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Author Topic: 2012 predictions from 1987
King of Men
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It's amazing how wrong people can be over a mere 25 years. Here's OSC:

quote:
We must count ourselves lucky if anyone has leisure enough in 2012 to open this time capsule and care what is inside. In 2012 Americans will see the collapse of Imperial America, the Pax Americana, as having ended with our loss of national will and national selflessness in the 1970s. Worldwide economic collapse will have cost America its dominant world role; but it will not result in Russian hegemony; their economy is too dependent on the world economy to maintain an irresistible military force. A new world order will emerge from famine, disease, and social dislocation: the re-tribalization of Africa, the destruction of the illusion of Islamic unity, the struggle between aristocracy and proletariat in Latin America — without the financial support of the industrialized nations, the old order will be gone. The changes will be as great as those emerging from the fall of Rome, with new power centers emerging wherever stability and security are established. The homogeneity of Israel will probably allow it to survive; Mexico and Japan may change rulers, but they will still be strong. If America is to recover, we must stop pretending to be what we were in 1950, and reorder our values away from pursuit of privilege.
Other SF authors' predictions here.
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Aros
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quote:

Most automobiles and heavy machinery will be manufactured in Japanese owned planets located in America. Yet, agriculture and higher education will be our most successful exports. There will be no fast trains connecting American cities, but a network of levitated superconducting trains will be under construction in Western Europe and in Japan.


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Aros
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quote:
That economic cycles caused by rises in technological levels will begin to level out—countries that have a falsely inflated economy will be forced to export their technologies to third-world countries where people are willing to work for less money. This will lead to a situation where knowledge, the key to our technologic success, will be spread across the world. We'll see rapid decreases in starvation levels, but will still be plagued with political turmoil.

....

Introduction of x-ray microscopes in the early 2000's will lead to rapid progress in gene splicing. Look for rapid growth in medicine and mining, and food production. We may also see bacteria being engineered to simulate parts of the immune system (which could cure immune disorders such as AIDS and allergies).


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Samprimary
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Japan shall be the economic ruler of the world. The two great military powers, America and Russia, shall have an uneasy truce. Israel will be prosperous and the Middle East will know peace. Scientology will have become the dominant western religion and the fight against engrams will be manifesting the true capacity of our clear selves.
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Aros
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OMG. Has it really been 25 years?.....
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Szymon
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quote:
Originally written by Orson Scot Card:
The changes will be as great as those emerging from the fall of Rome

Ha, he already planned on writing Empire in 1987 [Smile] I liked that book.
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Kwea
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Why?
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Kwea
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Looks like Dave Wolverton (Farland) wins this hands down. It wasn't even CLOSE!!!
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Looks like Dave Wolverton (Farland) wins this hands down. It wasn't even CLOSE!!!

Yeah I was thinking that as well.
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Szymon
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Why?

It was a long shot. I just meant the comparison of US to Rome. And there was a smiley there.
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docmagik
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I loved Bob Silverberg's. Insightful from a guy who likely knows history as well as--if not better than--anybody else on that list. Found it both wise and inspiring.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
It's amazing how wrong people can be over a mere 25 years. Here's OSC:

quote:
We must count ourselves lucky if anyone has leisure enough in 2012 to open this time capsule and care what is inside. In 2012 Americans will see the collapse of Imperial America, the Pax Americana, as having ended with our loss of national will and national selflessness in the 1970s. Worldwide economic collapse will have cost America its dominant world role; but it will not result in Russian hegemony; their economy is too dependent on the world economy to maintain an irresistible military force. A new world order will emerge from famine, disease, and social dislocation: the re-tribalization of Africa, the destruction of the illusion of Islamic unity, the struggle between aristocracy and proletariat in Latin America — without the financial support of the industrialized nations, the old order will be gone. The changes will be as great as those emerging from the fall of Rome, with new power centers emerging wherever stability and security are established. The homogeneity of Israel will probably allow it to survive; Mexico and Japan may change rulers, but they will still be strong. If America is to recover, we must stop pretending to be what we were in 1950, and reorder our values away from pursuit of privilege.
Other SF authors' predictions here.
OSC has always been dim on geopolitics. With is a strange irony, because he's one of those people who writes effectively whether he knows of what he speaks or not. The chief flaw in his reasoning, it seems to me, has always been to conflate national mood with national interest: somehow your deep seated cultural imperatives are always at the heart f your decision making process. Except, they usually aren't, and the trick in sooth-saying is to link the decision to e imperative in post-hoc analysis, which is what OSC always does, and pretends not to be doing.
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Teshi
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quote:
The Crazy Years surrounding the turn of the century will have petered out, millennialfaiths will be boring again, and the attitudes expressed in this collection of predictions will seem very outmoded and "twen-cen."
Yep, those crazy turn of the century years. He's right, though, that these predictions seem outmoded, although not "twen-cen". Lol.

