Monday, April 30, 2007

1980-1990 Developments (1979)

The last two pages of the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century describes what will happen over the course of "the next 120 years." Naturally, we'll begin with the 1980s.


-Satellites in Earth orbit beam educational programmes to many countries in the underdeveloped Third World.
-Wind turbines - modern windmill designs - are developed which can supply electricity economically.
-Domestic computers run household equipment. Electronic chores include keeping accounts, ordering supplies, suggesting menus, cooking meals and keeping a diary for the people living in the house.
-Newspapers supplied to homes either via a computer print-out or in electronic form over the TV screen.
-First domestic robots used as household 'slaves' to do simple tasks.
-Terrorists steal nuclear warhead from military base. Threaten to blow up a city unless their demands are met. General realization of the appalling risks of poor security promote measures to keep atomic weapons under proper 'lock and key.'
-Nuclear fuel detector-satellite placed in orbit to maintain a watchful electronic eye on the world's supplies of atomic material.
-Good insulation and other energy-saving features built into all new houses.
-Solar panels in general use to heat water in homes. Solar-electric cells used to generate electricity for some uses, such as recharging batteries.
- World tree planting programme begun. Aim is to restore the oxygen-producing capacity of the world's plant life. Centuries of being chopped down have reduced the world's forest areas to a fraction of their former size. Other benefits include the production of wood-alcohol to use as a substitute for petrol in cars.


Diego said...

As a matter of fact, I do own a few of these books, though in their SPANISH edition. Used to read them and even BELIEVE in them in the early '80s ;)

Love your blog, fun to see how much we've accomplished... and how farfetched our dreams can be, sometimes.

Best regards from Buenos Aires (the city to be destroyed when the insects finally invade us)

Anonymous said...

You know, he might have been 20 years out, but most of this stuff actually is in place, and now.

Unknown said...

I like that there's a semaphore guy in the garage, guiding the car in...

Kevin said...

Wow, TV wrist watches in the future will still be limited to just 3 channels!

Jacob said...

I swear I had that book when I was a kid...

(Or, at least the school library had it.)

Unknown said...

ha ha oh wow, i have a copy of this book, i paid 20p for it, very very worth it.

Ryan said...

I remember this book! I borrowed it, and various others published by the same company! I loved the sketched futuristic drawings! So cool! Many exclamation points!

Anodien said...

some of this prediction are real or in some part real by now, that's awesome xD

interesting blog ;)

Scott said...

Yeah, the guy that wrote this list was pretty spot-on. One of the most accurate list of science future predictions I've seen, though he was about 20 years early.