Tagged With utopias

The self-proclaimed "space kingdom" of Asgardia is currently limited to a glitchy website and a satellite orbiting the Earth about the size of a loaf of bread. But Asgardia wants to be much more than just another micronation: It aims to join the United Nations and eventually send its citizens to lower Earth orbit where they will live on habitable platforms and defend the planet from "space threats" such as asteroids and solar flares. All of this is supposed to happen after Asgardia establishes a parliament from the more than 180,000 people who have registered online as Asgardian citizens, a lax process that in practice requires little more than filling out basic personal details and accepting Asgardia's constitution.

In September of 1984, at least 751 people got violently sick in Dalles, Oregon. At first, no one in the town could figure out why. Those sickened had all eaten at ten different restaurants in the area, but local health officials couldn't find a common food that may have caused their illness. A year later, they finally figured it out: A local cult was trying to swing an election in its favour. The event remains the single largest bioterrorism attack on US soil.

Many of us, owing to an intuitive sense of where technological and social progress are taking us, have a preconceived notion of what the future will look like. But as history has continually shown, the future doesn't always go according to plan. Here are 11 ways the world of tomorrow may not unfold the way we expect.

When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon's founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the American west.

In 1880 industrialist George Pullman set out to build a capitalist utopia. The town of Pullman was established just outside of Chicago as a model community -- a place that was supposed to produce both happy workers and a nice return for Pullman's investors. It turned out to be a miserable failure. And conditions in the town were so terrible that it was the catalyst for one of America's most famous strikes: the Pullman Strike of 1894.

Eleri Harris has a new comic on Medium about the utopian plan for Australia's capital city of Canberra. Two idealistic American architects, Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahoney Griffin, won a competition to design what they believed could be the greatest planned city in the history of the world.