promises of the future

Just been reading the thread about Air Asia and it reminded me of various "promises" that we were told decades ago - that is, air travel in the future will be quicker, more comfortable etc. New planes would have bars in them and we could walk around and lounge in chairs/sofas etc. I think only some first class passengars may have facilities like that.

In general though, air travel over the decades has become worse, far more uncomfortable and seats have become smaller.

This got me thinking, so what other " future promises" or marketing hype never materialised?

Further examples are:

- Computers will lead to a paperless office
Yeah right. We are using far more paper now compared to 20 years ago. How many of us print out a recipe that has been emailed to us? Print that odd joke or how many companies/corporations still insist on triplicate paperwork?

- Future workers will have more leisure time
What is leisure time? I am working harder and longer hours now compared to 15 or so years ago. I don't get much leisure time at all and i know i'm not the only one.

- Cars of the future will be driven by themselves
This has been a prediction for nigh on 50 years and it is still being made. But without a huge infrastructural cost and commitment then it won't happenn. I do think though there is social hesitation in having a fully automated car - that is, would you trust a car to drive itself (considering the average home pc reboots at random times)

- Houses of the future will be totally automated
Still waiting on this one.

- The world only needs 3 or 4 computers
This was said back in 60s. Before the birth of the home PC.

- The rocket jet pack
I'm still waiting on this one. The same thing they used in "lost in space" and it was a rocket pack you stick on your back and fly around in. Apparantly we were all meant to be using them by 1980 but i still haven't found a place that sells them to the average joe.

- Virtual Reality
Not very mainstream at all. Promised as being the next big thing to game playing, home computer interfaces etc. After nearly 20 years, it is still just a novelty for the majority and only seen in demonstrations.

- Holidays to the moon
As seen in the Kubrick/Clarke great "2001", the Hilton was meant to be on the moon in 2001 and we would fly up there for a short stay. Virgin is now only just advertising for punters to be blasted off into near space at 200k a pop for 5 minutes of no gravity. Not quite a holiday on the moon yet.


and don't forget the old Hawkian classic....

- By 1990, there will no child living in poverty
What can i say to this......


There must be thousands of other "broken promises" as to what the future wil give us...Any others?



Thanks


g
 
There must be thousands of other "broken promises" as to what the future wil give us...Any others?
g


What a shame peak oil, carbon emissions, overpopulation and economics had to come along and wreck the party?

We could have colonies on mars already. It's just that now that space travel has to pay it's way, and not the tax payer in a nationalistic space race, the trillions it would cost can't be justified. Maybe if China continues on it's space plans we might get into another nationalistic space race to the planets. I'd like to see a person on Mars before I die, and I only just remember the moon walkers. But I'm thinking that maybe I won't, and it's looking almost certain that all 12 men who walked on the moon will be dead before we even go back there again, and that's disappointing.

We just need unlimited clean, and almost costless energy, and a lot of these things could happen. Otherwise it won't.


See ya's.
 
Just been reading the thread about Air Asia and it reminded me of various "promises" that we were told decades ago - that is, air travel in the future will be quicker, more comfortable etc.
g

OK, air travel..?? Hard to believe that the concord has been and gone, and was a failure. I bet when the concord came out that everyone thought that was the future, but no, the future was the jumbo. Hard to believe that in 1976 you could pay to travel at twice the speed of sound, but you can't now in 2009? Who'd have seen that one?

It has gone down hill as far as comfort. But what about cost? It is so cheap these days and that's why the concord failed. The cost of lots of stuff has reduced by heaps and this has lead to increased standards of living. TV's, computers, anything electrical costs almost nothing in real terms.




What about some of the great things that have happened though..??

I'd bet if you went back in a time machine to 1990, the differences would be amazing. The internet allows us to have global information overload. The changes the internet have made are only just beginning, and it's one reason I'm not so keen on inner city property investment. One day the internet will allow people to work from where ever they want to live. I'll pick the coastal acreage beside a river thanks.

Everyone with mobile phones that fit in a pocket? I suppose that was always going to happen though?

Driverless cars mightn't have happened yet, but I've got autosteer satellite guided farm machinery. Didn't see that one coming. Efficiency gains in agriculture mean that in western nations only a few percent of the workforce need to be farmers, and that's a great thing for western economies as 98% of the workforce can do other stuff.


I love old science fiction. Great to see what people thought was the future. Lost in space, 2001 and any Authur C Clark, love it all. Space 1999 and The thunderbirds, and anything from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, priceless.


Good subject and I'll think up some more.


See ya's.
 
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OK, air travel..?? Hard to belive that the concord has been and gone, and was a failure. I bet when the concord came out that everyone thought that was the future, but no, the future was the jumbo.

Boeing also won a government sponsored contract to build a Super sonic airliner too. It was going be bigger and faster compared to the concord. the problem was, they were aiming for Mach 3 which would've required advances on metals due to the heat associated at that speed. The concord didn't have to worry about the heat as it wasn't travelling at Mach 3 but Boeing being Boeing (and Americans being American), they wanted something bigger and faster, but alas, their plans feel flat.

They did build full size mock ups of this super sonic airliner and some of the innovations from that plane did come into standard. This was the first plane that had 2 aisles and seatings in each row broken into three sections (prior to this, all seats in planes wre split between one aisle).

But costs forced this project to be halted and the jumbo was born from the ashes of this failed Boeing project.

As a side note, the main reason the concord failed was because of the sonic boom. Many countries refused to allow the concord to fly over them at supesonic speeds because of the sonic boom. This meant that the concord was limited to only flying over the ocean.

