Everyone seems to love predicting the future. Back in 1967, the end seemed bright and hopeful. So, where do we stand now?
Back in 1967, the world’s future seemed bright. No wonder–the technical progress was truly fantastic: nuclear energy, semiconductors, computers, and many other inventions flooded the world. As a species, we were looking with hope into the future, eager to see the next breakthrough.
In 1967, the world was an optimistic place. The rapid technological advancements were truly remarkable: the rise of nuclear energy, the invention and quick improvement of semiconductors, the ever more powerful computers, and many other innovations were made. We looked forward and couldn’t wait to see the next “big thing.”And it always seemed to be just around the corner.
We also know now what a “futurist” is. However, back in 1967, futurism was a new discipline. In a televised discussion in 1967 (see link), Isaac Asimov and other futurists discussed how life would be in 2000.
Now that we’re well past the year 2000, how accurate were those predictions? Let’s take a look at it:
My assessments are on the right-hand side, ranging from “empty” (not realized) to “full” (realized now).”
Only a handful of those predictions have materialized. Some were very ambitious, like the “transmission of human presence.” Fans of Star Trek love the “beaming” idea, but it remained a pipe dream – at least for now. Perhaps the “Metaverse” concept might bring this idea closer to reality, though it wouldn’t be the same thing.
It is remarkable to realize how bad we are at extrapolating the future. That should be a cautionary tale: just because someone with scientific or social authority predicts something about the future, the result often has little to do with reality.
Then again, having a dream is a beautiful human trait. It makes life better, and whether a prediction comes true or not doesn’t matter much. Dreaming is fun.
I am a project manager (Project Manager Professional, PMP), a Project Coach, a management consultant, and a book author. I have worked in the software industry since 1992 and as a manager consultant since 1998. Please visit my United Mentors home page for more details. Contact me on LinkedIn for direct feedback on my articles.