predictions

1970s Researchers Predicted Debit Cards Would Be Great For Surveillance

In late October of 1971 a group of academics and technologists gathered at a conference at Georgetown. They were given the task of devising the most comprehensive (yet invisible) surveillance program imaginable. What they came up with sounds an awful lot like our current debit card system.


'Optimistic' Predictions From 1950 That Warned Of The Coming Dystopia

It’s so easy for us to look back at old predictions for the future and see them as quaint or overly optimistic. But when we take a closer look — when we stop to really process what’s going on in these predictions — we often find that they weren’t merely silly or naive. They were warning of the horrific, dystopian future to come.


The Medical Miracle Headlines Of The Future (From 1951)

On January 2, 1951, the Rex Morgan, M.D. comic strip featured a New Year’s greeting insisting to readers that time is measured by progress instead of simply by years. And it’s not a bad thought! But looking at the “headlines of the future” from 1951, one can’t help but be a little bummed out.


It's Flying Car Season Again

Every six months, websites proclaim that the flying car is just over the horizon! And as if on schedule, the Daily Mail has a new article about how Terrafugia’s Transition is coming soon! The only problem? We’ve been hearing that since 2008.


In 1976, Arthur C. Clarke Predicted The Dark Side Of Smartphones

Arthur C. Clarke made it his business to look into the future. And just like the dozens of prognosticators who would come before and after him, he got a few things right and a few things wrong.


Nikola Tesla's Incredible Predictions For Our Connected World

We might complain that it’s 2015, and we’re still waiting on our hoverboards. But if Nikola Tesla were alive today, he’d probably wonder where the hell our fuel-free, super fast aeroplanes were. And who could blame him? Fuel-free planes aside, he actually predicted a lot of 21st century technologies quite accurately.


Driverless Cars And Eating Dogs: Predictions For Year 2000 From 1980

What do you imagine will be the biggest challenges that the world will face in 20 years? Energy or food scarcity? Overpopulation? What about our biggest triumphs? Cures for cancer and extended lifespans? Smarter humans? Well, these would all sound similar to the people of 1980 when they looked 20 years into the future to the year 2000.


We've Been Incorrectly Predicting Peak Oil For Over A Century

When the residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma buried a car in 1957 as part of an enormous time capsule, they included containers of gasoline. The good people of Tusla reasoned that the folks of 2007 might not have any gas left to fill up the Plymouth Belvedere that they were interring for a fifty year journey into the future. Boy were they ever wrong.


Letters, Ranked (By Futurists Of 1900)

Do you like the letter C? Have any particular attachment to the letter X? How about the letter Q? Well, back in the year 1900, some people thought we’d be rid of them by now. And while they haven’t actually disappeared, the futurists of 1900 were certainly right about that whole condensing of language thing. I mean, LOL WTF BBQ, amirite?


1970s Kids Dressed Up For The Year 2000

What will people dress like in the year 2000? That was the question in 1978 when kids at Lincoln Middle School in Indiana were encouraged to participate in a dress-up contest for “Year 2000 Day.” Their answer? Apparently a little bit Judy Jetson, a heavy helping of astronaut, and maybe a dash of… Darth Maul?