Friday, February 6, 2009

Family Life to be Altered Greatly by 21st Century (1968)


The January 2, 1968 Lima News (Lima, OH) ran the third in a series of articles based on research by the Commission on the Year 2000 of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The third in the series dealt with life, work and family issues humanity would face in the year 2000. As I've discussed before, major social issues are largely ignored in 20th century American futurism, so it's interesting when we stumble upon serious predictions about major social change by the year 2000.

A short excerpt appears below, but you can read the entire first page of the article here.
By the year 2000 Americans may travel by ballistic missile, swallow a pill for a meal and wear tights and helmets like people in science fiction comic strips. Or they may not. There's no way of telling, and perhaps it doesn't make much difference.

What matters is the quality of life: What will it be like to live in the year 2000? No one can draw the complete picture, but members of the Commission on the Year 2000 took glimpses from special points of view.

Will people be able to learn and remember what they need to know in the complex world of 2000? Not without help, predicts psychologist George A. Miller of Harvard University.

How will new biological techniques affect relations between the sexes? Perhaps by eliminating marriage and the family, suggested anthropologist Margaret Mead of New York's Museum of Natural History.

What will earning a living be like for Americans? Easier, Herman Kahn and Anthony J. Wiener of the Hudson Institute calculate. Maybe too easy.

Will there be any privacy left? Only if society takes steps to preserve it, warned law professor Harry Kalven Jr. of the University of Chicago.

Previously on Paleo-Future:
21st Century Eugenics (1967)
Future Shock - Babytorium (1972)
Instant Baby Machine (1930)
Civilized Adultery (1970)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing Blog! :>) 10/10
-It's very interesting seeing what past generations thought the future would look like.

I've pasted a link below to a Blog Header that I've designed for this site...

http://i41.tinypic.com/2akbac8.png

Janet said...

Well, they got the privacy part right.

Ken said...

Another scary part is the government already controls the number of children you can have in places like China.

Lucario said...

Well, this article seems to be pretty accurate. We may not be cruising in rockets or wearing tights to work, but our information society is indeed complex and marriage and the family aren't as important as they were in the 50's.

Judging by some of the things I've seen in the news recently, a "child-rearing permit" does sounds like a very good idea nowadays.

Anonymous said...

This prediction was a bit more sober than most from that era and before.

Note how they even gently mocked the idea of people in the Year 2000 flying in rockets and such.

The age of innocence and believing in progress through science and technology was beginning to fade away.

Kind of shame really. I know I am not too happy with this so-called future.

Marrock said...

The Jetsons lied to us all!

Anonymous said...

No - the liberal hippies of the Sixties derailed our future.

Anonymous said...

Are you actually saying we'd be flying around with jetpacks and destroying the atmosphere, and it'd be a good thing, if the Beatles hadn't existed, or something?

Anonymous said...

I am saying that the future so many seem to pine for here as depicted up through the early 1960s (before the hippie movement with its anti-authority and anti-science rant, please note) might have happened for real if our society's support of progress had not been derailed by liberals religiously focused on the environment.

Even your comment about "destroying the atmosphere" (by jetpacks?) shows how their propoganda against science, technology, and progress continues to this day.

Don't blame the Jetsons, blame the hippy teenagers who thought they meant well but really just wanted to get high and laid.

Anonymous said...

I am saying that the future so many seem to pine for here as depicted up through the early 1960s (before the hippie movement with its anti-authority and anti-science rant, please note) might have happened for real if our society's support of progress had not been derailed by liberals religiously focused on the environment.

Even your comment about "destroying the atmosphere" (by jetpacks?) shows how their propoganda against science, technology, and progress continues to this day.

Don't blame the Jetsons, blame the hippy teenagers who thought they meant well but really just wanted to get high and laid.

Anonymous said...

I'm completely puzzled by the idea that the 1960s slowed down technological progress. What do you think we're communicating on, a teletype?

But if you still believe the assumption up to ~1970 that the planet is infinite, I despair of helping you.

Anonymous said...

This blog rocks!

If only I could get my Child Bearing Parent Permit - I would lay this blog down and tenderly make love to it......with the end goal of making good on my permit.

Anonymous said...

Space IS infinite - but you liberals killed that adventure, too.