38 am

    love how he foresees domed cities

  173. Rosie says: May 28, 20081:56 pm

    “Dude”, Where’s My Hovercraft?

  174. Kim says: July 29, 20083:19 pm

    When you look at the article and read all those things, first thing that comes in mind is “I wish all those things were true” lol. All those flying cars and traffic computer makes life so sweet. I’m pretty sure we’ll experience those things waaaaay later on in the future, but as for now, as weir in the year 2008 heading for 2009 we have to keep on dreaming, and someday all those things will become reality. When we look at the world today compared to 40yrs ago, we have gotten so advanced. Look at the iphones… its a cell phone, computer, GPS, audio player, and practically everything in one. Technology will change and become a great progress in the next couple of years!

  175. jayessell says: July 29, 20084:14 pm

    Since the 1950s we were promised big flat TVs.
    They were 25 years in the future in 1950.
    That future finally arrived.

    Since the 1950s we were promised Fusion Reactors.
    They were 50 years in the future in 1950.

  176. Beiccakcip says: August 2, 20083:03 pm


  177. Eliyahu says: August 4, 20083:09 pm

    The flying car discussions have always amused me. Probably the biggest obstacles to their common use are the infrastructure they’d require and the fact that there’s no way to put brakes on them.
    First, imagine if you will our skies filled with millions of flying cars. How do you erect directional signs, lane markers (and remember, the lanes will now be three-dimensional; not two), speed limit indicators, etc.? Speed limits of one sort or another would be even more crucial since flying cars aren’t going to have brakes or be able to stop or slow down quickly when they overtake a slower one. Lanes would be even more vital than on the ground to prevent collisions. Otherwise, imagine a huge paved lot the size of the US in which drivers go in any direction they choose at any speed they choose, all hundred million of them at once! Air traffic controllers already are overstretched to the limits just dealing with airlines and general aviation numbering just a few thousand planes in the air at any one time and on carefully regulated airways.
    Again, the problem of brakes and stopping is a killer for air car designers. Even a hovercraft capable of going more than a few miles per hour is going to have problems if there were actually traffic around it. Someone crosses in front of it and what’s he going to do? Swerve up into the next higher lane and make someone else dodge him?
    Given the way many of us take care of our vehicles, maintenance would also be a real problem. If a car runs badly or stalls on the road, the driver can coast to the side or push it to the shoulder and walk. What’s he going to do at five thousand feet? We aren’t talking about an airplane with airfoil surfaces that can glide to the ground. We’re talking about flying cars. Otherwise, this would just be a discussion of whether airplanes will become the common means of transportation. A flying car, by definition, isn’t an airplane and is likely to drop like a stone when it loses power. Imagine living underneath these things…
    Finally, the straw that breaks the camel’s back: fuel. A flying car is not going to be fuel efficient, no matter who designs it. It takes a lot more power to fly than to roll on wheels, and there’s nothing short of amending the laws of physics that can change that.

  178. jayessell says: August 4, 20086:38 pm

    Your last comment is the best.
    There is no forseeable alternative to petrochemical fuel for the personal VTOL.
    (The proper name for the ‘flying car’.)
    The movie ‘Back to the Future II’ had two cheats:
    Limitless energy and a propulsion system that obeys unknown physics.
    (That’s the ‘half full’ version of ‘violates known physics’.)
    Other than that, it’s doable.
    A high-resolution GPS, internet like packet switching (except the ‘packets’ are actual people!) and
    a virtual highway system don’t sound impossible.
    “Where we’re going, we don’t need ‘roads’!”
    Oh yeah… each pVTOL would reasonably cost $1,000,000 each.

  179. Charlene says: August 5, 20089:19 pm

    I’m surprised by the beliefs that Roddenberry and Asimov predicted women’s liberation. In the original Star Trek and the first few years of TNG (until Roddenberry was shoved out), women are almost universally portrayed as either nurturers, bimbos, icebergs, secretaries, or nutcases. Asimov’s Susan Calvin is a wholly unrealistic neurotic iceberg; every other female character he wrote before meeting Janet is a whining nagging stupid stupid stupid shrew who cares more about dinner being on the table than she does about alien invasion.

    I mean, I love Asimov, but I hate the women in his early stories.

  180. Funky J says: August 6, 20084:29 am

    Amazing how accurate they were in some cases, but also how blindly optimistic that humans could sort their shit out and actually work together for the betterment of humankind.

  181. El Futuristo says: August 7, 200810:03 am

    In 2048, as the dawn breaks against the Illinois sky, I wake from my light fitful sleep to see what the day brings. There is leftover stew from last night. My garden is plentiful at this time of year, and my luck was good, thankfully. The garden fed rat is always fat, but not always able to avoid my deadly slingshot.

