Monday, March 24, 2008


Mayor Dan -- superb politician, even better friend -- tipped us to this one.

Modern Mechanix has a copy of a November 1968 story about life in 2008. A bit of the lede:
The car accelerates to 150 mph in the city’s suburbs, then hits 250 mph in less built-up areas, gliding over the smooth plastic road. You whizz past a string of cities, many of them covered by the new domes that keep them evenly climatized year round. Traffic is heavy, typically, but there’s no need to worry. The traffic computer, which feeds and receives signals to and from all cars in transit between cities, keeps vehicles at least 50 yds. apart. There hasn’t been an accident since the system was inaugurated.
They got this part right:
Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.
But this prediction is woefully wrong:
People have more time for leisure activities in the year 2008. The average work day is about four hours. But the extra time isn’t totally free. The pace of technological advance is such that a certain amount of a jobholder’s spare time is used in keeping up with the new developments —- on the average, about two hours of home study a day.
Perhaps by 2048, if the balloon hasn't gone up by then.


Anonymous said...

"Woefully wrong"? I'd say it's pretty accurate.

The average workday IS about 4 hours - of actual work. And the rest IS spent on technological advances and new developments, you know, like blogging and social networking.


thinkingthings said...

Wow, I'd like to know where anon 7:40 works. Sign me up, man. And definitely put me down for the cars going 150 mph (just remind me to steer clear of Republic).