All in all, given the outlook of many of these writers, things turned out not too shabbily. There's no airborne AIDS epidemic and no complete collapse of American society.

On the other hand, we haven't cured Parkinsons and there's no Moon Base.

*

I think what we can mostly learn from this is, aside from technological advances that nobody predicts (the advances in communications, surprisingly absent) things almost always move slower than expected and things are always less extreme that expected.

Or the 1980s were a time of unrestrained pessimism and optimism based on radical changes over the previous 25ish years (from 1962). I doubt anyone would make such dramatic guesses nowadays. Is that because my own lifetime has been relatively conservative in terms of technological and social advances?

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Lyrhawn
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Where's my jetpack?
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King of Men
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quote:
we haven't cured Parkinsons
While this is true, it's also true that there are now a lot more palliative treatments and quality-of-life improvements than in 1987.
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El JT de Spang
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Which hardly takes much foresight to predict.
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Kwea
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JACK WILLIAMSON - he was prett dead on too, although not a specific as Wolverton.


ROGER ZELAZNY- he did great....until he talked about space, and building things there. How in the hell was building things in space EVER going to be cheaper than building them on Earth?

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Rakeesh
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Well, depending on their size and how he meant it, it's possible and even likely that some things would be cheaper to build in space, I think. Though when you factor in the many ferrying lauches needed for smaller components to be put into orbit for assembly, perhaps it factors to the same or greater expense.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Which hardly takes much foresight to predict.

No? It's not true of Alzheimer's, for example.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
JACK WILLIAMSON - he was prett dead on too, although not a specific as Wolverton.
He said "Faith that you have saved yourselves, that you are giving birth to no more children than you can love and nurture, that you have cleansed and healed your injured planet, ended hunger, conquered crime, learned to live in peace."

I hardly think that's "dead on" -- we have neither conquered crime, nor have nations learned to live in peace, for starters.

Nor is genetic engineering currently employed to 'to advance the human species and make your children better than yourselves'.

He was pretty off.

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Szymon
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
JACK WILLIAMSON - he was prett dead on too, although not a specific as Wolverton.
He said "Faith that you have saved yourselves, that you are giving birth to no more children than you can love and nurture, that you have cleansed and healed your injured planet, ended hunger, conquered crime, learned to live in peace."

I hardly think that's "dead on" -- we have neither conquered crime, nor have nations learned to live in peace, for starters.

Nor is genetic engineering currently employed to 'to advance the human species and make your children better than yourselves'.

He was pretty off.

This giving birth to "no more than you can nurture" sounds like government birth control propaganda and it gives my the creeps. I agree that he was way off.

The closest he was with peace. We've got four continents with no wars in the last 15 years. You'll probably correct me, though. N America, Australia and Europe I'm pretty sure, after the fall of Yugoslavia. I dunno about S America- there was the Falklands conflict, but that was before 1987.

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Szymon
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Nah, but there was the Timor and I think you can say it's Australasia.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
We've got four continents with no wars in the last 15 years.
I think that someone in 1987 could already have said that about pretty much the same continents about *their* last 15 years. So not much progress in that front -- and if we consider the Madrid or London bombings to be acts of war, it may even be considered a worse state of affairs peace-wise, in Europe.
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Marlozhan
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Anyone here read The Singularity? The author talks about technology advancing at an exponential rate and that we will be approaching the arm of the curve, where things pick up in speed drastically, within the next 20-30 years.

Interesting stuff, though I am not sure about a lot of his conclusions. I believe he wrote it in 2007 or so.

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Szymon
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Yugoslavia was a catastrophic conflict with ten of thousands killed. And it was like 400 miles from the borders of my country.

But I agree, not much changed.

Malozhan- I heard that too. But I heard there is a limit of 3-4 years for major changes to be introduced into everyday life, when the new generation of computer-stuff comes. Consumers don't have infinite money.

And it'd be weird to wake up one morning to learn that your state of the art computer you bought last month is ten times slower than the new one.

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King of Men
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quote:
we haven't conquered crime
No? The writers of 1987 might think we have, in that crime is now no worse than it was in, say, 1980. You have to consider the context: These people thought they were living on the front edge of an unstoppable wave of crime that would make it impossible for the middle class to go out in public without bodyguards, or to live outside walled enclosures. Certainly there is still crime, but it is not the case that every downtown is a no-go zone 24 hours a day or that murder victims are pushed into mass graves because there are too many to bother investigating.

quote:
"no more than you can nurture"
At least in the West the birthrate is lower than replacement.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
The writers of 1987 might think we have, in that crime is now no worse than it was in, say, 1980.
That's really lowering the standards of what "conquered crime" means.

quote:
You have to consider the context
If he wants us to interpret "conquered crime" a "crime in 2012 will be about as bad as in 1980", then he's doing a horrible job communicating his meaning.
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