Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Visit to the World's Fair of 2014 - By ISAAC ASIMOV

"The New York World's Fair of 1964 is dedicated to "Peace Through Understanding." Its glimpses of the world of tomorrow rule out thermonuclear warfare. And why not? If a thermonuclear war takes place, the future will not be worth discussing. So let the missiles slumber eternally on their pads and let us observe what may come in the nonatomized world of the future..."

Posted largely without comment, except to say that most predictions like this tend to be wrong.  They can be valuable both as a way to understand the hopes and dreams of scientists and engineers of the time, as well as a way to reflect on our progress or lack of progress in certain areas.  Manned space exploration being the most depressing shortfall in this case, and electronics and computers in particular perhaps our best success.  Asimov lived long enough, until 1992, to get a feel for how the World would be in 2014.  He saw the neglect and rejection of nuclear power and the birth of personal computers and cell phones.  He also saw the nation turn away from manned space exploration in the early 1970's.

Read more here.

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