Here's an eye-opening presentation that Dave forwarded to me the other day. I considered posting this at Get Rich Slowly, but couldn't figure out a way to really make it "stick". Still, it's excellent stuff, and I want somebody to see it:
This presentation was originally developed by Karl Fisch, a grade school teacher. Here's what he writes at his blog:
My administration asked me if I wanted to speak at one of our beginning of the year faculty meetings. I often provide updates on what's new and different with technology in our building and what teachers need to know to get the year started. But this year I'm really focused on staff development and the "vision" of where we should be headed, so I wanted to do something different.
I put together a PowerPoint presentation with some (hopefully) thought-provoking ideas. I was hoping by telling some of these "stories" to our faculty, I could get them thinking about — and discussing with each other — the world our students are entering. To get them to really think about what our students are going to need to be successful in the 21st century, and then how that might impact what they do in their classrooms.
Mind-blowing stuff, this. It makes you think about where we'll be in a hundred years. Speaking of which, over in the Get Rich Slowly forums, kgazeette posted a fun article from 1900 predicting what the world of 2000 would be like. The author actually did a fairly good job (except that he completely missed the advent of airplanes — but then how could he know?).
Here's a sample:
Automobiles will be cheaper than horses are today. Farmers will own automobile hay-wagons, automobile truck-wagons, plows, harrows and hay-rakes. A one-pound motor in one of these vehicles will do the work of a pair of horses or more. Children will ride in automobile sleighs in winter. Automobiles will have been substituted for every horse vehicle now known. There will be, as already exist today, automobile hearses, automobile police patrols, automobile ambulances, automobile street sweepers. The horse in harness will be as scarce, if, indeed, not even scarcer, then as the yoked ox is today.
In the forum thread, I made my own predictions for one hundred years from now:
A lot of science fiction arbitrarily constructs technology without any regard as to its plausibility. However, I'm a fan of Kim Stanley Robinson's series about colonizing Mars: Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars. I think he does an excellent job of extrapolating current technological trends and looking at where things might head in the future.
Here's one prediction I feel pretty comfortable with: In 2100, the internal combustion engine will be a thing of the past. Oil reserves will be essentially depleted, so that only certain uses will exist for modern vehicles as we know them. (I don't know what those uses will be.) Depending on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, you might believe that we will have developed a replacement technology, or you may think we'll revert to a more agrarian way-of-life.
I happen to be an optimist, so I think that some other form of fuel will be developed. I don't know if it'll be sufficient to power the sort of transportation system we have now, though. Maybe everything will be mass-transit. Maybe we'll have some strange hybrid of atomic-powered trains moving thousands of people at a time, while individual transportation is horse-based once more.
I do believe humans will be living on Mars by the end of the century. I just don't know which country will be the first to reach it and to set up a base.
I don't think the U.S. will be the dominant world power.
What do you think life will be like one hundred years from now?
On this day at foldedspace.org
2006 — A Visit With Doctor Comic-Book-Guy In which Doctor Comic-Book-Guy puts me on drugs to combat my fever.