Ok, so this isn’t exactly what you’d call news, but I just had to share this amusing article written in 1961.
Some things slightly ring true, the bit where kids learn from TV (not entirely, but which parent hasn’t bought and educational DVD, CD rom or system like Leapfrog?), indoor swimming pools and tv telephones, juice powders (Tang), tablets for energy and overall healthier people (the eco-friendly organic craze worldwide).
But largely, the article proves to me that scientists really can’t predict the future after all, or we would have floating roofs on our houses by now!
Will Life Be Worth Living in 2000 AD?
What sort of life will you be living 39 years from now? Scientists have looked into the future and they can tell you.
It looks as if everything will be so easy that people will probably die from sheer boredom.
You will be whisked around in monorail vehicles at 200 miles an hour and you will think nothing of taking a fortnight’s holiday in outer space.
Your house will probably have air walls, and a floating roof, adjustable to the angle of the sun.
Doors will open automatically, and clothing will be put away by remote control. The heating and cooling systems will be built into the furniture and rugs.
You’ll have a home control room – an electronics centre, where messages will be recorded when you’re away from home. This will play back when you return, and also give you up-to-the minute world news, and transcribe your latest mail.
You’ll have wall-to-wall global TV, an indoor swimming pool, TV-telephones and room-to-room TV. Press a button and you can change the décor of a room.
The status symbol of the year 2000 will be the home computer help, which will help mother tend the children, cook the meals and issue reminders of appointments.
Cooking will be in solar ovens with microwave controls. Garbage will be refrigerated, and pressed into fertiliser pellets.
Food won’t be very different from 1961, but there will be a few new dishes – instant bread, sugar made from sawdust, foodless foods (minus nutritional properties), juice powders and synthetic tea and cocoa. Energy will come in tablet form.
At work, Dad will operate on a 24 hour week. The office will be air-conditioned with stimulating scents and extra oxygen – to give a physical and psychological lift.
Mail and newspapers will be reproduced instantly anywhere in the world by facsimile.
There will be machines doing the work of clerks, shorthand writers and translators. Machines will “talk” to each other.
It will be the age of press-button transportation. Rocket belts will increase a man’s stride to 30 feet, and bus-type helicopters will travel along crowded air skyways. There will be moving plastic-covered pavements, individual hoppicopters, and 200 m.p.h. monorail trains operating in all large cities.
The family car will be soundless, vibrationless and self-propelled thermostatically. The engine will be smaller than a typewriter. Cars will travel overland on an 18 inch air cushion.
Railways will have one central dispatcher, who will control a whole nation’s traffic. Jet trains will be guided by electronic brains.
In commercial transportation, there will be travel at 1000 m.p.h. at a penny a mile. Hypersonic passenger planes, using solid fuels, will reach any part of the world in an hour.
By the year 2020, five per cent of the world’s population will have emigrated into space. Many will have visited the moon and beyond.
Our children will learn from TV, recorders and teaching machines. They will get pills to make them learn faster. We shall be healthier, too. There will be no common colds, cancer, tooth decay or mental illness.
Medically induced growth of amputated limbs will be possible. Rejuvenation will be in the middle stages of research, and people will live, healthily, to 85 or 100.
There’s a lot more besides to make H.G. Wells and George Orwell sound like they’re getting left behind.
And this isn’t science fiction. It’s science fact – futuristic ideas, conceived by imaginative young men, whose crazy-sounding schemes have got the nod from the scientists.
It’s the way they think the world will live in the next century – if there’s any world left!