    I look to the east and see the cooling towers of the plant that powers the ADM Citiplex. I might go check out their dump today, but last week, the security guards were having a laugh taking pot shots at me from their perches up on the walls. Good things show up there from time to time, plastics, organics for my compost and sometimes even metals, but not very often. It’s still a worthwhile trip and those guards are too lazy to pay much attention to commuters nosing around the trash piles. Besides they depend on us in a way to carry it all away a piece at a time.

    After I make sure the deer fences are sound I begin to weed my garden. I think about riding my bike over to the street market in the afternoon. but remember hearing that there is a new gang of bike thieves making life miserable for everyone these days. Sure you can buy it back from a totally honest bike dealer at the market who had no idea the bike was stolen and just needs to get back what he paid for it. The reality is that if they knock you off your bike with a tight wire or a stick in the spokes, you are going to end up with some bruises and prolly a few kicks while you are also emptying your pockets. There is never enough time to whip out a slingshot or a club before they are on you.

    The suburbs are a rough place sometimes. There is no security and there are always scavengers, both human and animal, trying to survive at your expense……………

  182. FascistUSA says: August 24, 20086:21 pm

    There are answers to everything “troubling” mankind.

    Simple answers.

    Accurate answers.

    Maybe when Philosophers (lovers of truth) return to Amerika…

    we can see some real progress.


    Progress towards what? Low IQ idiots buying crap they don’t need off of TV and Telephones?
    Longer life spans so low IQs can get in more hours of TV?

    The average Amerikan has no values. No intelligence. No ambitions.

  183. boyd diez says: August 25, 20088:09 pm

    It’s all very nice but where will we get a power source for all this???

  184. Daan Zonderland says: August 29, 20086:22 am

    Wow, that’s a cool article.
    And all of would have been true and reality if it weren’t for the notorious Military-industrial complex.
    That’s what’s screwing this planet and those that dwell on her…

  185. John says: September 18, 20086:46 pm

    Heart disease, well that`s a different story.

  186. jayessell says: September 22, 20089:35 am

    September 23 is the 70 anniversary of the Westinghouse Time Capsule.
    (Only 4930 years to go!)
    Included amoung the artifacts of the 20th Century are gramophone recordings
    of Finlandia, Star and Stripes Forever and Flat Foot Floogie.

    Here’s an excerpt of “The Middletons at the Worlds’ Fair”.


    PS: Is there an article about the 1938 Time Capsule?

  187. Sorcerer Mickey says: November 16, 20088:35 pm

    Paragraph Eleven has it right: “Money has all but disappeared,”

  188. jayessell says: November 18, 200810:58 am

    The Future is TODAY!

  189. jayessell says: November 19, 20087:30 pm

    The Future is YESTERDAY!

  190. David Byrden says: November 20, 20089:41 am

    It’s notable that the article was correct about intangible things (remote shopping, online banking) and very wrong about physical things (space hotels, undersea living) even though the technology for the physical things DOES EXIST.

    Conclusion; the future as described, was possible but not affordable.

  191. Vanquisher says: November 26, 20084:53 pm

    They where not far off!!! Very Cool

  192. kaylor says: November 29, 200812:06 am

    He still couldn’t predict the trouble we got ourselves in by electing our dumb-ass president.

  193. Bob says: November 30, 20085:20 am

    It’s 8:00am on a Tuesday morning in 2008 and I’m still driving a fucking Prius with no AC or heat.

  194. Allen says: December 12, 20088:26 pm

    For some reason, eating microwave dinners with plastic sporks in a prefab mobile home sounds pretty sexy in this article.

  195. Wonderful says: January 13, 20094:07 am

    Gave me a chuckle, just wanted to point out that there is actually a prototype of a “flying car” haha.. I don’t know if it still exists though.

  196. Jess says: January 13, 200910:34 am

    Robots? Who needs ’em. We have 21st century Mexican’s.

  197. John says: February 13, 200912:09 am

    Aids is really pretty simple to fix. It doesn’t affect the apes it came from, so a little genetic adjustment should soon solve the problem. The fur and tail side effect would look cool!!
    Thanks, by the way, jayessell, for the connection to exitmundi. Also cool.

  198. azalea says: February 15, 200912:21 am

    The article neglected to mention the robo-muggers of the 21st Century. Instead of giving them your cash, they scan your credit card and computers automatically withdraw money from your bank account. Wow, computers everywhere!

  199. Silvers24 says: February 15, 20091:14 pm

    I think, 40 years from now, or 140, if you read the dudes prediction for 2148, the planet will be ran by apes.

    Only difference is, we humans will live in outerspace.
    And we had destoryed most technology on earth for the apes to never reach us.

    Later, we will destory all of Earth, because of those damn dirty apes.
    And space, will be our permanent home.

    I’ve watched to much science movies.
    Enough with this, nice find though, intresting on the speak of 40 years into the future from 1968.
    As many have said, would love to read predictions on years past 2009.

