P is for Predictions

100_0029One of the things I love most about sci-fi books and movies are the predictions about science and cultural changes in the world, and how often they’re wrong.  We’re only one year away from 2015, and we still don’t have the flying cars or skateboards that Back the the Future II promised me.

JD Robb’s In Death Novels are set starting in 2058, and in this version of the future, most of the food is vegetarian, with soy based meat substitutes, as they explain that real meat is expensive, and most cannot afford it.  I like this version of the future, and wouldn’t be surprised if it comes to pass for both economic and environmental reasons.  I should still be around to see it.

One of my all time favorite movies is Terminator II.  But August 29, 1997 came and went, and nothing bad happened.  The movie was great when it came out, because even if I didn’t believe anything bad would happen then, I still wondered, what if?  The Running Man, set in 2017, is obviously a product of the 80s.  The culture and styles of the 80s seep into that movie, making the idea that it’s set 3 years from today laughable.

Even if most books and movies get it wrong, it’s still fun to imagine what the future might hold.  I wonder how different it’s going to be from anything I imagine.

“If you learn one thing from having lived through decades of changing views, it is that all predictions are necessarily false.”
-M. H. Abrams



4 comments on “P is for Predictions

  1. “Predicting the future is a mug’s game. But it’s a game we all have to play because the future is where we’re all going to have to live; probably as soon as next week.” – Douglas Adams.

    And then there’s Isaac Asimov, who jokingly wrote a story ‘predicting’ that Mount Everest would never be climbed; and Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top before the story saw print. (Headsmack)

    It’s great to meet you.

  2. A. Mystery says:

    Let’s not forget Escape from New York, where by 1988 New York was transformed into a prison. I don’t remember if Soylent Green gave a date in it, but that’s another movie where our future diet would have also been affected. There’s even classic “end of the world” movies that predict doom, like the movie The Day the World Ended.
    The thing these all have in common are that they portray some type of destruction, and then the following story of survival.

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