predictions

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?


7 Famous Quotes About The Future That Are Actually Fake

We love failed predictions. It’s kind of our bread and butter. But shockingly, some of the failed predictions being passed around on the internet are often misleading, frequently taken out of context, or sometimes completely fabricated.


How One 1920s Feminist Imagined Our Futuristic High-Tech World

Josephine Daskam Bacon was an author known for her adventure serials that featured female protagonists. But in 1929, she took a break from her regular fiction writing and slipped on her futurist goggles for an article in Century magazine titled “In Nineteen Seventy-Nine”.20 Bacon imagined just how much progress women will have made fifty years hence — and whether her granddaughter would be able to “have it all” as some people here in the future might say.


The Uncanny Valley Of Old Futurism

In 1995 Eugene Volokh wrote the most paleofuturish article ever written. By that I mean it’s an incredibly prescient meditation on the future of media and technology. But it has just enough weird anachronisms to remind us that nobody can predict the future with absolute certainty.


Here's How One Parent From 1989 Imagined 2014

Is it cruel to have children when the world is so terrible? That’s not a new question. And when a newspaper columnist asked it in 1989, he came down on the side of no. The world of the future — the world of 2014, to be exact — was going to be just wonderful enough that having kids was a great idea. Was he right?


How People From The Mad Men Era Imagined The World Would Look In 1970

The AMC show Mad Men is in its final season, with its mid-season finale (yeah, I don’t know what that means exactly either) airing this past Sunday. The show started with 1960 as its backdrop, and we now see characters in the world of 1969. A lot changed in that decade and, of course, it’s a fictional representation of history. But in the real world of 1960, people were making their own predictions for what was to come one decade hence.


5 Predictions For The Future That Aren't So New After All

Today, the New York Times asked seven entrepreneurs and tech executives about what’s in store for the future. It’s a fascinating snapshot of futurist thinking in 2014. But these aren’t just the dreams of tomorrow — most of them are the dreams of yesterday’s tomorrows as well.


Flash Boys Author Michael Lewis's Old Predictions For The Future

Author Michael Lewis is best known for uncovering hidden corners of our present, whether in baseball (Moneyball), the financial collapse (The Big Short) or high frequency trading (this month’s Flash Boys). But in the 26 September 1996 issue of the New York Times Magazine, Lewis took a swing at predicting the future.