  200. Kevin says: February 15, 20098:54 pm

    “With the U.S. population having soared to 350 million”
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Thats a little low isnt it?

  201. Charlie says: February 15, 200910:21 pm

    Kevin: Actually, it’s a little high. The US population is roughly 300 million.

  202. Mad Kazoo says: February 18, 20092:43 pm

    Pass the orgasmatron

  203. Laura says: March 2, 20094:23 am

    what themes/issues are raised in this text??

  204. jayessell says: March 2, 20099:23 am

    The posters are comparing the predictions to the reality.
    That “The Foreseeable Future” is an oxymoron.
    That we can do this, but we can’t do this.
    That something being possible doesn’t mean it will be cost-effective in mass production.
    That the popular media’s predictions of the future are no less accurate than those of “experts”.

    I’d say that a good case could be argued that “The Future is NOW!”

  205. jekel says: March 25, 20093:39 pm

    I’ve watched to much science movies.
    Enough with this, nic resimler e find though, intresting on the speak of 40 years into the future from 1968.
    As many have said, would love to read predictions on years past 2009.

  206. Verda Stelo says: March 25, 20094:21 pm

    The flying cars are here, being mass produced and sold. Got 200K?

    Click here: Terrafugia – Transition®, the Roadable Light Sport Aircraft : Home

  207. John V says: April 6, 20098:47 pm

    Say, doesn’t “You reach for your attache case and draw the diagram with a pencil-thin infrared flashlight on what looks like a TV screen lining the back of the case. The diagram is relayed to a similar screen in your associate’s office, 200 mi. away.” sound a lot like a laptop computer!?!?!? Cool!!! Neat article, thanks!

  208. jayessell says: April 6, 200910:11 pm


    Are drawing and eMailing Apps available on the iPhone? They didn’t predict that!

    However, as I said in #44, and as the Russian submarine designers discovered,
    impellers really should be computer designed.
    I suspect math is involved somehow.
    The US Navy frowns on such practices. (For Russian subs!)

    BTW…Did the author mean the OUTSIDE of the attache case? Like a Tablet PC?
    Wouldn’t it get scratched or cracked?
    Maybe his screen is man-made diamond.

  209. John V says: April 6, 200910:38 pm

    I have a real problem with “flying cars” because a vast majority of the people who I see driving automobiles are absolute idiots who have no knowledge of, or concern of, the rules of the road and consideration to other drivers. I’ve driven in the US, Europe and Japan, and can honestly say that the vast majority of drivers here in the US are selfish brain dead morons. What do you think would happen if you gave FLYING CARS to the idiots that I see EVERY day trying to text message their friends, eat brakfast/lunch/dinner, put on makeup, read paperback novels or newspapers, while slouching WAY down in the seat in the passing lane and ignoring (or flipping off) the people who come up behind them, refusing to yield to faster traffic, or thinking that I “have to” give them a break because they don’t know how to merge onto an interstate highway… I love cars, and I love driving on a nice isolated road in the country, but would shrink back in horror when I think of the current interstate highway system (and the knuckleheads that use it now) in the air over my house!!!

  210. Uncle B says: May 2, 20097:14 pm

    Global intelligentsia interbreeding, their offspring mostly Asian, postgraduates, from postgraduates, will genetically select and feed needed classes, starve out and sterilize genetic defectives, empty prisons as appetites without purpose, and classify all other humanity with reflection on their own attributes. A new super-human will be borne of them, screened and perfected in less than five generations, the process is now under wraps and underway – in China. Bush rejected Science, the Chinese world did not wait. Desired traits-unknown to rest of world. Bush years so traumatized the new super-beings, as well as American beast-like random breeding practices, all from Americas considered tainted. Balance of world subjected to severe birth control measures, disposable babies, genetic engineering, and are farmed for their usefulnesses. Americans die in drug-infested, drunken stupors and fission-pollution from their own, “Fool-proof” reactors, and lies about same – few escape. Fusion discovered, controlled, and perfected by new Chinese-base science knowledge, incomprehensible by narrow minded primitive arrogant head-strong remnants of the U.S.A. and their hedgemonious notions of Physics, science, Chemistry. All is recycled, bodies are protein , so treated by irradiation, and fed, down the chain to lesser levels of humans, as is humanure, even shed skin has uses, nothing is lost. there are no resource flows to waste-heaps – all is assayed, measured, directed recycled for maximum benefit. No work is lost! All things are chipped for I.D., recorded into data banks. Nothing escapes evaluation, assessment. Length of life itself, breeding requirements, feeding schedules, everything, part of a master computer program, subject to super-human controllers. Even reasons for existence are metered out to each strata of the system and maximized for its benefit. Oceans are farmed, mined and conserved, The Environment takes on extreme importance, as does sustainability. The Moon, now occupied by specific controlled beings is exploited for the common good, and as in the primitive communistic society that gave this system its great power, the individual is totally suppressed, and all become part of the one. Interstellar travel is accomplished, similar societies, no longer afraid of the wild uncontrolled beast like nature they found on earth from previous visits, make themselves known to the new intelligentsia, and progress throughout the Universe, as we today are incapable of imagining begins! It is now only 2119, the force of human intelligence combined with primitive computing power has accelerated conventional measure of time, and we have arrived, Gods, in our own Universe.

