Tag Archives: futurism

Top 87 Bad Predictions About the Future

Two_women_operating_ENIAC Just what it says: here are 87 predictions about the future (and the original list at Wikipedia this list appears to be based on) that turned out, as the future became the present (and then, inexorably, the past) to be Just Plain Wrong. (Via John C. Wright.)


The section on computers gives you a taste:

  • «Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons.» – Popular Mechanics, March 1949.
  • «There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.» – Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.
  • «I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.» – The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.
  • «But what… is it good for?» – IBM executive Robert Lloyd, speaking in 1968 microprocessor, the heart of today’s computers.

UPDATE: Added link to Wikipedia list of failed predictions, which the 2spare.com list appears to be based on.

(U.S. Army Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

[tags]predictions, futurism, computers[/tags]

Moore’s Law to end in fifteen years?

microchip Gordon Moore has predicted the expiry of the "Law" that bears his name to occur within the next ten to fifteen years. Moore’s Law is a rule of thumb that states that the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years (or thereabouts), and it has held up remarkably well since Moore coined it in the mid-sixties.

Indeed, this isn’t the first time Moore has sounded a death-knell for the Law, but as conventional electronics is inherently limited by the laws of physics, it’s plausible that it has to stop at some point. So what does this mean for the exponential theories of Singularitarians like Ray Kurzweil? Or will technologies like quantum computing pick up the ball before semiconductors drop it? [Via SlashDot][Image by oskay]

[tags]Moore’s Law, computing, electronics, futurism[/tags]

The Disunited States – the American economic model has five decades to live

Paul Saffo, notable futurist and advisor to the World Economic Forum, believes there’s a fifty percent chance that the United States will have ceased to be a single nation within the next half a century – and that this would be a desirable outcome. I’m not an economist (nor do I play one on television), but I think I can see the points he’s making here. The question is – would the end result be something like the ancient Greek city-states, or some bizarre balkanized smorgasbord of corporations and micro-nations, as in Stephenson’s Snow Crash? [BeyondTheBeyond]

Fixing the future – Karl Schroeder on technological solutions for climate change

Design concept for a 'vertical farm'Many of the commonly tabled options for dealing with the incipient ecological crisis our planet is facing involve turning our backs on technology. One of the people taking the opposite position – namely that sustainability isn’t a zero-sum game – is Canadian science fiction author and foresight consultant Karl Schroeder, who talks about the potential of technologies like fusion power and vertical farming to avert catastrophe without destroying the potential of the human species in an interview at EcoGeek. [Vertical farm image borrowed from VerticalFarm.com]

And sometimes you just need to look at the bright side of things – for example, the rising cost of gasoline might reduce the incidence of obesity. It all ultimately boils down to personal lifestyle choices, though, at least as much as technology – so maybe we should think seriously about having less children.

CHANGING THE TUNE by Jason Stoddard

Jason Stoddard’s “Changing The Tune” is a wistful story about youth and regrets, and how techno-utopia fails to live up to its hype.

[ IMPORTANT NOTICE: This story is NOT covered by the Creative Commons License that covers the majority of content on Futurismic; copyright remains with the author, and any redistribution is a breach thereof. Thanks. ]

Changing The Tune

by Jason Stoddard

“Dan, no!” Carolin said.

“You aren’t!” Keith said.

I waved them silent and looked down into the Northridge mall bandchise pit. Several hundred almighties had packed themselves in to see the premiere of Anna Baby No. 137. She was grinding through her rendition of “Always Pure.” Grey heads, bald heads, and newly brown and blonde and black heads were bobbing in time to the simple rhythm.

My handscreen showed all green. No sprites latched to my stream. No visigods watching. No Eyes or Ears tuned to our location.

I thumbed the icon and the music changed. Continue reading CHANGING THE TUNE by Jason Stoddard