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Culture Forum

Culture Forum

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    03 Jul '12 02:33
    Does it trip you out that you lived through these years which were made into science fiction books?

    Someday people will be asking if it was really like that in those years.
  2. 03 Jul '12 16:03
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Does it trip you out that you lived through these years which were made into science fiction books?

    Someday people will be asking if it was really like that in those years.
    The most amazing thing IMO, was entering a new millennium.

    Predictions from 1952:


    http://io9.com/5871053/robert-heinleins-predictions-for-the-year-2000-from-1952


    E.g.: "11. Your personal telephone will be small enough to carry in your handbag. Your house telephone will record messages, answer simple inquiries, and transmit vision."
  3. 03 Jul '12 16:28
    Originally posted by JS357
    Predictions from 1952:

    http://io9.com/5871053/robert-heinleins-predictions-for-the-year-2000-from-1952

    E.g.: "11. Your personal telephone will be small enough to carry in your handbag. Your house telephone will record messages, answer simple inquiries, and transmit vision."
    Well, he was half right! For such predictions, that's good going.

    Me, I'm not so impressed by these dates - they're generally plucked out of thin air, and what's more, repeating. In the 1500s, people made dire predictions about 1666, and none of them came to pass. After all, our calendar year is more or less random - it's based on a miscalculation!

    What gives me more food for thought is the knowledge that I lived through certain events which were predicted, and happened, and are now considered common-knowledge history. The fall of the Berlin Wall, for example.

    Richard
  4. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    04 Jul '12 04:28
    I took Heinlein's 1952 predictions and sorted them into what I consider to be the correct groupings, although you may disagree:

    HAPPENED
    2. Contraception and control of disease is revising relations between the sexes to an extent that will change our entire social and economic structure.
    4. It is utterly impossible that the United States will start a "preventive war." We will fight when attacked, either directly or in a territory we have guaranteed to defend.
    11. Your personal telephone will be small enough to carry in your handbag. Your house telephone will record messages, answer simple inquiries, and transmit vision.
    15. We will not achieve a "World State" in the predictable future. Nevertheless, Communism will vanish from this planet.
    MOSTLY HAPPENED
    9. Cancer, the common cold, and tooth decay will all be conquered; the revolutionary new problem in medical research will be to accomplish "regeneration," i.e., to enable a man to grow a new leg, rather than fit him with an artificial limb.
    DIDN’T HAPPEN YET
    1. Interplanetary travel is waiting at your front door — C.O.D. It's yours when you pay for it.
    5. In fifteen years the housing shortage will be solved by a "breakthrough" into new technologies which will make every house now standing as obsolete as privies.
    6. We'll all be getting a little hungry by and by.
    7. The cult of the phony in art will disappear. So-called "modern art" will be discussed only by psychiatrists.
    10. By the end of this century mankind will have explored this solar system, and the first ship intended to reach the nearest star will be a-building.
    12. Intelligent life will be found on Mars.
    13. A thousand miles an hour at a cent a mile will be commonplace; short hauls will be made in evacuated subways at extreme speed.
    14. A major objective of applied physics will be to control gravity.
    16. Increasing mobility will disenfranchise a majority of the population. About 1990 a constitutional amendment will do away with state lines while retaining the semblance.
    17. All aircraft will be controlled by a giant radar net run on a continent-wide basis by a multiple electronic "brain."
    18. Fish and yeast will become our principal sources of proteins. Beef will be a luxury; lamb and mutton will disappear.
    WHO KNOWS?
    3. The most important military fact of this century is that there is no way to repel an attack from outer space.
    8. Freud will be classed as a pre-scientific, intuitive pioneer and psychoanalysis will be replaced by a growing, changing "operational psychology" based on measurement and prediction.
    19. Mankind will not destroy itself, nor will "Civilization" be destroyed.
    Here are things we won't get soon, if ever:
    — Travel through time
    — Travel faster than the speed of light
    — "Radio" transmission of matter.
    — Manlike robots with manlike reactions
    — Laboratory creation of life
    — Real understanding of what "thought" is and how it is related to matter.
    — Scientific proof of personal survival after death.
    — Nor a permanent end to war.
  5. 04 Jul '12 11:40
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    I took Heinlein's 1952 predictions and sorted them into what I consider to be the correct groupings, although you may disagree:

    [b]HAPPENED

    2. Contraception and control of disease is revising relations between the sexes to an extent that will change our entire social and economic structure.
    4. It is utterly impossible that the United States will sta ...[text shortened]... c proof of personal survival after death.
    — Nor a permanent end to war.[/b]
    "3. The most important military fact of this century is that there is no way to repel an attack from outer space. "

    Based on Wikipedia information and definitions, ICBMs reach outer space during flight (1200 km achieved, vs 100 km by int'l treaty). If you grant the numbers, I suspect that in the time frame Heinlein covered, a full scale ICBM attack -- the only kind that would have purposely occurred -- during the cold war would have been unstoppable, even if the SDI had been implemented. "In 1987, the American Physical Society concluded that a global shield such as "Star Wars" was not only impossible with existing technology, but that ten more years of research was needed to learn whether it might ever be feasible."
  6. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    10 Jul '12 22:29
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    I took Heinlein's 1952 predictions and sorted them into what I consider to be the correct groupings, although you may disagree:

    [b]HAPPENED

    4. It is utterly impossible that the United States will start a "preventive war." We will fight when attacked, either directly or in a territory we have guaranteed to defend.
    [/b]
    Surely the Iraq War was a "preventative war" based as it was upon WMD.
    Therefore prediction 4 did not happen.
    ?
  7. 11 Jul '12 20:41
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    MOSTLY HAPPENED
    9. Cancer, the common cold, and tooth decay will all be conquered; the revolutionary new problem in medical research will be to accomplish "regeneration," i.e., to enable a man to grow a new leg, rather than fit him with an artificial limb.
    I'm not sure how that has mostly happened. I would say that we've made some good progress, but we're not close to most of that.

    We haven't cured cancer or the common cold and tooth decay can be prevented, but I'm not sure it can be completely prevented.

    There has been some kind of progress with regeneration, but nowhere close to the ability to regrow a new leg.
  8. 13 Jul '12 13:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Surely the Iraq War was a "preventative war" based as it was upon WMD.
    Therefore prediction 4 did not happen.
    ?
    Well... that's how it was billed. Outside the USA and its Airstrip One, I don't think many people were fooled.
    It still breaks prediction 4, of course, and rather more starkly: there was no defense about it, either "preventative" or direct.

    Richard