Archive for the ‘erroneous’ Tag

01/02/2022 Future Predictions   Leave a comment

It would be a wonderful thing to have the ability to predict the future. I’m not one to predict anything because my range of knowledge on many things is severely lacking. In the past I’ve taken the lead from science fiction writers whose ability to predict many future things is scary and all too accurate. These following seven items from Time magazine are a little bizarre and show that any of us can make ridiculous predictions and be as wrong as everyone else has been.

In 1992, TIME magazine offered up an article predicting what to expect in the new millennium. Lance Morrow, a writer, quoting political scientist Michael Barkun, wrote, “The human mind abhors a vacuum … Where certainties are absent, we make do with probabilities, and where probabilities are beyond our power to calculate, we seek refuge from insupportable ignorance in a future of our own imagining.” Here is a roundup of some of the looniest predictions since the advent of TIME — the magazine, not the concept — in 1923:

  • The future human will be a Cyclops. “In distant centuries or millenaries man will be a Cyclops, a Polyphemus, a being with one eye only.” So said Dr. Thomas Hall Shastid in a 1933 article.” This future eye, explained Shastid, would be in the center of the face, below a high forehead, where the bridge of the nose once rested.
  • Grandchildren of the television age won’t be able to read.  TIME addressed the potential downsides of a newly television-obsessed culture. “By the 21st Century our people doubtless will be squint-eyed, hunchbacked and fond of the dark,” the writer predicted. “But why am I carrying on like this? Chances are that the grandchild of the Television Age won’t know how to read this.”
  • Every medical malady will be treatable with a miracle pill. 
  • “Frogmen” will live in underseas bunkers and tend to kelp farms. One way to address food shortages of the future, according to the RAND Corp. in 1966: imagined that “Huge fields of kelp and other kinds of seaweed will be tended by undersea ‘farmers’ — frogmen who will live for months at a time in submerged bunkhouses.”
  • Spouses will be able to secretly control one another’s moods with “grouch pills”. RAND predicted that if one spouse is in a particularly cantankerous mood, his or her partner, “will be able to pop down to the corner drugstore, buy some anti-grouch pills, and slip them into the coffee.”
  • Tomatoes will be square. The mechanization of agriculture during the middle decades of the 20th century will drastically change the face of farming. “Another phenomenon in the not-too-distant future,” envisioned the Research and Development Chief at Deere & Co., “is square tomatoes, which, after all, could be more easily packaged by machine — and fit better in sandwiches.”
  • We will be able to feel and smell whatever’s on our television sets. According to Nicholas Negroponte, then director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab, the 21st century will bring “full-color, large-scale, holographic TV with force feedback and olfactory output.” The images on your TV, in other words, will be feelable and smellable.

It boggles the mind that trustworthy publications and think-tanks would dare to put these crazy ideas into print. I suppose some people insist on getting their names and ideas out there for the public to ponder over. Any publicity is good publicity and helps them to attain their 15 minutes of fame.


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