RE: tech miracles of the year 2000 as seen from 1950

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 15:03:34 MDT wrote,
> Wow, so much for analysis and prognostication. Basically, the article
> suggests that the technological forecasting is always wrong and always
> hideously, overly optimistic.
I'm afraid this is how I see most of our predictions. After watching the
moon landings, I regularly saw predictions of Moon bases by 1980, Mars bases
by 1990, flying cars in the year 2000. AI such as HAL was predicted to be
this year, as well as a manned mission to Jupiter. I really thought I would
live to visit other planets, but now that hope seems unlikely unless a major
breakthrough in life-extension allows me to go farther into the future.

Predications such as these are routinely over-optimistic. Although
technology is advancing at a phenomenal rate, most people underestimate the
inertia of most human's desires that things remain the same. Our biggest
threat is not the inability of technology to progress, but the antagonism
most people feel toward technology. Most people actively oppose all this
neat stuff we are talking about.

Look at what happened to the space program once people decided that we
didn't want a space race anymore. Expect the same apathy toward other
technologies. How fast can progress occur in a capitalist system if nobody
wants it?

Progress is not inevitable. Progress is not popular. Progress is not
We really are going to have an uphill battle to fight for the future.

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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