Monday, October 27, 2008

Report From the Year 2050 (1984)

My interest in futurism can probably be credited to two things: Disney's EPCOT Center and children's science books of the 1980s and 90s. One of my earliest posts here at the Paleo-Future blog covered the EPCOT Center book, The Future World of Transportation. I vividly recall checking out the three books in this series from my elementary school library, my sticky fingers pawing through the technological promises Baby Boomers never saw materialize but insisted we Millennials would soon enjoy. Just over that horizon, just a little further! The year 2000 is going to change everything! We swear! 

The number is just so big. And round! 2000! Look at all those zeros. 2000!

To the author's credit they figured out that to sound even remotely plausible and still make me wet my Underoos over the advanced technology featured in the book, one had to open with a year further out than 2000 A.D.

And thus the first chapter, titled, "Report From the Year 2050." Below are four renderings of technology we are certain to have by the year 2050 (if those lying, deceitful Baby Boomers are to be believed).


Dr. Schluss said...

Great to see a new post. Keep up the fine work!

Matt said...

love the antiquated Disney-prognostication stuff - thanks for sharing!

Gil said...

Interesting how they felt a need to open out that many years in advance. The two-person car (Smartcars) and The Maglevs (at least in Japan) exist today, really.

The other two could very well exist today, I suppose, but at some point in 1984 or so, I suppose people assumed that the cost would never be an issue...

Speaking of futuristic transportation:
The Podcar

Apparently actually exists today, and is becoming a bigger and bigger thing. DisneyWorld is considering using them!

Unknown said...

Great post!

I am on the lookout for the whole series. They look like so much fun!

It is anazing that we are now looking at mass transit as opposed to personal transit vehicles. Look at what the price of gas and the environment will do to society!

Anonymous said...

Disney is such a gigantic enterprise that one hand doesn't know what the other has done in the past. =)

In a Carl Barks story "Picnic" (1957!), Gyro Gearloose goes out for picnic and, as various problems crop up, gradually adds more and more features to his high-tech camping kit... and then realises he has basically reinvented a house, and don't people usually go out for picnic to get away from their houses?

edub said...

Ghoti said...

Very interesting. The Maglev exists in Shanghai. I've used it to get to the airport. They have had an experimental model in Japan for years, but never made a go of it publicly, partly because the experimental one crashed all the time.

So far, rather surprisingly, Shanghai's maglev has stayed on track.

Welcome back, by the way.