  211. Ramon says: May 3, 20098:20 pm

    Wow. You guys are dreary!

    I see a future of perfected human kind of all types, not merely racist Chinese wanna bees. A future in which Yerushalayim the city is there in perfection, where all people have faith and the word on their hearts. No prejudice, no disease, no death, only life and joyful life at that.

  212. Uncle B says: May 4, 20092:22 pm

    Dear 211. Uncle B is Caucasian, not Chinese, but sees the truth in the degradation of America by the force of slothful vulture capitalism as clearly as others see it! Democracy is good, but currently, and especially since G.Bushes attempts at it, by slacking controls on capitalism, this cancer turned on him and destroyed him, his government , his good? name, and America! Obama, an enlightened soul, still in the clutches of the Jews, which may be a good thing (I used the “J” word, will I get published or punished for this?) and a social democrat, the antitheses of the Capitalist Mob ( and many doctors who now rape American pocket books at will, with license!) How long will he last? This short interlude in “American capitalist’s Progress, possibly the only one, is yet to bear more than promise for us, but the commies (my dreaded, but never under estimated enemies) forge on, no time lost for sentimentalities, to a better end? You’re on the net, make a file of the facts and see for yourself – a short intellectual exercise, for personal enlightenment – i promise I will read it in a sincerity, with an truly open mind, and we will both grow! – Love, Uncle B.

  213. Steven C. Barr says: May 12, 20091:49 am

    ALL these future predictions…just like all the others I have seen/read…totally ignore the one “fatal flaw” built into Homo Sapiens!!

    Just like virtually EVERY primate (in fact…ANIMAL!!) species, we posess a strong “Dominance Hierarchy” which in turn instinctively drives most of our actions/decisions! These are NOT based on conscious considered thought, but rather whatever seems to us to raise our “rank” among what/whoever we perceive to be our hierarchic group. Thus we ALWAYS want “more money” (numbers make it simple to evaluate?!), a larger home and grounds, a faster automobile (we watch a LOT of racing on TV!!)…and whatever else we perceive as defining our position among whomever we see as our “US!”

    Worse yet, we also perceive a similar “rank” among our “packs!” Our “us” has to outrank all the other similar groups(“packs”)!

    Note that our “wants” are NOT based on reality…even though they are VERY real! However, think about how much stupid-human behaviour this idea explains neatly…?!

    Steven C. Barr, Oshawa, Ont’o., Canada — [email protected]

  214. LiteralDan says: June 16, 200910:54 am

    It’s frightening how accurate he is when describing technological developments in detail, almost like he had a vision or a time-traveling experience. I wonder if he just threw in the flying rocket car stuff to put us off the scent?

    Pretty much everything he described in detail was remarkably accurate, then he added vague Future things for color. And even some of those are kinda true (e.g. robot maids=Roombas).

  215. Max Planck says: June 21, 20091:17 pm

    “Everyone is able to use his full mental potential.”

    Not true. Since poor people are no longer needed for people with capital’s wealth creation, they’re simply pushed out of the system (i.e. left jobless and pennyless) and left to die, having long since been robbed of their land. They don’t get to “use their full mental potential,” or even … Read Morecontinue to live. This has happened throughout history and continues to happen today. With technology sufficient to reduce the work week to 4 hours, it would happen on a scale which would dwarf today’s injustices. A point conveniently avoided in this peabrained article.

    And in such a society, I don’t think that many are using their full mental potential.

  216. David Lamothe says: June 21, 200911:25 pm

    1) France, woman suffering from cancer had her esaphogus replaced by one grown from her own steam cells on an armature. No tissue rejection!

    2) California, engineer has developed a new way to drill deep wells. Which will allow geothermal wells to be drilled nearly anywhere. Currently Iceland in the fore front of Geothermal technology, heat there homes, sidewalks and greenhouses with it, as well as produce a significant portion of there electiricity from it.

    3) Driling technology has developed to the point that oil reserves previously unaccesible do to geological issues, can now be tapped economically.

    4) Ultracapacitor technology has progressed to the point where an electric vehilce is to be produced in 2011-2012 that will perform at the same level as an IC engine car. The company currently produce an electric car. (NO not the Volt)

    5) An America company has developed a way to take waste organic matter and produce an oil from it simialr to Saudi Sweet crude.

    6) Photonic processors currently under development will make electronic processors obsolete.

