"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
The Timeline of the Far Future is a Wikipedia article which serves as a gateway to a ton of fascinating scientific topics on the far edge of human understanding: ~50,000 years from now the Earth will enter a new Glacial period; ~100,000 years from now the Earth will likely have experienced a supervolcanic eruption; ~10,000,000 years from now the East African Rift divides the continent of Africa in to two land masses; ~20,000,000,000 years from now the Universe effectively dies due to The Big Rip.
The Futurist Magazine along with The World Future Society predicts the future with a list of the top trends and forecasts for 2013 and beyond.
On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years. Overview. [more inside]
“We try and illustrate a “universe-next-door” where the new product is the only novelty. Where there is still tea, and the traffic is still miserable.”
Future Drama is a tumblr devoted to that particular kind of futurism - corporate prediction demos of how their products will change the world - See The Mother Of All Demos from 1968 introducing the mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing - Apple in 1987 - Philco-Ford The Future Now!
In 20 Years ... Upload a photo of yourself and the site produces a predictive illustration of what you'll look like in 20 or 30 years. And as an added bonus, you can toggle whether you're a drug addict or not. [more inside]
Peak Oil, 1925. In 2000, 20% of new buildings will be solar equipped. By the late 1990s, 90% of the world's energy will be nuclear-generated. These and other erroneous projections are being collected as part of the Forecast Project on the website Inventing Green: The Lost History of Alternative Energy in America.
On Dec 14, the often-linked Clay Shirky (most recently) ended his guestblogging stint at boingboing with a question for the commenters: What's going to happen in the next five years or so that will catch most of the rest of us by surprise, but not you? [more inside]
40 Years in the Future - Another "what will life look like in the future" article. This one from Mechanix Illustrated, 1968. (via Boing Boing)
The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair (1939). The Original Futurama. Featuring Elektro, the Smoking Robot.
Paleo-Future: A look into the future that never was. More recent predictions include the future according to AT&T, Apple's Knowledge Navigator and Bill Gates on the Future of Police Work.
Much of the “jobs of the future” rhetoric surrounding the eagerness to end shop class and get every warm body into college, thence into a cubicle, implicitly assumes that we are heading to a “post-industrial” economy in which everyone will deal only in abstractions. Yet trafficking in abstractions is not the same as thinking...
Mapping the Global Future: Report of the National Intelligence Council's 2020 Project. Explore alternative futures, by creating own scenarios for global changes within the next 15 years.
Gates talks about our future. Bill gates shows a side that is rarely seen by computer users. Love him or hate him, I just want to know why he doesn't want me to have one of these some time in the next 15 years too.
Humans Doomed Without Space Colonies. The human race is likely to be wiped out by a doomsday virus before this millennium is out unless it starts to colonize space, top British scientist Stephen Hawking warned on Tuesday.
Anyone else remember Wired's theory of The Long Boom from 1997? I guess they were wrong.
Have we entered a Neil Howe and William Strauss have written a series of books (really, the same book rehashed three times, but who's counting?) on generational cycles. Their theory is that we are due for a "fourth turning" in the first part of the 21st century: a catalyst event that causes an extreme change in public mood, causing us to go through a decade or two of crisis. For example, the 1929 stock market crash was a catalyst, and the Depression and WWII were the time of crisis. Was 9/11 such a catalyst?
Miracles of the Next Fifty Years -- a reprint of an article from the February 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics. At times laughably naive, other times pretty accurate (the author predicts that cancer won't be cured by 2000, but it won't be far off), it's a fun piece of George-Jetson-meets-Ozzie-and-Harriet gee-whizness.
One of the holy grails of the infosaturated overworking computer professionals like myself is a single food capable of giving all the nutrients you'd need for a meal, and be as easy as possible to prepare and eat. Some friends used to call this dream creation "food paste" or "foodstuff capsules" or most simply "fuel." I never thought my Jetsonian dream would ever come true, but now there's the Dilberito, with 100% of 23 vitamins and Jamba Juice's Smoothies. Why do I mention Jamba? Because I saw this poster in the SFO airport last night, and they even go so far as to answer the question "can I get too much Jamba?"