(ORDO NEWS) — The main feature of predicting the future is that at some point this future comes, and then we look back, and then we turn our mocking or disappointed views to those “prophets” who were hopelessly mistaken. If you dig deep into the past, you can see many examples when the greatest minds of the past turned out to be worthless predictors.
Household appliances, 1955
“Vacuum cleaners powered by nuclear power are likely to hit the market in the next ten years,” said Alex Levit, president of the vacuum cleaner manufacturer. Today we have nuclear power, but it turned out to be much more expedient to generate it in large power plants, and not to install reactors on each device.
Animal world, 1926
Many people were convinced that in the future we would teach animals various useful skills and they would take over our responsibilities. For example, they talked quite seriously about a kangaroo as a footman or a chimpanzee as a chauffeur. It didn’t even occur to them then that we would prefer not to exploit animal labor at all, and that “campaigns to protect wildlife” would be aimed at saving animals from people.
“The movement of trains at high speed is impossible, because passengers will not be able to breathe because of the smoke and will die from asphyxiation,” – the Irish professor Dionysius Lardner “prophesied”. Today we have bullet trains, as well as other forms of transport that are even faster.
During the 1900 World’s Fair, French artists made predictions for the year 2000 in interviews with popular publications. They foresaw the appearance of machines that would wash people and even put on makeup. However, despite the fact that today we have robotics, people still prefer to perform these intimate procedures on their own.
“In the future, people will dispense with letters like C, X and Q. They will be eliminated out of necessity,” wrote John Watkins, a correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post. Our everyday language really changed a lot, and there was an informal pronunciation, but still people did not abandon any letters completely.
Cyborgs, November 1963
Popular Science magazine published a prediction of further human evolution, according to which we were soon to become much more like cyborgs. At the same time, the authors believed that America needs to hurry, because otherwise Russia will do it first. Absurd, of course. We are not going to make our cyborgs green.
Evolution of Women, December 1950
“A woman in the year 2000 will be over 183 centimeters tall. She will wear size 42 shoes, have wrestler-like shoulders and trucker-like musculature, ”the Associated Press predicted. Well, for some women, this prediction was confirmed. However, the publication went much further, writing: “She may even become president.”
Moving houses, July 1971
“The house of the future will not be tied to the ground … Water pipes, sewerage systems, electrical wiring will disappear. As a result, autonomous houses will be able to move, they can be moved anywhere in the world, “said Sir Arthur Clarke, English futurologist, inventor and writer. However, he did not mean the mobile homes that already existed in his time.
The Beatles, February 1962
One of the most important record producers in the United Kingdom, A&R group leader Dick Rowe said of The Beatles: “We don’t like the sound. Guitar bands will soon go out of style and disappear. ” To say that his professional instinct let him down is to say nothing. The whole world knows that the band has achieved unprecedented success in its history, as well as rock music in general.
The value of gold, 1911
The great American inventor Thomas Edison, who in the depths of his soul continued to believe in the great dream of alchemists, wrote: “Gold as a precious metal has only a few years to live. The day is near when ingots of this yellow metal will be as cheap as ingots of iron or steel. ”
Remote diagnostics, 1905
The popular science magazine Popular Mechanics published a prediction that in the future there will be a way to “visit a doctor from a distance”, which the authors called “electric handshake.” With the help of such a handshake, the doctor will be able to find out everything he needs about the patient while in another city. This prediction was not destined to come true, and if it did, most likely, the invention would be used for any purpose other than medical.
Fashion, February 1929
“The man of the next century will rebel against shaving … His headdress will be a radio antenna … People will wear disposable socks, and their pockets will be kept on a waist belt,” wrote Vogue magazine. In fairness, I must say that they were close to the truth about beards.
Meat Availability, September 1913
Gustav Bishoff of the Meat Suppliers Association said that “if current trends continue, Americans in the 21st century will live“ as the poorest people in China now live, ”eating rice and vegetables. And they will be just as lethargic, lazy, anemic and lack of initiative. ”
“By 1950, democracy will be dead,” wrote the famous British journalist John Langdon-Davis. Many are ready to agree with him today, but oddly enough, so far we have not managed to get rid of democracy.
Internet, December 1995
“I predict that the Internet will explode and collapse in 1996,” said Internet inventor Robert Metcalfe. He was so confident in his prediction that he promised to eat his own words if he was wrong. The audience could not deny themselves the pleasure and began to demand a spectacle. Bob Metcalfe was a man of principle and kept his word. In 1997 at the 6th International Internet Conference, he took a strip of his article cut from a newspaper, put it in a blender with water and mixed it and drank it.
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