    7) Despite intensive efforts by the Iranian goverment to censor news of the mass protests currently occuring. It is still flowing out of the country through the internet. In order to stop it would require them to shut down the whole telecommunication network in Iran. Essentially leaving the Goverment/police/military, deaf blind and mute.

    The major issues facing people in 2048 will not be technological, but rather social; poverty, ignorance, hate, fear and apathy.

    The human species is highly adaptable, it has survived ice ages, fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanos, plauges, famines and wars.

    The future will not be what we hope it will be, but it wo’t be what we fear it will be.

  217. Firebrand38 says: June 22, 200912:39 am

    Actually could you supply some links to those stories?

  218. Firebrand38 says: June 22, 200911:46 am

    David, I’ve got a problem with your post. I tried going to Google News with “esophagus replaced stem cells” and got no results. If this was true you’d think it would have made the news somewhere.

    There’s no specifics beyond an “engineer” “The company” “an America[n] company”

    Just say IBM is developing photonic processors http://domino.research…. (see how easy that was?)

  219. David Lamothe says: June 22, 20096:52 pm


    1) France, woman suffering from cancer had her esaphogus replaced by one grown from her own steam cells on an armature. No tissue rejection!

    Apologies it was not the Esophagus that was transplanted, rather the trachea

    A related item to the above:

    Triumph for ‘spare-part’ surgery as scientists grow new bladders
    New organs made from patients’ own tissues went on to be transplanted successfully

    2) California, engineer has developed a new way to drill deep wells. Which will allow geothermal wells to be drilled nearly anywhere. Currently Iceland in the fore front of Geothermal technology, heat there homes, sidewalks and greenhouses with it, as well as produce a significant portion of there electiricity from it.

    National Geographic Special on Geothermal Energy, saw it a few months ago.

    3) Driling technology has developed to the point that oil reserves previously unaccesible do to geological issues, can now be tapped economically.

    Read it in a magazine while waiting at my doctors, Business and Technology Magazine? If I knew I was going to use it in a post and needed to quote sources I’d have written down the magazine’s name and issue date.

    4) Ultracapacitor technology has progressed to the point where an electric vehilce is to be produced in 2011-2012 that will perform at the same level as an IC engine car. The company currently produce an electric car. (NO not the Volt)

    See the website of the manufacturer of the Zen Electric Car.

    5) An America company has developed a way to take waste organic matter and produce an oil from it similar to Saudi Sweet crude.

    Turning Garbage Into Oil.

    6) Photonic processors currently under development will make electronic processors obsolete.

    Thank you to Firebrand38 for the reference, 11:25pm after a long busy day is not the time to write a post that will be seen be numerous people.

    Just say IBM is developing photonic processors http://domino.research…. (see how easy that was?)

    7) Despite intensive efforts by the Iranian goverment to censor news of the mass protests currently occuring. It is still flowing out of the country through the internet.

    In order to stop it would require them to shut down the whole telecommunication network in Iran. Essentially leaving the Goverment/police/military, deaf blind and mute.

    Bypassing Iranian Goverment Censorship

    The major issues facing people in 2048 will not be technological, but rather social; poverty, ignorance, hate, fear and apathy.

    The human species is highly adaptable, it has survived ice ages, fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanos, plauges, famines and wars.

    The future will not be what we hope, but it will not be what we fear either! (Think this is a better phrasing)

    Comment by David Lamothe — June 21, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  220. Firebrand38 says: June 22, 20096:57 pm

    See how easy that was? And I’m sure that you feel better now.

  221. David Lamothe says: June 22, 20098:05 pm

    1) France, woman suffering from cancer had her esaphogus replaced by one grown from her own steam cells on an armature. No tissue rejection!

    Apologies it was not the Esophagus that was transplanted, rather the trachea

    Related article
    Triumph for ‘spare-part’ surgery as scientists grow new bladders
    New organs made from patients’ own tissues went on to be transplanted successfully

    2) California, engineer has developed a new way to drill deep wells. Which will allow geothermal wells to be drilled nearly anywhere. Currently Iceland in the fore front of Geothermal technology, heat there homes, sidewalks and greenhouses with it, as well as produce a significant portion of there electiricity from it.

    National Geographic Special

    3) Driling technology has developed to the point that oil reserves previously unaccesible do to geological issues, can now be tapped economically.

    Magazine article at doctor’s office.

    4) Ultracapacitor technology has progressed to the point where an electric vehilce is to be produced in 2011-2012 that will perform at the same level as an IC engine car. The company currently produce an electric car. (NO not the Volt)

    See website for the maker of the ZEN electric car.

    5) An America company has developed a way to take waste organic matter and produce an oil from it similar to Saudi Sweet crude.

    Turning Garbage Into Oil

    6) Photonic processors currently under development will make electronic processors obsolete.

    Thank you to Firebrand38 for a reference.

