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(LA Times)   On April 3, 1988, the Los Angeles Times Magazine published a 25-year look ahead to 2013. This year, a USC professor uses this to teach a class. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent   (documents.latimes.com) divider line 122
    More: Interesting, USC, Los Angeles  
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12818 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Mar 2013 at 5:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-15 11:55:28 PM
This thing would make a lot more sense if it was written in 1963 for a 50 year look into the future instead of a 25 year look.  Hell, it's nearly identical to 50's and 60's sci-fi in some aspects.
 
2013-03-16 12:14:05 AM
That reads like someone went back in time and made an effort to write something completely the opposite of how things tuned out.
 
2013-03-16 12:36:21 AM
Just read Asimov's Caves of Steel which was written in 1958. It's set hundreds of years in the future, they have AI robots that can pass for human but when the main character wants to speak to someone he needs to find a payphone. It's weird.
 
2013-03-16 12:46:16 AM
It is eerily accurate about the traffic, however.
 
2013-03-16 12:46:47 AM
Well at least they got most of the car things right.
 
2013-03-16 01:26:04 AM
"the air quality will be worse than it is now," predicts John H. Seinfeld, professor of chemical engineering at Caltech..."

I'm happy to say that air quality in L.A. is BETTER than it was back in 1988. Smog alerts, common during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, are quite rare these days.
 
2013-03-16 03:53:14 AM

GAT_00: This thing would make a lot more sense if it was written in 1963 for a 50 year look into the future instead of a 25 year look.  Hell, it's nearly identical to 50's and 60's sci-fi in some aspects.


Speaker2Animals: That reads like someone went back in time and made an effort to write something completely the opposite of how things tuned out.


I think you guys are being a bit harsh.  Sure, it's wrong a lot.  These things always are.  But there are some pretty close little tidbits in there, and other things, like the "printed out" newspaper and the laser disc research library, where the IDEA isn't that far off, but the execution of that idea makes it funny.
 
2013-03-16 04:10:30 AM
And yet, even though cell phones existed in 1988, the article has people unable to reach each other because they're away from their desk. If there was one thing that should have been predicted, especially given other elements like a 3x5 inch portable computing device they mentioned, it should have been the easily portable cell phone.
 
2013-03-16 05:23:11 AM

L.D. Ablo: It is eerily accurate about the traffic, however.


traffic has always sucked in LA, it's no worse now than it was 25 years ago.
 
2013-03-16 06:43:30 AM
Flying cars?
 
2013-03-16 07:00:46 AM
It always amazes me that people think that in the future school districts will pony up to cover classrooms in screens or significantly redevelop transportation and public areas. Especially in such a short amount of time. What are the intentions of these sorts of things? Are they supposed to be one person's real predictions for the future or are they akin to the lists I make in my head of what I would do if I won the lottery?
 
2013-03-16 07:14:08 AM

rynthetyn: And yet, even though cell phones existed in 1988, the article has people unable to reach each other because they're away from their desk. If there was one thing that should have been predicted, especially given other elements like a 3x5 inch portable computing device they mentioned, it should have been the easily portable cell phone.


Remember, they'd only broken up Ma Bell five years before.  The idea that you could own your own phone was still pretty new - getting everybody off the copper wire wasn't yet a target.

/got married in 1988
//was unable to be reached for a while
 
2013-03-16 07:33:57 AM

Lorelle: "the air quality will be worse than it is now," predicts John H. Seinfeld, professor of chemical engineering at Caltech..."

I'm happy to say that air quality in L.A. is BETTER than it was back in 1988. Smog alerts, common during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, are quite rare these days.


And you can thank Richard Nixon for that.
 
2013-03-16 07:38:23 AM

Flint Ironstag: Just read Asimov's Caves of Steel which was written in 1958. It's set hundreds of years in the future, they have AI robots that can pass for human but when the main character wants to speak to someone he needs to find a payphone. It's weird.


this is why i cant stand reading 1950s science fiction. The worst offendor is bradburys mars chronicles. I hated the expository dialogue "i may only be alive with you whippersnappers because our modern medicine is so great it extends our lives, but...", the fanatsy of an overnight forest, the motorcycle...etc.

I get the same feeling with anne mccaffrey novels. I consider them like a science fiction version of a big mac.
 
2013-03-16 07:53:58 AM

steveGswine: rynthetyn: And yet, even though cell phones existed in 1988, the article has people unable to reach each other because they're away from their desk. If there was one thing that should have been predicted, especially given other elements like a 3x5 inch portable computing device they mentioned, it should have been the easily portable cell phone.