There were original plans to fly the concord from London to Singapore, but a few countries complained so that route was stopped. It just wasn't practical to fly the concord at sub sonic speeds. Bahrein (sp?) was also chosen as a concord destination, but again, a few middle eastern countries complained.

So the concord was very limited as to where it could fly. This will be the same issue for any super sonic plane and no matter how good science and enginnering is, I don't think they can fix the issue of the sonic boom.



I love old science fiction. Great to see what people thought was the future. Lost in space, 2001 and any Authur C Clark, love it all. Space 1999 and The thunderbirds, and anything from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, priceless.

Now you're talking. Gerry Anderson is a pure genius. I love UFO (i still watch it). Also, the movie "doplegangers". Brilliant pieces of work. Arthur C Clarke was a favourite of mine. His Rama stories are great. 2001 is a masterpiece.

I have a great collection of old sci-fi material, books, movies etc. Plus, being the nerdy editor of a science fiction magazine while at uni helped too.

But looking at possible future advances is always great. Especially from a sci-fi point of view.

It is "funny" though, how commercialisation does hinder progress. What about Tesla and Edison? Tesla's technology was far better compared to Edison and yet Edison's designs won the day. How about VHS Vs Beta? Beta was superior technology but the movie studious got behind VHS. I guess the same can be said about Ford's internal combustion motors too?

Many of Clarke's projections have come true. Look at communications satellites - he foresaw those. As with using a planet's gravity to increase speed while travelling in space.

Even Star Trek has given us gifts of the mobile communicator - now the mobile phone. The holodeck would be a good gift to society though and i guess VR is close to being like that, but as in my original post, VR is not yet available to the masses.

Bladerunner gave us digital photography and the art of being able to zoom into pictures. James Cameron's "The abyss" gave us liquid oxygen that is pumped into our lungs to allow us the breathe under water. I think the Navy seals or deep sea divers use a derivative of this.

So many other things to ponder in terms of sci fi and the future and also future promises.


Thanks


g
 
I like the stuff that most people wouldn't have seen coming even a few years back.

GPSs in everything. Satnav, maps on your mobile. The paper map is long gone and you can go back over where you went (or the cops can) because of the electronic trail.

Mobile phones in general - in all the movies, it was a watch, or a brooch, but never something you hold in your hand and shove in your pocket. It just *had* to be attached to you somewhere.

Television that you can pause and rewind!!!! Woooooow! :D My parents got digital TV last week and are completely blown away by it.

The internet in general. You want to cook something, or do something, or fix something, or buy something, the first place you go is Google, not the library or your own bookshelf to do research. And the buying part is online too, although that is hardly a step up from mail order the range is phenomenal.

The biggie that just wasn't around a few short years ago isn't technological though, it is social. This overprotective litigiousness where you sue the council if you trip over a pebble on the footpath, and you don't let your kids do anything that might result in them hurting themselves or their feelings. They do this in the books with government controls and/or drugs to keep the masses happy though, not with lawyers, legislation and an overriding cottonwool complex.

Yet to see large scale eugenics like in a lot of the old sci-fi books. Right now it is more Idiocracy, where the least appropriate breeders do the most breeding and the rich and/or intelligent people have 1 kid at 35 because they've spent their best breeding years either making money or doing degrees. My ex was really into eugenics - he had lots of that kind of book. Ironic he is now creeping up to 40 and still only has the one child, he was all talk about knocking up everyone (and they should pay for the privelege) because of his superior genes when I was dating him ...
 
I love old science fiction. Great to see what people thought was the future. Lost in space, 2001 and any Authur C Clark, love it all. Space 1999 and The thunderbirds, and anything from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, priceless.

And what does "New" sci-fi show. Not too much in the tech department really (I think the writers have run out ideas) All new sci-fi seems to be is mutant aliens who are hell bent on taking over the world...but wait!!!! The US of A will save us all!!!

Even Star Trek had to go retro and wreck the franchise with "Enterprise" the prequel :(
 
- Future workers will have more leisure time
What is leisure time? I am working harder and longer hours now compared to 15 or so years ago. I don't get much leisure time at all and i know i'm not the only one.

Yes.... what happened there? We used to be the nation of "bludgers" with everyone too busy surfing or down the pub to be going to work. A forty hour week was really a forty hour week - overtime was pretty much unheard of and if the surf was up the tradies downed tools around these parts. We were proud of the fact that we worked less than the rest of the world. Nothing to see here - you can find me down the beach!

Now everyone's working overtime, weekends, FIFO rosters, 12 hour days, etc etc etc and drinking lattes and premium beers... and we work harder on average than pretty much any other developed country.

Progress? You can keep it! :(
 
The biggie that just wasn't around a few short years ago isn't technological though, it is social. This overprotective litigiousness where you sue the council if you trip over a pebble on the footpath, and you don't let your kids do anything that might result in them hurting themselves or their feelings. They do this in the books with government controls and/or drugs to keep the masses happy though, not with lawyers, legislation and an overriding cottonwool complex.

I hear ya with that one, only this week I had a woman ring me up because her car i serviced 5 months ago had seized up and she was wanting my insurance to pay for the engine damage. She said the tow truck driver told her there was no oil in it and she assumed I had not put oil in it when i did the service :D. I said when did you last check your oil...there was a silence. I rest my case.

Its everybody else's fault these days....

I often thing life would be pretty crazy if we live like Arnie did in Total Recall :D
 
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