We've Been Incorrectly Predicting Peak Oil For Over a Century

When the residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma buried a car in 1957 as part of an enormous time capsule, they included containers of gasoline. The good people of Tulsa reasoned that the folks of 2007 might not have any gas left to fill up the Plymouth Belvedere that they were interring for a fifty year journey into the… » 12/11/14 1:45pm 12/11/14 1:45pm

Driverless Cars and Eating Dogs: Predictions for Year 2000 from 1980

What do you imagine will be the biggest challenges that the world will face in 20 years? Energy or food scarcity? Overpopulation? What about our biggest triumphs? Cures for cancer and extended lifespans? Smarter humans? Well, these would all sound similar to the people of 1980 when they looked 20 years into the future… » 11/06/14 1:56pm 11/06/14 1:56pm

Letters, Ranked (by Futurists of 1900)

Do you like the letter C? Have any particular attachment to the letter X? How about the letter Q? Well, back in the year 1900, some people thought we'd be rid of them by now. And while they haven't actually disappeared, the futurists of 1900 were certainly right about that whole condensing of language thing. I mean,… » 10/02/14 12:49pm 10/02/14 12:49pm

1970s Kids Dressed Up For the Year 2000

What will people dress like in the year 2000? That was the question in 1978 when kids at Lincoln Middle School in Indiana were encouraged to participate in a dress-up contest for "Year 2000 Day." Their answer? Apparently a little bit Judy Jetson, a heavy helping of astronaut, and maybe a dash of... Darth Maul? » 9/30/14 12:07pm 9/30/14 12:07pm

Say Goodbye to Video Stores, Mailmen, Pennies...

The February 1989 issue of Life magazine predicted that, by the year 2000, many staples of modern American life might find themselves on the scrapheap of history. Life predicted that by the year 2000 people would need to say goodbye to everything from film (pretty much) to all-male clergy in the Catholic church (not… » 9/03/14 4:19pm 9/03/14 4:19pm

How One 1920s Feminist Imagined Our Futuristic High-Tech World

Josephine Daskam Bacon was an author known for her adventure serials that featured female protagonists. But in 1929, she took a break from her regular fiction writing and slipped on her futurist goggles for an article in Century magazine titled "In Nineteen Seventy-Nine." Bacon imagined just how much progress women… » 8/12/14 5:16pm 8/12/14 5:16pm

Here's How One Optimistic Parent From 1989 Imagined 2014

Is it cruel to have children when the world is so terrible? That's not a new question. And when a newspaper columnist in Michigan asked it in 1989, he came down on the side of no. The world of the future — the world of 2014, to be exact — was going to be just wonderful enough that having kids was a great idea. Was he… » 6/22/14 11:02am 6/22/14 11:02am

Here's What The Top Prediction Models Say About The World Cup

The World Cup kicks off in a few hours, which means the results of the many, many prediction models that have popped up in the last few weeks will finally be tested. Below are some of the best examples; this is a good time to remind you that betting markets are usually the strongest predictors of all, if you're just… » 6/12/14 3:20pm 6/12/14 3:20pm

How Mad Men-Era Americans Imagined the World Would Look In 1970

The AMC show Mad Men is in its final season, with its mid-season finale (yeah, I don't know what that means exactly either) airing this past Sunday. The show started with 1960 as its backdrop, and we now see characters in the world of 1969. A lot changed in that decade and, of course, it's a fictional representation… » 5/27/14 6:21pm 5/27/14 6:21pm

5 Predictions For The Future That Aren't So New After All

Today, the New York Times asked seven entrepreneurs and tech executives about what's in store for the future. It's a fascinating snapshot of futurist thinking in 2014. But these aren't just the dreams of tomorrow — most of them are the dreams of yesterday's tomorrows as well. » 5/02/14 3:23pm 5/02/14 3:23pm

Flash Boys Author Michael Lewis's Old Predictions For the Future

Author Michael Lewis is best known for uncovering hidden corners of our present, whether in baseball (Moneyball), the financial collapse (The Big Short), or high frequency trading (this month's Flash Boys). But in the September 26th, 1996 issue of the New York Times Magazine, Lewis took a swing at predicting the… » 4/08/14 4:39pm 4/08/14 4:39pm