Remember, they'd only broken up Ma Bell five years before.  The idea that you could own your own phone was still pretty new - getting everybody off the copper wire wasn't yet a target.

/got married in 1988
//was unable to be reached for a while


Not to mention the technology was in its infancy at that point.  They were still in the process of establishing the first mobile network, the phones themselves were incredibly expensive (assuming you could even get one), and the data plans were brutal.  I'm sure at the time it wasn't hard to see them as playthings for the rich or a passing fad that would ultimately go nowhere.
 
2013-03-16 08:03:44 AM

Mare_Imbrium: It always amazes me that people think that in the future school districts will pony up to cover classrooms in screens or significantly redevelop transportation and public areas. Especially in such a short amount of time. What are the intentions of these sorts of things? Are they supposed to be one person's real predictions for the future or are they akin to the lists I make in my head of what I would do if I won the lottery?


They don't think schools will pay more. The naively assume society will stop being greedy.
 
2013-03-16 08:10:00 AM

GAT_00: This thing would make a lot more sense if it was written in 1963 for a 50 year look into the future instead of a 25 year look.  Hell, it's nearly identical to 50's and 60's sci-fi in some aspects.


You're looking at the pictures instead of the text. It's actually pretty close to reality.
 
2013-03-16 08:13:30 AM
I couldn't read past the coffee pot.  They could have just listed the technologies in one page.
 
2013-03-16 08:22:08 AM
Robot: Ha-AY y'all! Rise 'n shine! [zzzzt!] KILL ALL HUMANS.
 
2013-03-16 08:25:01 AM

Zelron: I couldn't read past the coffee pot.  They could have just listed the technologies in one page.


The text was pretty worthwhile, but they could have presented it much better. Feels like they used a 1988 computer to put that article together.
 
2013-03-16 08:50:11 AM
A lot was off (really, futura-rock?) but they nailed the TVs and Mars rovers. Nice to see that we proved them wrong on air pollution.
 
2013-03-16 09:17:13 AM
"25 years from now, I see less violence, and that goes hand in hand with getting a handle on the narcotics and the gang problem"

When in fact, it was roe vs wade and the availability of abortions which meant that the next generation of criminals just didn`t get born, the effects of which started about the time of this article...
 
2013-03-16 09:24:48 AM

dready zim: "25 years from now, I see less violence, and that goes hand in hand with getting a handle on the narcotics and the gang problem"

When in fact, it was roe vs wade and the availability of abortions which meant that the next generation of criminals just didn`t get born, the effects of which started about the time of this article...


Freakanomics is a book with some interesting I unproven ideas, not a bible for abortionists.

This happy spell is going to end in few years when the welfare state in the U.S. runs out of money.

/If a criminal is born, is it the fault of a society that didn't allow him to be aborted or the fault of a society that produced single mothers with no prospects?
 
2013-03-16 09:26:53 AM

Neondistraction: steveGswine: rynthetyn: And yet, even though cell phones existed in 1988, the article has people unable to reach each other because they're away from their desk. If there was one thing that should have been predicted, especially given other elements like a 3x5 inch portable computing device they mentioned, it should have been the easily portable cell phone.

Remember, they'd only broken up Ma Bell five years before.  The idea that you could own your own phone was still pretty new - getting everybody off the copper wire wasn't yet a target.

/got married in 1988
//was unable to be reached for a while

Not to mention the technology was in its infancy at that point.  They were still in the process of establishing the first mobile network, the phones themselves were incredibly expensive (assuming you could even get one), and the data plans were brutal.  I'm sure at the time it wasn't hard to see them as playthings for the rich or a passing fad that would ultimately go nowhere.


*shrug* Star Trek had blue tooth cell phones
 
2013-03-16 09:46:47 AM
Did they mention hoverbikes?
 
2013-03-16 09:51:08 AM

DrGunsforHands: A lot was off (really, futura-rock?) but they nailed the TVs and Mars rovers. Nice to see that we proved them wrong on air pollution.


Ooh, they predicted Skrillex
 
2013-03-16 10:03:33 AM
I'm still having a hard time getting past the cinnamon rolls in the oven.
Does the oven double as a refrigerator, keeping them from becoming a food poisoning hazard overnight?
Is it some sort of dough that's impervious to bacteria?
Did the robot put the cinnamon rolls in the night before, in hopes that the spoilage would help it succeed in its true mission of killing all humans?
Would Alton Brown approve of using robot-made cinnamon rolls instead of making yourself by hand over several hours?
Is Pillsbury still around in this future?

