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Life in 2008

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by clontaago, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

    +170 /1
    CASHLESS transactions, artificial organ transplants, space tourism and newspapers you can read on a screen may sound like common fare today, but 40 years ago they were the stuff of science fiction fantasies.

    A magazine article printed four decades ago containing predictions of what life would be like in 2008 has been republished online, and it holds some surprisingly accurate details.

    In-car computers that can monitor traffic and navigate between destinations – similar to current-day GPS units – phones with TV screens and computer screens that can record a drawing sketched onto them and relay it across the world were some of the predictions given by James R Berry in his article "40 Years In The Future".

    "Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees' accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills," he wrote in Mechanix Illustrated in 1968.

    "Each time you buy something, the card's number is fed into the store's computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance."

    Berry's prediction that the population of the US would grow to 350 million by the year 2008 wasn't far off either. The US Census Bureau currently estimates there are 303 million people in the country.

    However some of Berry's predictions remain fantastical even by today's standards, including science fiction staples such as cities contained in enormous see-through domes, underwater hotels built among ancient ruins and plastic highways.

    "Dwellings for the most part are assembled from prefabricated modules which can be attached speedily in the configuration that best suits the homeowner," he wrote.

    "A typical wedding present for the 21st century newlyweds is a fully equipped bedroom, kitchen or living room module."

    Other wrong guesses are more poignant than amusing.

    "Medical research has guaranteed that most babies born in the 21st century will live long and healthy lives. Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet," Berry wrote of the one of the biggest killers in contemporary Western society.

    "No need to worry about failing memory or intelligence either," he wrote.

    "Slow learners or people struck with forgetfulness are given pills which increase the production of enzymes controlling production of the chemicals known to control learning and memory. Everyone is able to use his full mental potential."

    Berry's article was republished online on the Modern Mechanix blog, which posts scans of pages from 20th century technology and engineering magazines including Mechanix Illustrated, Popular Mechanics and Popular Science.
  2. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    What is the source for that article Clon? I could use it at school.
  3. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

    +170 /1
    Came off the News.com.au website yesterday CW

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