    7) Despite intensive efforts by the Iranian goverment to censor news of the mass protests currently occuring. It is still flowing out of the country through the internet. In order to stop it would require them to shut down the whole telecommunication network in Iran. Essentially leaving the Goverment/police/military, deaf blind and mute.

    Bypassing Iranian Goverment Censorship

    The major issues facing people in 2048 will not be technological, but rather social; poverty, ignorance, hate, fear and apathy.

    The human species is highly adaptable, it has survived ice ages, fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanos, plauges, famines and wars.

    The future will not be what we hope it will be, but it won’t be what we fear it will be.

    Comment by David Lamothe — June 21, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  222. Firebrand38 says: June 22, 20098:46 pm

    You just said that! Sorry you don’t get extra credit for repeating yourself!

  223. John Savard says: July 7, 20096:55 am

    Aside from the obviously wrong predictions of domed cities and roads on which cars travel at immense speeds, it’s amusing that they predicted that people would have computers in their homes to keep track of recipes and menu plans, and balance their bank accounts. Back when microcomputers based on 8-bit microprocessors started to become available, this was still what they predicted people would use them for!

  224. Jim Demers says: August 26, 20095:02 pm

    My prediction for 2048: We will still be seeing ads telling us we can make big money by stuffing envelopes at home.

  225. AJB says: September 11, 20092:16 pm

    It’s a bit strange he didn’t predict that the people of 2008 would be able to read his original article on computer.

  226. Firebrand38 says: September 11, 20092:21 pm

    AJB: It would be stranger if he had!

  227. jayessell says: September 11, 20096:51 pm

    One SciFi author DID!.

    According to Wiki…

    “A Logic Named Joe” is a science fiction short story by Murray Leinster that
    was first published in the March 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.
    The story is particularly noteworthy as a prediction of massively networked
    personal computers and their drawbacks, written at a time when computing
    was in its infancy.

  228. Randy says: September 11, 20098:05 pm

    jayesell, thank you for that reference! Murray Leinster is a wonderful “golden age” SF author–“First Contact” is in my top five favorite SF short stories–but I did not know that one.

    The pre-Internet references that stick in my mind are the minisec and comsole from Arthur Clarke’s “Imperial Earth”–the “open mike” on Titan’s surface that young Duncan discovers is to me a presaging of streaming audio…

  229. Randy says: September 11, 20098:06 pm

    jayessell, sorry, that will teach me to cut-n-paste instead of typing by hand…

  230. C says: October 4, 20094:27 am

    “2048? In the USA social security and medicare long ago went bankrupt, not long after the universal healthcare system instituted in 2011 went belly-up”

    Look at this fucking moron! I guess he got his walmart machine

  231. Firebrand_38 says: October 4, 200911:05 am

    Calm down, C… I mean, gee whiz Chris what did Walmart ever do to you? Especially in Minnesota?

    By the way, your usual hateful, hysterical troll B.S. won’t fly here.

  232. Jim says: October 24, 200910:48 pm

    Comment #50–

    You’re right about the fifty-, seventy-five- (and even hundred-) year-old buildings still being around–as they are today. OTOH in the preceding forty years we sure did tear out a lot of electrified transit systems in most of our cities, as well as a significant amount of heavy rail, especially the freight spurs that used to deliver from central freight depots to businesses all along their routes. All that’s gone, replaced by local delivery trucks and paved over and built on in many cases.

  233. jayessell says: October 25, 200912:19 pm

    Comment #232-
    Here’s 1953 compared to 1983.


    I hope to see the 2013 version.

  234. Gabriel says: November 19, 200911:52 am

    “The average work day is about four hours.”

  235. Firebrand38 says: November 19, 200912:28 pm

    Gabriel: It’s a forty year old prediction, Man. Get over it!

  236. Donizelli says: November 28, 20091:14 am

    Amazing foresight to foretell the Intenet Age!

    Re. the Moller SkyCar brouhaha, Mister Moller had been predicting delivery of his wunder-whatever for decades now. Funny thing is, the Moller SkyCar production model is always said to be 2-3 years into the future. Always. And probably forever.

  237. jayessell says: November 28, 20098:51 am

    Did Moller recently declare Chapter 11?

  238. Firebrand38 says: November 28, 20091:44 pm

    jayessell: You are correct sir: http://sacramento.bizjo…

    Seems he’s not friends with the SEC either http://www.sec.gov/liti… I particularly love the statement:
    “13. As of late 2002, MI’s [Moller International] approximately 40 years’ of development has resulted in a prototype Skycar capable of hovering about fifteen feet above the ground.”

  239. Hip2b2 says: March 15, 20103:47 pm

    “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
    — Niels Bohr

  240. Firebrand38 says: March 15, 20107:43 pm

    Hip2b2: Even more difficult to properly attribute that quote http://en.wikiquote.org… & http://www.larry.denenb…

  241. Hip2b2 says: March 16, 20103:54 am


    Not to be pedantic, but the wiki notes the quote as “disputed” NOT resolved.