There are too many unanswered questions this guy just glosses over, it's like he only had a few pages and had to budget what he spent his column space discussing.
 
2013-03-16 10:06:56 AM

cameroncrazy1984: Well at least they got most of the car things right.


That's what I came to say. With the exception of a few things, they pretty much hit the nail on the head.
 
2013-03-16 10:10:56 AM

Animatronik: /If a criminal is born, is it the fault of a society that didn't allow him to be aborted or the fault of a society that produced single mothers with no prospects?


So, ban abortions and force marriages, then?
 
2013-03-16 10:18:32 AM

GAT_00: This thing would make a lot more sense if it was written in 1963 for a 50 year look into the future instead of a 25 year look.  Hell, it's nearly identical to 50's and 60's sci-fi in some aspects.


that was my thought as well. They may not have been too far off in some of their ideas, but that was a way optimistic outlook for only 25 years ahead.
 
2013-03-16 10:19:04 AM
Less robotics, more information technology.  They got the part about computers being everywhere right, but understated the role that information and connectivity would play in people's lives today.

Interesting stuff.
 
2013-03-16 10:26:24 AM

Flint Ironstag: Just read Asimov's Caves of Steel which was written in 1958. It's set hundreds of years in the future, they have AI robots that can pass for human but when the main character wants to speak to someone he needs to find a payphone. It's weird.


To be fair, the second and third books did have 3-D two-way communication via holograms.

I just hope that in 50 years, our obsession with text messaging will have vanished.
 
2013-03-16 10:26:33 AM
Ed Grubermann:

And you can thank Richard Nixon for that.

You mean the RINO who wanted to ban all assault weapons and hand guns?
 
2013-03-16 10:35:32 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-03-16 10:41:17 AM

Hertzfeld: Flint Ironstag: Just read Asimov's Caves of Steel which was written in 1958. It's set hundreds of years in the future, they have AI robots that can pass for human but when the main character wants to speak to someone he needs to find a payphone. It's weird.

To be fair, the second and third books did have 3-D two-way communication via holograms.

I just hope that in 50 years, our obsession with text messaging will have vanished.


I don't think it will ever go away. You don't have to get dressed to send or receive a text message. I'm currently deployed and getting to use FaceTime to easily chat with my wife is awesome but I doubt I'll use it much when I get back home. I don't have to worry about camera angles and field of view talking on the phone. Don't get me wrong, video chatting has come a long way but it isn't the ultimate solution and it still has a ways to go.
 
2013-03-16 10:42:26 AM

indarwinsshadow: [2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x300]


 I know, I'm waiting on that jeans-and-Tshirt fad to die out, too.
 
2013-03-16 10:47:37 AM
I forgot to add that the first paragraph sounds a lot like my home, minus the cinnamon rolls. Some of the execution was strange but the ideas were spot on. I had to look it up but the Whirlpool Polara oven can do the cinnamon roll trick. It acts like a fridge and an oven, even keeping the oven cold while cooking with the cooktop.
 
2013-03-16 10:47:46 AM
 
2013-03-16 10:54:56 AM

Jaws_Victim: Flint Ironstag: Just read Asimov's Caves of Steel which was written in 1958. It's set hundreds of years in the future, they have AI robots that can pass for human but when the main character wants to speak to someone he needs to find a payphone. It's weird.

this is why i cant stand reading 1950s science fiction. The worst offendor is bradburys mars chronicles. I hated the expository dialogue "i may only be alive with you whippersnappers because our modern medicine is so great it extends our lives, but...", the fanatsy of an overnight forest, the motorcycle...etc.

I get the same feeling with anne mccaffrey novels. I consider them like a science fiction version of a big mac.


Bradbury and McCaferry are *fantasy* writers who use sci-fi tropes to further their stories IMHO.

/NTTAWWT
 
2013-03-16 11:18:11 AM

Tobin_Lam: I forgot to add that the first paragraph sounds a lot like my home, minus the cinnamon rolls. Some of the execution was strange but the ideas were spot on. I had to look it up but the Whirlpool Polara oven can do the cinnamon roll trick. It acts like a fridge and an oven, even keeping the oven cold while cooking with the cooktop.


Nobody uses timers on their ovens to make breakfast even though it is easily doable today. Hell, half the article was about a piece of shiat home robot that keeps screwing up. Who would want such a thing? Technology still has to have a strong purpose if we're going to use it.
 
2013-03-16 11:18:12 AM

Lorelle: "the air quality will be worse than it is now," predicts John H. Seinfeld, professor of chemical engineering at Caltech..."

