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Entries in newspaper (8)

Sunday
May172009

Predictions for 1993 (1893)

The March 25, 1893 Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, OH) ran predictions of what the world of 1993 would look like. Excerpts from each of the four journalists (George Alfred Townson, Kate Field, Nym Crinkle, and John Swinton) appear below. The entire article is embedded below, or you can read it here.

Substitute the word "blog" for "book" in the last prediction and it could have easily been written today.

  • Where will be our greatest city? In all probability Chicago. There will be wonderful cities in the west, none more beautiful and extensive than Salt Lake City; but unless all signs fail Chicago will take precedence.
  • So called temperance legislation is a temporary aberration of well meaning but narrow minded men and women with whom sentimentality supplants reason, and who actually thinks morals are an affair of legislation. One hundred years hence personal liberty will be more than a phrase. When it is a fact sumptuary laws will be as impossible as witch burning is now.
  • The encyclopedic man, who makes a show of knowing all things, will give way to the specialist, who makes an effort to know one thing and know it well.
  • They will have more leisure to think. The present rate of headlong material activity cannot be kept up for another hundred years.
  • While I am writing this the statesmen of the country are asking themselves if it is not time to make laws which shall restrict if they do not put a stop to immigration.
  • In 100 years Denver will be as big as New York and in the center of a vast population.
  • If the republic remains politically compact and doesn't fall apart at the Mississippi river, Canada will be either part of it or an independent sovereignty, and the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico will be the Riviera of the western continent.
  • I guess that there will be great political and social changes in our country before the year 1993, and that these changes will be advantageous to the community at large. I guess that before the next century shall end the functions and powers of our government will be greatly enlarged; that railroads, telegraphs and many other things now held as private spoil will be public property; that law, medicine and theology will be more reasonable than they now are; that the inventions and discoveries will be greater than we have ever yet had, and that the welfare of mankind will be higher than it is in this age of confusion.
  • Every person of fairly good education and of restless mind writes a book. As a rule, it is a superficial book, but it swells the bulk and it indicated the cerebral unrest that is trying to express itself. We have arrived at a condition in which more books are printed than the world can read. This is true not only of books that are not worth reading, but it is true of the books that are. All this I take to be the result of an intellectual affranchisement that is new, and of a dissemination of knowledge instead of concentration of culture. Everybody wants to say something. But it is slowly growing upon the world that everybody has not got something to say. Therefore one may even at this moment detect the causes which will produce reaction. In 100 years there will not be so many books printed, but there will be more said. That seems to me to be inevitable.

1893 March 25 Newark Daily Advocate - Newark OH Pa Leo Future

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Monday
Aug132007

The Electronic Newspaper (1978)

The April, 1978 issue of The Futurist magazine ran an incredibly forward-thinking piece about the future of newspapers.

If we think of a newspaper as being a printed object delivered to our homes, we may be talking about replacing newspaper with an electronic signal. But if we think (as I do) of newspapers as organizations which disseminate news and information by the most efficient methods available - then we are thinking in terms of applying a new technology to an existing institution.


The author, Kenneth Edwards, was writing about the emerging technology of Teletext in the UK. If the newspaper industry has had 30 years to think about this concept and decided that litigation is better than a new business model, it's tough to feel bad about their declining revenue.

 

See also:
Tablet Newspaper (1994)
Future Newspapers Written by Advertisers (1912)
Online Shopping (1967)

Wednesday
Jul182007

Future Newspapers Written by Advertisers (1912)

The August 10, 1912 Chicago Defender contained this blurb about journalism of the future.

"What's your idea of the future journal?"

"It will be written by advertisers, and it will contain nothing calculated to bring a blush to the cheek of the young person except cosmetics."

See also:
Tablet Newspaper (1994)

Friday
May252007

Henry Ford's Machine Men (1924)

The evening edition of the December 5, 1924 State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) ran a short article about Henry Ford's automated vision for the future. It was titled "Machine Men," and the author laments the hustle and bustle the automobile has produced. The author calls "pish-posh" on Mr. Henry Ford and his projections of life with less work.

The article is transcribed below in its entirety.

