Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thinking Men and Women Predict Problems of World Century Hence (1923)

The February 12, 1923 Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut) ran an interesting piece looking at the world of 2022.

The article contains contributions from movie producers, architects, teachers, engineers, Margaret Sanger and the head of the NAACP. The introduction is below. Stay tuned as we explore each piece of the article in the coming weeks.

In these piping days of peace, when the face of the world changes as unceasingly as the view from a fast train, to avoid dizziness the eyes must occasionally be directed to that far horizon which moves only slightly - the future. And speculation, now and then, as to what lies beyond that horizon is also helpful in warding off a feeling of bewilderment. Hence this symposium.

"A Hundred Years From Now - What?" was the main question asked by the New York World of the men and women whose contributions appear below: then there were questions dealing with their special work and interests. The result, as these responses show, is a pretty consistently optimistic appraisal of the year 2022 by people who have a wide experience and many points of contact with 1922. There's a good time coming they agree, most of them. The problems that beset us, the strife and jar of normalcy, will all be banished and forgotten, and the world will be a much better place - for our great-great-grandchildren to live in.

Here and there are qualification general the prospect for a century hence seems rosy.

Omissions may be noted. No captain of industry peers ahead through the mist and cries "Land ho!" For the most part, the actual manipulators of affairs, when approached on the subject replied that they were neither prophets nor yet the sons of prophets. It is natural, of course, that a man who is striving with might and main to keep things as they are, or at least to keep them from becoming too different, should find himself staring to see a hundred years ahead. That is how it happens that the majority of contributions are by men and women of a reform, liberal or progressive turn of mind.

See also:
Prelude to a Great Depression (The Chronicle Telegram, 1929)
Part-Time Robot (1923)

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