I'm happy to say that air quality in L.A. is BETTER than it was back in 1988. Smog alerts, common during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, are quite rare these days.


"What is the deal with air pollution?  Who are the ad wizards who thought up that one?"
 
2013-03-16 11:32:52 AM

dready zim: "25 years from now, I see less violence, and that goes hand in hand with getting a handle on the narcotics and the gang problem"

When in fact, it was roe vs wade and the availability of abortions which meant that the next generation of criminals just didn`t get born, the effects of which started about the time of this article...




Or the stopping the sale of leaded gas reduced the number of idiot psychopaths.
 
2013-03-16 11:32:55 AM

rolladuck: I'm still having a hard time getting past the cinnamon rolls in the oven.
Does the oven double as a refrigerator, keeping them from becoming a food poisoning hazard overnight?
Is it some sort of dough that's impervious to bacteria?


That one isn't a huge problem - dough is not very bacteria-friendly because of its relative dryness.  Eight hours at room temperature isn't going to be terrible; your bigger problem is going to be overactivity of the yeast.

Overall, the robotics and natural language processing / machine translation was way off (though many of us DO have domestic robots like roombas cleaning for us).  The 3d videoconferencing is probably possible but simply not very useful.  Most of the educational things could be done, but with how we spend on education?  Not bloody likely.  Other than that, most of the automobile, computing, and home automation pieces are possible, though some are rather niche.  And why anyone would print a newspaper rather than reading it online is a mystery to me.
 
2013-03-16 11:39:09 AM
Sum Dum Gai:
Overall, the robotics and natural language processing / machine translation was way off (though many of us DO have domestic robots like roombas cleaning for us).  The 3d videoconferencing is probably possible but simply not very useful.  Most of the educational things could be done, but with how we spend on education?  Not bloody likely.  Other than that, most of the automobile, computing, and home automation pieces are possible, though some are rather niche.  And why anyone would print a newspaper rather than reading it online is a mystery to me.

You mean, the $10,500 per student per year we spend on average?  We spend tons of money, we just spend it on admin and overhead rather than education.
 
2013-03-16 11:39:40 AM
When this article was written the internet boom was a little over five years away. Weather forecasters do better than this author.
 
2013-03-16 12:00:50 PM

Jaws_Victim: Flint Ironstag: Just read Asimov's Caves of Steel which was written in 1958. It's set hundreds of years in the future, they have AI robots that can pass for human but when the main character wants to speak to someone he needs to find a payphone. It's weird.

this is why i cant stand reading 1950s science fiction. The worst offendor is bradburys mars chronicles. I hated the expository dialogue "i may only be alive with you whippersnappers because our modern medicine is so great it extends our lives, but...", the fanatsy of an overnight forest, the motorcycle...etc.

I get the same feeling with anne mccaffrey novels. I consider them like a science fiction version of a big mac.


Also, we fight the commies in a never ending struggle until the heat death of the universe, despite the fact we had put down fascist ideology like a retarded kitten just ten years before.
 
2013-03-16 12:02:59 PM
What year do we move to crystal spires and wear togas, with all our roads hundreds of feet above land?
 
2013-03-16 12:03:19 PM
fc08.deviantart.net
 
2013-03-16 12:07:23 PM

rolladuck: I'm still having a hard time getting past the cinnamon rolls in the oven.
Does the oven double as a refrigerator, keeping them from becoming a food poisoning hazard overnight?
Is it some sort of dough that's impervious to bacteria?
Did the robot put the cinnamon rolls in the night before, in hopes that the spoilage would help it succeed in its true mission of killing all humans?
Would Alton Brown approve of using robot-made cinnamon rolls instead of making yourself by hand over several hours?
Is Pillsbury still around in this future?

There are too many unanswered questions this guy just glosses over, it's like he only had a few pages and had to budget what he spent his column space discussing.


This may be a shock to Americans but almost all food doesn't suddenly become fatal after being out of the fridge for more then an hour.
Shops here don't have eggs in a chiller, just on a shelf. My mother never puts jam, marmalade, mayonnaise or ketchup in a fridge. She leaves butter out once a packet has been opened so it will be soft to spread and leaves it out on the counter until it is used up. Soup can be made one day and left in the pot on the stove, cold, overnight and heated up and eaten the next day. You can even heat it up for twenty minutes and then let it go cold again and leave it another day. Somehow she has done these things all her life and made it to her eighties without being killed.

What do you think people did before fridges were invented?
 
2013-03-16 12:09:22 PM
Futurists are consistantly wrong.
 
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