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Entries in artificial sun (2)

Saturday
Feb132010

Enjoy Your Privacy; It'll Be Gone In A Few Years (1967)

The August 17, 1967 Salina Journal (Salina, KS) ran a headline that caught my eye: "Enjoy Your Privacy; It'll Be Gone In a Few Years."

Someone from the year 2010 might look at this headline and expect to read an article with rather prescient predictions of how a vast network of computers might allow for the sharing of personal data, causing "privacy" to virtually disappear. Remember that 1967 was the same year Philco-Ford depicted some pretty spot-on predictions about the future of personal computing in a film about the year 1999...

But after reading the article it's not entirely clear to me from where they expect this invasion of privacy to be coming. Is this a fear of camera surveillance brought about by technological progress? And if so, by whom? The government? Your neighbors?

The article is reprinted from the New York Times and quotes Harry Kalven, Jr., a professor of law at the University of Chicago:

[...] by the year 2000, "man's technical inventiveness may, in terms of privacy, have turned the whole community into the equivalent of an army barracks. It may be a final ironic commentary of how bad things have become by 2000 when someone will make a fortune merely by providing, on a monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly basis a room of one's own."

You can read the entire article -- which also includes predictions about pocket telephones, home computers and artificial moons -- at Scribd.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Monday
Oct192009

24-Hour Daylight (1960)

I'd put this retro-futuristic prediction in the "why the hell would you do that?" file.

The August 7, 1960 Chicago Tribune ran this panel of Arthur Radebaugh's Closer Than We Think, titled "24-Hour Daylight." It imagines a world in which miniature artificial suns illuminate cities of the future. To be fair, those people look like they couldn't be happier. Does sleep deprivation cause some sort of euphoric state?

Man-made balls of fire may be used to light up tomorrow's cities. American scientists are currently pondering an idea along those lines that was first described in technical papers by George Babat, a Russian.

Bendix researcher Donald Ritchie recently reported that balls of light -- actually miniature suns -- might be created by focusing huge transmitting devices so that the rays they generate would cross each other and produce electromagnetic fields. These luminous fields could be used to light up large areas underneath them. Rays would be pointed as necessary to determine exactly where the artificial "sunlight" would fall.

Next week: Missile Movers

Previously on Paleo-Future: