The Future of the Past

As we’ve mentioned in passing, we’re hard at work preparing for our upcoming 2016 exhibition and event series, Portals: History of the Future.

While combing through our collections, we’ve come across a few futuristic gems that aren’t a great fit for the exhibition, but are just too good to pass by. For instance, this excellent and patriotic book cover:

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Forecast 2000 was written in 1984, mind you, so the predictions aren’t terribly far-fetched.

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The only-slightly-older, also-patriotic-looking Seven Tomorrows (from 1982) provides “seven scenarios for the eighties and nineties”. (Is one allowed to predict life in the eighties when one is already living in the eighties? That seems like cheating.)

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Seven Tomorrows has lots of fun charts and imaginary statistics, and its scenarios provide a surprisingly good read.

(Apparently if we experience “apocalyptic transformation”, there will be a rise in demand for mediators, and a decreasing demand for astronauts.)

The oldest book of this stellar batch is the 1977 Future File, a slightly sci-fi compendium of information for the forward-looking thinker.

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One section of this book has predictions by year, culled from all kinds of past official publications.

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2000: year of nuclear electric spacecraft. 2015: replacement organs harvested from farmed animals. 2024: lunar colony and extraterrestrial farming. Isn’t the future grand?

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