  242. Firebrand38 says: March 16, 20104:07 am

    Hip2b2: I know, but until someone can cite a reference positively attributing it to someone then my original assertion stands.

  243. Abe Simpson says: March 16, 20104:09 am

    Who but Yogi Berra could have said “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

  244. Steven C. Barr says: March 16, 20108:11 pm

    Note that I am currently living in a wooden house built in 1869! The main changes over the ensuing years were the installation of city water (and indoor plumbing)…and the replacement of wood stoves by forced-air gas heating. Other than that, the old house still serves its purpose quite well! There are even-older homes still in use as well. After all, the purpose of a house is to keep its occupants warm and out of the weather (especially up here in Canada?!). Modern “suburbia” seems to serve the same purpose…albeit more ugly (to me!)…?!

    Modern wooden (and/or brick, rarely) still use the same structure; the “balloon frame” was invented in the mid-19th century! Having seen a number of new houses built, I have very serious doubts as to whether they will still be standing…let alone in use…141 years from now?!

    Steven C. Barr
    [email protected]

  245. jayessell says: April 14, 20108:27 am

    There’s this:


    See? We ARE living in the future!

  246. jayessell says: May 14, 20107:27 am

    How is it there are 34 views and 245….. 246 comments?

    Oh. RECENT views.

    589,507 during the last year.

    Why is ‘Build a Hunter’s Crossbow’ so popular?
    (Don’t say ‘zombies’!)

  247. Charlie says: May 16, 201010:31 pm

    jayessel: I’m not really sure. It gets a huge number of people referred from google searches. This article got most of it’s traffic from links on other sites.

  248. HONOR says: July 6, 201011:09 pm


  249. Firebrand38 says: July 7, 20105:57 am

    HONOR: Don’t use all caps it’s considered shouting online and is quite rude.

    I also see that you didn’t wait for 2012 to go back minimum 50 years intellectually. Catastrophe in 2012? Humbug!

  250. 1 says: September 6, 20109:29 pm

    “James R. Berry is still alive”
    probably, switched career track to writing infomercial scripts in 1983

  251. 1 says: September 6, 20109:44 pm

    “Having seen a number of new houses built, I have very serious doubts as to whether they will still be standing…let alone in use…141 years from now?!”
    garage doors, insulation, hurricane/quake straps, lead, asbestos, shearwalls, ..
    sadly, too often builders build moronically cantankerous shortlived glitz, cus sizzle (as it were) sells.

    you can see some of this from 400ft away… but sensible people are usually unemployable, due to mob rule of supply&demand.

    btw, the surviving structures are the survivors. significant percentage are gone (sometimes due to politics/commerce, infrastructure neglect, and other social external reasons. years ago, new condos were torn out for freeway mods. i suspected some kind of bad politics, since the freeway mod had been planned long before and had been delayed for funding.)

  252. Firebrand38 says: September 6, 20109:52 pm

    1: No he continued writing science fiction because he wrote this one in 1988

  253. 1 says: September 6, 20109:56 pm

    correction: sometimes can spot designedin/builtin obsolescence more like 1000ft away (6 houses).
    improvements since the 1970’s:
    pad grading, foundations. site, in that lots are usually kept further from creeks.

    infill projects can be more ‘challenging’

  254. 1 says: September 6, 201010:02 pm

    “My prediction for 2048: We will still be seeing ads telling us we can make big money by stuffing envelopes at home.”

    they won’t be envelopes, they’ll be capcha-protected [ha!] EIMs (ebrain imeme modules), aka ‘spam’

  255. Firebrand38 says: September 7, 201010:20 am

    1: Hyperbole is seldom useful. Built in obsolescence for houses? Just because architects and the housing industry make improvements in construction doesn’t mean that houses were built to fall apart at a given date.

    At first you can see it in a house from 400 ft away and then 6 houses from 1000 feet? Is that your medication wearing off or taking effect? Or maybe with or without the tinfoil hat?

  256. Toronto says: September 7, 201012:07 pm

    There is *some* truth to that. My 1930s-vintage garage doors – hinged on the sides – still work, while my neighbor’s all-metal rollup doors didn’t last 15 years.

    But other than that, older houses that still stand were probably massively overbuilt – the cheap ones have already departed.

  257. Firebrand38 says: September 7, 20101:16 pm

    Toronto: Well I have no doubt that you could fill and light an oil lamp from 100 years ago and an incandescent bulb wouldn’t last for a fraction of that. It still doesn’t support his rant about planned obsolescence in building houses. The roll up doors offer more convenience with more parts. More parts means more things to go wrong.

