Proof That We Can’t Predict: “How our predictions for the Year 2000 changed throughout the 20th Century”

May 13th, 2012

Cool piece from io9:

Our vision of the future is always changing. In the year 1910, we imagined that the year 2000 would be filled with airships and multi-armed robotic helpers. In the 1960s, manned trips to Mars seemed in our grasp. Early ideas about the Internet were sharpened and refined, and we saw nuclear technology and plastics change our lives, but in different ways than we predicted.

Throughout the 20th century, the year 2000 served as a goalpost, a time on which we could project our dreams for changing fashions and technologies. Even as we got closer to that year, we continued to imagine what it might be like and what wonderful surprises it might hold. Here is a timeline of just some of those predictions for the last year of the millennium.

Thank god Harry Truman was wrong:

In international affairs, there will be world peace. The atom will be under international control. The United Nations will be a going concern and will have forces to preserve international law and order. World commerce will be regullated under the new International Trade Organization. Other nations will share America’s prosperity through an expanded Point Four Program of technical assistance to under-developed countries. Communism will be suppressed, not by force of arms, but by an appeal to the minds and hearts of men.