Staring into my crystal ball

Visual News, one of my favorite websites, posted today about an article that was published in 1900 by The Ladie’s Home Journal. While you might expect the article to feature the latest, old-school fashion trend or home-cooking technique, you’d be surprised to find American civil engineer John Elfreth Watkins extrapolating on what progress he anticipated would happen over the next 100 years a.k.a. by now.

As Visual News points out, 15 of his 25 predictions are fairly accurate such as the invention of the airplane and the cellphone, which is mind blowing considering the massive leaps in technology advancement we’re seeing today. It makes you wonder if these were his outrageous predictions or realistic ones, which could then be viewed as a restrained creativity or grounded imagination. I’d like to see it as both. Not only is he able to think outside the box, he’s also able rely on his knowledge of the world to hold back and not predict completely unbelievable inventions such as teleportation.

The whole article got me thinking as to what I foresee happening 100 years from now. What will the world look like in 2112?

  • Cars will run on water: There are rumors and articles out there that claim tests are already taking place to make this happen but, the way I see it, in 100 years everyone will own a water-fueled transportation device since it’ll be cheap, efficient and environmental-friendly.
  • Humans will live in space: I’m not talking about far off galaxies and mysterious planets, just thousands of space shuttles allowing us to keep our heads amongst the stars. Think about it, astronauts currently spend great deals of time in space and companies are already exploring private space travel. Give it 100 years and we actually might be spending time in a galaxy far, far away.
  • You’ll be able to make it around the world in less than half a day: This is more a prediction about the speed at which commercial vehicles will be able to travel than anything else. Right now, it takes about 47 hours to make a world wide trip without stopping – twelve hours doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
  • An hour-long night of sleep: Personally, the thought of being able to recharge your body in just an hour sounds absolutely amazing to me. I kind of hate sleeping and the time it wastes – my parents can attest to the fact that I’ve always been an early riser. Whether this phenomenon is aided with pills we swallow every night or engineered capsules we have to sleep in, if you tell me it’s possible, I will shout the benefits of it from every rooftop without asking any questions.
  • There won’t be any more books: If you know me at all, you realize it pains me to have to imagine a world where you can’t waltz into a bookstore and browse volumes of books as you let your fingers trail across the spines. However, this is just me being realistic when confronted with the progress made by technology. All of my music is digital, which means there’s no reason for my books not to be too when next century rolls around. Until I’m forced to though, I will own a library to house my hardback, ink-on-paper tomes.

I feel like we could go on and on with this list by turning over every aspect of our lives and society but I don’t have time to do that, and you don’t have the patience to read it so on that note, I’m going to end this post. Who knows? Maybe I’ll still be around in 100 years to see how far off target I was.

What do you see happening a century from now?

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