Monday, June 03, 2019

Carpe Diem (in case the future sucks!)

Trying to predict the future, by whatever method, often turns out to be what's commonly known as "a mug's game".

I have a very old copy of Pathfinder Town Journal, dated December 1953 - picked it up in an antique store on our travels many years ago. When the magazine was published, topics were much the same as we find in magazines and on the internet today, but many steps back: the atom bomb, elections, new car models, black and white TVs, cookie recipes, weather and more. No astrology column. There's a paragraph in a piece titled Looking Ahead asking : "What will the US be like in 1963?" John E. Haines, VP of Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. predicted that in 10 years from 1953:

Planes will fly round the world non-stop in less than 18 hours.
Rockets will reach the moon.
Residential air conditioning will be as commonplace as automatic heating is today.
Houses will be built of plastics.

Not bad! He did rather well, I thought. I wonder, though, did anyone see the hippie culture coming? It took over more or less where the "Beat Generation" left off, a year or so later than 1963 though. Did anyone predict it? I suspect not.

For a smile or two in much the same vein, pay a visit to the illustrations at
A 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000.

Now.... I asked in a blog post here, in late 2012, what might the USA be like 10 years from then? That'd be 2022/3. Ten year spans don't always see major differences occur on a national level - on a personal level, yes, certainly! Just for fun, I said in 2012, let's haul out the ol' crystal ball. As there was more than enough doomladen commentary and fiction around, I decided to aim for a somewhat brighter version of 2022/3. However, due to my rose coloured glasses approach, I have become the personification of that "mug in the game". It's almost seven years on now - do any of my intentionally starry eyed predictions look any nearer to coming true? Not a chance! Here they are, or were.

The USA has, for 5 years, had benefit of a very efficiently run national system of health care, with state of the art hospitals and clinics available to all, financed by a reasonable level of contribution by all citizens and residents, at a rate according to their earnings level.

A simply administered cure for some types of cancer has been discovered.

A completely biodegradable material invented to take the place of plastics in most applications.

The US Constitution, after years of struggle, updated and amended in two areas: corporate personhood rescinded, and the Second Amendment re-written and clarified.

All US military occupation abroad terminated in 2021, surplus weaponry still being destroyed and materials re-cycled. Currently in process of finalising nuclear arms agreements worldwide. A small but efficient military force remains in place in the US. The majority of military personnel are employed in a range of capacities updating, re-building and extending a variety of public transit networks, nation-wide, and running them efficiently on behalf of the government.


Wisewebwoman said...

I find it so sad reading your hopeful predictions, T. None of which came to pass or will come to pass it looks like as I am predicting more of the same in 2020.

We are become quite alarmed at the rise of populism here too and are throwing our weight into returning the liberals in the upcoming federal elections. Andrew Scheer, the leader of the Tories is a clone of Trump as are the premiers of Ontario and Alberta.

I can't see it changing and I am seriously unhappy about that.


R J Adams said...

Your rose-coloured specs just balance out my black-painted ones, Twilight, but I think this time mine are likely to prove a little more accurate:

Even though I've seen it coming for a decade or more, I'm having trouble believing the cat is finally out the bag!

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ There seems, currently, to be a kind of pandemic of wrong stuff (from the point of view of "we the people") going on, pretty much worldwide. It'll have to come to a crisis point - the "fever" will have to break at some point.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Yours is a good but depressing piece, RJ. If that now bagless cat doesn't get the masses demanding to Remain in the EU, then I shall despair!