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A collection of photography and exploration focusing on Upstate South Carolina and beyond.
Hard to believe that 2014 will mark ten years of RandomConnections. As such, throughout the year I may be dredging up some old posts (basically because I’m lazy and it saves having to come up with new ideas.)
One of my personal favorites was from July 2004, when I wrote a post entitled “Yesterday’s Tomorrows.” In that post I put together a list of things that would have already happened, if various SciFi novels and movies were actually correct. I figured that with everyone making predictions for the new year, it might be a good idea to revisit and update this ten year old list.
Here’s the original list:
July 4, 2004 – If we were to believe science fiction predictions, by today’s date the following would have already come to pass…
- The Jupiter 2 would be lost in space with a family named Robinson, a madman named Smith, and a robot named, well, Robot.
- From the television series Lost in Space, broadcast from 1965-1968. According to the first episode, the Jupiter 2 lifted off October 16, 1997, bound for Alpha Centauri.
- The Eugenics Wars would have already taken place, and Khan Noonien Sing and his band of super humans would already be consigned to imprisonment aboard a DY-100 Sleeper Ship.
- From the television series, Star Trek, episode “Space Seed”, first broadcast February 16, 1967. According to Spock’s research, Kahn rose to power in 1992, and in 1993 a group of eugenically bred “super” humans simultaneously seize power in some forty of the earth’s nations. By 1996, the Eugenics Wars were over, and Kahn and his followers banished.
- The space probe Nomad, created by Jackson Roykirk, has been on its journey for two years.
- From Star Trek episode “The Changeling”, Nomad was launched in 2002. Airdate September 27, 1967.
- The Discovery has made its ill-fated journey to Jupiter with a sentient computer named HAL.
- From the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968. The movie contained numerous technological references which did not come to past in the time predicted, including routine commercial space traffic and a permanent manned lunar base.
- Extra terrestrials are discovered through a series of encounters. After establishing communication through Kodaly hand signals and corresponding tones, contact is made at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming.
- From the motion picture Close Encounters of the Third Kind, released in 1977. Dates are conjectural, based on automobile models and clothing styles.
- A 50-foot wall has been erected around Manhattan, and the island has been declared a federal prison. The President of the United States has crash-landed in Manhattan, and has been held hostage.
- From the motion picture Escape from New York, released in 1981. According to the opening monologue, in 1988 Manhattan is declared a maximum security prison, and in 1997, the setting for the movie, the president’s plane crashes. Eerily enough, the plane crash sequence shows Air Force One headed for the twin towers before diverting at the last minute.
- The moon has been blasted out of its orbit by a nuclear catastrophe, and the inhabitants of the permanent colony on the moon are now hurtling through space.
- From the television series Space 1999, broadcast from 1975 to 1978. According to the first episode, nuclear waste on the moon’s surface detonated on September 16, 1999, sending the 311 moon base inhabitants hurtling through space, apparently at light speeds.
- The major cities of the world, including Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York, have been decimated by huge hovering spacecraft 15 miles in diameter. Said spaceships have been destroyed by a computer virus.
- From the motion picture Independence Day, released in 1996. Dates are inferred from visual references in the film, notably, the presence of the World Trade Center Towers. References are also made to the “Gulf War” with no subsequent reference to the Iraq War.
- Two massive, little understood interstellar transport devices have been constructed at Cape Canaveral and Hokaido Island, Japan at a cost of $3 billion each. The Cape Canaveral device has been destroyed by religious zealots.
- From the motion picture Contact, released in 1997. The movie clearly shows Bill Clinton as president, indicating that it must have taken place prior to 2000.
- Two supercomputers, Colossus in the US, and Guardian in Russia, merge to form a sentient computer that takes over the world via control of nuclear arms.
- From the motion picture Colossus: the Forbin Project, released in 1970. Dates are inferred from clothing and automobile styles.
- The computer network Skynet also launches a pre-emptive strike against humans, allowing machines to take over the planet.
- From the motion picture The Terminator, released in 1984. According to the movie, Skynet, built by the world’s preeminent computer company Cyberdyne, went online August 4, 1997 and became self-aware August 29, 1997.
- A plague has wiped out all dogs and cats. Humans start using chimpanzees and other apes as pets, then as slaves.
- From the motion picture Escape from the Planet of the Apes, released in 1971. According to the movie, Cornelius gives the dates of the pet plague.
- Microsurgery is possible by miniaturizing the surgeons and sending them into the body in tiny submarines.
- From the motion picture Fantastic Voyage, released in 1966. According to the movie, the action takes place in the late 20th century.
…and finally, Big Brother is watching you read this.
The year 2000 seemed so far away. Writers could predict the most fantastic things for the “late 20th Century” and get away with it. In the real world, programmers could disregard basic mathematic concepts and send the world into a minor panic with the Y2K “bug”. We’re now four years past that and sentient computers and robots, permanent lunar and space colonies, interstellar travel, as well as apocalyptic visions are just a small part of the canon of science fiction that has not come to pass. That’s probably a good thing.
With the passage of a decade there are several obvious items to add to the list:
There were several that I apparently missed the first time around. Here are a few samples:
Back when I started this project I really had to dig for information for this project. Now there are several such lists. SciFi Wikia has a great list, and there are several good infographics with SciFi timelines.
Then, there is the “Ultimate Sci-Fi Timeline.” It may not be the ultimate, but it is still very cool.
Finally, we pause to consider two Sci-Fi authors that made several predictions that did (sort of) come true. In 1964 Isaac Asimov was asked to predict what life would be like in fifty years. Here are a few of his predictions:
Then there’s Arthur C. Clarke’s predictions from the same time:
Still, no jetpacks or hoverboards, but it is fun to predict what might be. Assuming this blog is around in another 10 years, I may have to check back to see what has come to past.