Got a feeling ‘21 is gonna be a… year…
All I can say about 2021 is that when I was younger, looking out at what my life would be like, I can’t say I expected any of this.
Which makes me wonder: what have other people expected the far-off future to be like?
How close did they come to predicting life in 2021?
Entrepreneur magazine took a look at what people in 1921, one hundred years before us, imagined when they imagined 2021, and some of it is not too far off the mark.
For example, an electrical engineer back then said there would come a time when humans would be able to set a specific temperature for their houses, no matter the temperature outside.
That is of course how thermostats, furnaces and air conditioners work.
They also predicted that someday people in the United States could hear live performances from the great singers of Europe, performing not on American stages or records or even on radio, but in real-time through a device that could bring the concert into their homes.
So they anticipated a kind of live-streaming.
The people of 1921 also foresaw electric cars, solar power and tidal energy, among other developments.
But not every prediction was right on.
One newspaper writer back then thought the people of the future would move from place to place with the help of moving sidewalks and high-speed tubes.
I mean, we have moving walkways at airports, and tubes at the bank drive-thru, but they’re not really used for commutes.
Still, for people living at the very beginning of the technological era we’re in today, their predictions were pretty interesting.
Maybe we should all write up our predictions for the year 2121, so we can feature them on this show a century from now.
Here’s some technology that’s pretty amazing no matter what year you’re in: it’s a new set of adaptive implants and prosthetic arms used by Robert “Buz” Chmielewski.
He’s had only limited feeling and movement in his hands and fingers for 30 years.
But after a surgery and some training with a team at Johns Hopkins University, he was able to control the prosthetics to cut, and serve himself, a Twinkie!
Quadriplegic patient uses brain signals to feed himself with two advanced prosthetic arms (Johns Hopkins University)
21 sign photo by Peyri Herrera via Flickr/Creative Commons