Where is Henry Ford going to land us? asks Arthur Train in The Forum. His ambition is to build and market a hundred million automobiles so that every child will have one. His "vision" is for a world where everything is done by machines. His perfect man would press a button by the side of his bed and find himself automatically clad, fed, exercised, amused, and put to bed again. Thirty minutes' work for each of us a day would be enough, he says, to keep civilization going. Pish-posh, Henry! Does anybody suppose you would stop until you'd eliminated the necessity for all work whatsoever? Of course you wouldn't! When you rearranged everything so that the human "robot" can sit on his front porch and talk to another "robot" friend a thousand miles away on his eye glass string, mow his farm in Mongolia and milk his reindeer in Nova Zembla by wireless, hear and see what is going on upon the other side of the world by looking at a shirt stud, transport himself thru the air on a broomstick, and kiss his wife and best girl by radio - will he be any better off? Before we had motors in New York I used to go down town in a rattling old surface car that took half an hour; but now in your cabriolet, even if you've reduced the price $590.65 F.O.B. Detroit, it takes an hour. Have I gained anything? Somehow I feel as if I'd lost a little of my liberty. I don't want a nickel-plated stomach or an oxydized liver. I don't want to sit in one place and be artificially respirated and exercised, in order to keep my blood in circulation. I like to work. I like to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow because it makes me hungry to do it that way. For if, Henry, everything is done for us, what eventually are we going to do?

See also:
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)
Robots: The World of the Future (1979)
The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928)
The Robot is a Terrible Creature (1922)

Monday
May142007

Tablet Newspaper (1994)


Knight-Ridder produced a video in 1994 demonstrating their faith in the tablet newspaper of the future. Below is the video in its entirety.

We may still use computers to create information but we'll use the tablet to interact with information.

The expert of the video insists that newspaper loyalty will not disappear with the digital age:

Many of the technologists.....assume that information is just a commodity and people really don't care where that information comes from as long as it matches their set of personal interests. I disagree with that view. People recognize the newspapers they subscribe to.....and there is a loyalty attached to those.

In short, "the technologists" were right. Newspaper companies are suing Google because their readers are less loyal than ever and simply want trustworthy news, whatever the source.

You can download this video at the Open Video Project.

Sunday
May132007

Speed is Key to Future Travel (1965)

An editorial in the April 11, 1965 Modesto Bee and News-Herald (Modesto, California) describes the future of transportation. Below is an excerpt as well as the original piece in its entirety.

The US News & World Report of Washington, DC, in a recent article summed up some of the plans which will be in actual use, probably in another 10 years. They include:

Trains running on cushions of air in tunnels dug deep under densely populated areas, as kinds of supersonic railroads; the trains would pick up and drop off cars along the way without stopping, so passengers going to a particular town would enter the car to be left there; trains to carry automobiles between major superhighway points, much as the railroads now transport big trucks by the piggyback system; the use of automatic highways with electrically powered automobiles controlled by computers; "urbmobiles" which the commuter would rent for to and from work travel, the agency renting them to those needing in city transportation during the day; catapults to get cars moving at the 100 mile an hour rate more quickly and separate truckways to carry truck tractors hauling trains of three mammoth trailers.

See also:
Amphibian Monorail (1934)
Monorails at Disneyland (1959 and 1960)
Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)

Monday
Apr302007

1980-1990 Developments (1979)

The last two pages of the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century describes what will happen over the course of "the next 120 years." Naturally, we'll begin with the 1980s.


1980-1990

-Satellites in Earth orbit beam educational programmes to many countries in the underdeveloped Third World.
-Wind turbines - modern windmill designs - are developed which can supply electricity economically.
-Domestic computers run household equipment. Electronic chores include keeping accounts, ordering supplies, suggesting menus, cooking meals and keeping a diary for the people living in the house.
-Newspapers supplied to homes either via a computer print-out or in electronic form over the TV screen.
-First domestic robots used as household 'slaves' to do simple tasks.
-Terrorists steal nuclear warhead from military base. Threaten to blow up a city unless their demands are met. General realization of the appalling risks of poor security promote measures to keep atomic weapons under proper 'lock and key.'
-Nuclear fuel detector-satellite placed in orbit to maintain a watchful electronic eye on the world's supplies of atomic material.
-Good insulation and other energy-saving features built into all new houses.
-Solar panels in general use to heat water in homes. Solar-electric cells used to generate electricity for some uses, such as recharging batteries.
- World tree planting programme begun. Aim is to restore the oxygen-producing capacity of the world's plant life. Centuries of being chopped down have reduced the world's forest areas to a fraction of their former size. Other benefits include the production of wood-alcohol to use as a substitute for petrol in cars.