National Geographic on Silicon Valley in 1982: A Prototype of the FutureS

The year is 1982. Michael Jackson's Thriller's climbing the music charts, E.T.'s in the theaters, and a patch of land dubbed Silicon Valley is catching notice. The drug-fueled, theft-filled, innovation-driven culture of it's pulsating to the beat of the future.

That year, National Geographic printed an article called "High Tech, High Risk, and High Life," playing on the key elements of the atmosphere. You can read the full article here, but two parts—two predictions—stood out from all the anecdotes of success. The first shows the significance of Silicon Valley then and now:

Befriending the computer, and putting it to work and play in daily life a decade before most of us found the courage to touch a keyboard, Silicon Valley and its families may well be a glimpse of a computer-and-communications culture that is the prototype of the future.

For most of us, it might be difficult to believe that there would've been a time when communication through phone and fiber lines wasn't the norm—that it was almost intimidating—for people of our current ages. In Silicon Valley though, it was becoming as common as it is now. Nearly 30 years ago, that little area was already rushing toward everything we love and hate about technology today.

It was also developing into a place that would survive all the failures it would breed with every success story as a quote from Sal Accardo implies. He remarked that "Silicon Valley will continue to be the cerebrum, a magnet for creative minds." Not so far off, was he? We still gravitate to that western corner of the United States for our newest gadgets, for the hottest in social media, and for the strangest of startups. Old as it is, Silicon Valley is still giving birth to another generation of wild kids with even wilder ideas.

I recommend reading the full article over at Modern Mechanix for a stroll down tech memory lane and a few giggles over the way we spoke of the future back then, it'll bring an odd feeling of familiarity. [Modern Mechanix]