This Kid Predicted What 2016 Would Be Like In 1996, And He Was Adorably Wrong

This Kid Predicted What the Year 2016 Would Be Like In 1996, and He Was Adorably Wrong

Back in 1996 a young boy wrote a letter for school with predictions about the year 2016. Christopher Janitz was just nine years old and little did he know his mother would save that letter and present it to him on his 29th birthday.

Kids tend to make the most optimistic predictions regardless of the era, (unless they're from the 1970s, in which case they realised everything was going to be shit. And young Christopher's predictions were really no different than that of other millennials.

The nine-year-old child of 1990s New Jersey predicted techno-utopian wonders like robot cops, hovercars, robo-cashiers and computer-desks.

Twenty years from today it will be 2016 and there will not be cars that ride on the ground. The cars will float in the air. The schools won't be made from blocks of stone. They will be made from metal and they will be in funny looking shapes. There will be robot policemen and cashiers and other kinds of people. There won't be normal desk. The desks will be like a computer with weird kinds of pencils. In the 2016 I'll be 29-years-old and my sister will be 32-years-old and my mum will be 63-years-old. Twenty years from today the New York Giants will win the Super Bowl and the Dallas Cowboys will never win the Super Bowl again in NFL history.

We can't fault little Christopher for being so wrong about hovercars and funny looking schools. He was just a kid. But the most interesting thing about the predictions is how modern day 29-year-old Christopher thinks he did.

"I'm most surprised at how some of the ideas I had as a kid ended up coming true," he told ABC News. "We have automated or 'robot' cashiers when you head to the [supermarket] and do self-checkout. I'm a designer who works on a computer all day and owns an iPad with a stylus, so that little bit came true, too!"

Every prediction from the past is a bit of a Rorschach test. Whenever we publish visions of tomorrow from decades ago, people easily see what they want to see. We can stretch definitions to make predictions conform to what we'd like them to say. But nobody can predict the future with certainty. Least of all a nine-year-old kid.

While it's fun to look back at predictions like this, let us never forget: Kids are dumb. Sometimes adorably so. But they're still dumb. And we won't hold that against them.

[ABC News]


Comments

    Sorry to tell you Matt but he's kinda right on nearly all counts except the Superbowl...

    We've got Hover-cars in concept phases and testing phases. Granted they're not exactly like he's put there, infact they're more like tiny planes, and they're never actually likely going to be available mass market, but he's *technically* not wrong?

    Then there's the robot police issue (these have already been trialed in other places):
    http://metro.co.uk/2015/04/28/fully-intelligent-robot-police-will-be-on-the-streets-by-2017-5171347/

    We've also seen police using drones in America to monitor crowds etc. They've talked about using drones to disperse tear gas and other crowd control devices. So technically not wrong there...

    As far as schools being made from metal and looking like funny shapes... I've worked in a few with demountables, tin boxes that kids sit in and sweat their asses off. I've seen, as a parent and as a teacher, schools where up to 50% of the schools made of these due to cost savings and it's disgusting. They do look pretty bizarre... again *technically* correct...

    As far as desks go, I've already seen some desks which will become more common that have inbuilt ICT such as touchscreens that students will be able to use in the coming years. Really sweet stuff. He's definitely *not* wrong there. It's available now and I've seen one in action myself.

    Here's an article how they were testing these back in 2013:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/08/tech/testing-touchscreen-tables-in-classrooms/index.html

    As for cashiers, well, Coles and Woolies have self service checkout so... you know. :)

    That last line about kids being dumb? No not at all, kids are smart, intelligent great people unsullied by the bullshit negativity life throws upon them, bridled with imagination and joy. Then they hit adulthood and become well, adults... and they lose part of themselves unless they're very, very lucky.

    Last edited 14/02/16 2:04 pm

      Had no idea you were a teacher. Shows how much I pay attention... :-P

    We also have other kinds of people now. Black white brown yellow. Make female transgender. And somedone with two heads.

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