The future is now – oh, wait, no it’s not.

Boy, I’m sure glad that I live in 2008! I can ride in my 300 MPH automatic car to my climate-controlled dome city, where private cars are banned in favor of mass transportation. After I’m home from my four-hour workday, I can get my housewife to determine her meals for the week, and the robot will do all the defrosting.

Oh, wait. I’m supposed to BE the housewife. Silly 1968! Imagining superfast cars and massive domes is easy, but imagining a female reader of 1968 Mechanix Illustrated is apparently inconceivable.

To be fair, the author was dead-on about a lot of things, from the rise of computers to the populations of the US. But screw credit cards (also predicted in the article), I want the four-hour workday! And possibly a flying car. And a spaceport with rocketships. And a silver rocket pack!

Via Boing Boing


4 Responses to The future is now – oh, wait, no it’s not.

  1. Sam says:

    I love that the population has soared, but they aren’t concerned about using disposable kitchen utensils even in their own homes.

    I also find it fascinating that in sci-fi visions of the future, it is inconceivable that anyone would want to hand-make anything. Sure, in 2008 I could “determine my meals for the week” (or for five minutes from now) and defrost them, but that would be a) unhealthy, and b) boring! Where do 2008 people get their sense of personal accomplishment or creative expression?

    Also boring? “Evenly climatized” cities. …Oh, wait, you live in one. 🙂

  2. Martini-Corona says:

    I like the part where the computer repairman shows up at your house before you’ve even realized there’s a problem. Yes! That is totally true today! Oh wait — Windows Vista.

    Re: 4-hour workday: one of the problems with a service- (vs. manufacturing-) based economy is that it’s harder to find full-time 9-5 work. You might have a 4-hour workday — at McDonald’s — because they’d rather have 20 half-time employees with no benefits than 10 full-time employees with. I remember folks fighting over shift hours when I was working a movie theater in high school — there just weren’t enough hours to go around. That is probably still the case with a lot of low-level jobs, and unfortunately it’s people with families to support who need them.

  3. Sam says:

    I also note that they make a big deal about how much leisure time they have, but never talk about how they choose to fill it. (Other than octopus’s-garden resort visits, of course.)

    Oh, and what happened to all the old stuff? You know, the houses with the historical society plaques, the Carnegie libraries, the places where Ben Franklin clipped his toenails? Did we level it to make room for pre-fab houses? That says so much about the 50s.

    Now I kind of want to write a vision of life in 2048, so when we’re 70 we can mock it in our space-blogs. Anybody want to help?

  4. Eric Wolff says:

    Forget all of that stuff they got wrong, how about this incredibly accurate prediction:

    “The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer.”

    That’s pretty impressive.

    Also accurate, is the fact that implements *are* so cheap we can use them and throw them away, it’s totally realistic to microwave every meal, and we do have pre-fab modular housing (though not quite as efficient as described). Also flat screen TVs are common and it’s no problem to push buttons on screens.

    This article is amazing for how much it got right! Though I’m still waiting for my rocket vacations to sattelites. Come X-prizes, let’s move up those timelines!

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