    Looking at characteristics of house statistics from the Census Bureau http://www.census.gov/h… we find the percent of houses built in a particular period

    ..4/1/2000 or later…………………………………………. 12.8
    ..1995 to 3/31/2000………………………………………….6.4
    ..1990 to 1994………………………………………………. 5.3
    ..1980 to 1989……………………………………………….. 14.4
    ..1970 to 1979……………………………………………….. 18.4
    ..1960 to 1969………………………………………………. 12.9
    ..1950 to 1959…………………………………………………9.0
    ..1940 to 1949……………………………………………………..5.6
    ..1939 or earlier…………………………..……………………….15.2

    So yeah, there are quite a few houses defying their so called “planned obsolescence”.

    And I sincerely doubt that contractors way back when said “Let’s use asbestos! It’ll screw people up and become obsolete as an insulation!”

  258. Hip2b2 says: September 7, 20101:27 pm

    While parts of the future are not nearly as cool as we had been led to believe it might be, other parts are way cooler.

    The theme that everything around us is going to hell in a rocket sled runs too deeply though our society. In general we would not not want to drive a “70” Ford, have a doctor perform surgery using techniques from the 40’s, or eat food pre FDA.

    The final metric; if things are getting so bad why is life expectancy continuing to rise?


  259. Dave Kees says: September 23, 20106:03 am

    Wow! Very interesting! Although some things really missed the mark it is amazing how much other things were right on target. Thanks for that!

  260. john doe says: October 18, 20107:37 am

    its really funny about how he got everything right, (exept for the 300mph cars and a giant computer that controls the traffic.) the population was partly accurate, there is shopping at home, (nothing about Obama screwing America into oblivion, though.)

  261. Toronto says: October 18, 20108:03 am

    That is strange, now that you mention it. Especially since George W Bush was mentioned in “A Sound of Thunder.”

  262. AbeSimpson says: October 18, 20108:17 am

    John Doe,

    Not everything is reduced to Barack Obama (reducto ad Obama) or George Bush for that matter. It is sad to see that as the prevailing strategy on both sides of the political divide these past few years and makes me more than a little glad I am now living elsewhere than the US.

    I would suggest you all smarten up, else to quote that greatest of living American philosophers Mr T; “I pity the fool”.


  263. Toronto says: February 2, 20118:05 pm

    @? – Dude! I love your “96 Tears”!

  264. Video Funny says: March 13, 20119:26 pm

    See? We ARE living in the future!

  265. John says: March 14, 20116:30 am

    Video Funny: No you came in too late. Now you’re living in the past.

  266. Love psychic readings says: May 11, 20117:15 pm

    The future has more in stored for us all! 😉

  267. John says: May 12, 20118:49 am

    Love psychic readings: Wow! Did your Spirit Guide tell you that? If that’s “clairvoyance” I think I’ve figured out how you do it.
    Reader’s Digest version of my response: Well, Duh!!!!!

  268. Joe G says: May 26, 201110:21 pm

    The 350 million population figure may be a little high, but with illegal immigration, it’s probably close. I think the main reason we’re closer to a 3rd world nation than the predicted utopia is demographics.
    US Population 1968: 200 million, with 90% of European descent
    US Population 2008: 320 million, with 55% of European descent
    Most of the other 45% are blacks and Mestizo Hispanics. So basically we decided instead to support 100 million non-contributing 3rd word peoples. While making most of our cities too dangerous for white families to live in.
    I’d rather have the cool cities.

  269. US Emigrant says: May 27, 20113:49 am

    The problem IMHO is not the change in US demographics but attitude. These same charges of criminality have been leveled against various waves of immigrants, Irish, Italian, Jewish, etc. All to some degree true as I believe that crime is often the path to wealth and ultimate social integration.

    Yes I suppose that you are not a racist, some of your best friends probably are…, but you sure do write like one.

  270. Carbon says: September 8, 20113:50 am

    The Collins English Dictionary defines a carbon credit as “a certificate showing that a government or company has paid to have a certain amount of carbon dioxide removed from the environment”.[1]
    The Environment Protection Authority of Victoria defines a carbon credit as a “generic term to assign a value to a reduction or offset of greenhouse gas emissions.. usually equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e).”[2]
    The Investopedia Inc investment dictionary defines a carbon credit as a “permit that allows the holder to emit one ton of carbon dioxide”..which “can be traded in the international market at their current market price”.[

  271. JMyint says: September 8, 20119:23 am

    Hmm, Joe G. 90 % European Descent in 1968 you say. Seems a little odd. The highest percentage in the 20th century was 1940 at 89.8%. Personally I’m of mixed race, my father came to the US in 1947 was deported in 1953, allowed back given a new visa in 1954, and became a citizen in 1960. He had three college degrees in engineering, education, and earth sciences. He worked as a steam engineer for 23 years until his death. So I guess he was what you would call one of those non contributing 3rd world peoples.

    And me, I’m a network engineer at a major corporation, so I guess I’m another of those non-contributing 3rd world peoples.

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