Predictions of 2008 from 1968

This is a great article from Mechanix Illustrated magazine, written in November 1968, speculating what life in 2008 would be. I thought this was especially interesting since I was born in 1968.

They were close in a few places:

  • TV phone in your car: well, cellphones with video are close
  • US population at 350mm: Currently, it's approximately 304mm
  • "The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer.": Got that right (well it's at least one of the most important items in 2008 households.)
  • "Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills.": Yup.
  • "You simply press a combination of buttons and the pages flash on your home screen. The world’s information is available to you almost instantaneously.": Almost. They thought this information would come through the TV, not the computer.

Of course, there are a few doozies:

  • No 250mph air cushioned, self-driving cars gliding over smooth plastic roads.
  • No domed cities with moving sidewalks.
  • No passenger rockets or hypersonic planes.
  • No undersea resorts.
  • No protein-rich algae processed into steak-tasting "meat".
  • Heart disease not eliminated by drugs and diet.

And I really wish I had that 21st century commodity -- the intelligence pill.

I think our world is cooler in some ways (PCs, the Internet, and cellphones to name a few), but in many ways, I think we haven't delivered on the hopes of forty years ago. I want my rocket ship!

(Thanks to EricLaw for the pointer.)

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