Thursday, January 09, 2014

Thursday extracts: 2014 from 50 years ago

Extracts from an article written by science fiction author Isaac Asimov, describing his dream of 2014 from the 1964 World's Fair.

Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica (shown in chill splendor as part of the '64 General Motors exhibit).

As for television, wall screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. In fact, one popular exhibit at the 2014 World's Fair will be such a 3-D TV, built life-size, in which ballet performances will be seen. The cube will slowly revolve for viewing from all angles.

Although technology will still keep up with population through 2014, it will be only through a supreme effort and with but partial success. Not all the world's population will enjoy the gadgety world of the future to the full. A larger portion than today will be deprived and although they may be better off, materially, than today, they will be further behind when compared with the advanced portions of the world. They will have moved backward, relatively.

Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be "farms" turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The 2014 fair will feature an Algae Bar at which "mock-turkey" and "pseudosteak" will be served. It won't be bad at all (if you can dig up those premium prices), but there will be considerable psychological resistance to such an innovation.


For the full text click here.


snafu said...

That was pretty accurate and he also predicted the pocket calculator long before it was possible in the 1940s. In years to come people will be saying that he was a time traveller like they say about Leonardo de Vinci. He was just smart. He wrote a short on someone dicovering the 'paper calculator'. Set in the distant future a scientist shows you can do arithmatic just with a pencil and paper and no one beleives him.

MorningAJ said...

That sounds good. I've always been a fan. Have you read any of his Black Widowers series? They're mystery short stories.

snafu said...

No I have not read any of them. I will look for them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne - the forward thinkers are often very accurate aren't they - so much comes true .. or similarly invented technologies ...

Where will we be in 50 years time .. well I'll be staring down or up - which ever one comes my way ... staring from above I hope!

I'll keep an eye out for those Black Widower series ...

Happy New Year .. cheers Hilary