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Entries in paleo-future (34)


History of Hip: Yesterday's Tomorrows (Feb 2, 2010)

UPDATE: You can watch the video podcast of our presentation at the Minnesota History Lectures page on iTunes.

I'll be speaking about retro-futurism this coming Tuesday (February 2nd) at the Turf Club in St. Paul, MN. This Minnesota Historical Society event, The History of Hip: Yesterday's Tomorrows, starts at 7:30pm. I'll be sharing the stage with my friend, neighbor and retro-future co-conspirator Brian Horrigan. Brian wrote a book in 1984 titled Yesterday's Tomorrows to accompany the Smithsonian exhibit of the same name. We'll be taking a look at some of our favorite film clips and images from 20th century futurism.

The Turf Club is a bar, so unfortunately it's not an all-ages event. But if you're underage I'm sure you can find a good fake ID by Tuesday. Rumor has it that the first 10 people who arrive will receive a free hoverboard. But rumor also has it that I'm a liar. Swing by and drink up; it should be a good time.



The Inevitable Flying Car (USA Today)

You may have noticed a certain paleo-futurist quoted in yesterday's USA Today:

Matt Novak, however, remains unconvinced. The host of, a blog that looks at past predictions of the future, says flying cars look even further away these days.


"We had this sort of optimism in the '50s and '60s, a feeling that things were inevitable because of technology. And flying cars were on the short list," Novak says. "I don't think we're going to have freeways in the sky any time soon."

Read More:
What the future didn't bring
New Hampshire Public Radio (Jan, 2008)
Paleo-Future in the Wall Street Journal
Streamlined Cars of the Future



Brussels Girl Geek Dinner

Peter Van Wijnaerde recently emailed me and asked for my opinion on various paleo-futuristic topics. He was doing a presentation for the Brussels Girl Geek Dinner and was looking for some insight. I felt bad that I didn't have much time to contribute but he was able to put together a rather interesting presentation which can now be viewed online:

Peter was kind enough to post the first draft of his presentation as well:


One Year of the Paleo-Future Blog

It was a year ago today that I started the Paleo-Future blog. With that first post I warned of my smarmy, cynical attitude toward the future.

I still believe everything I wrote in that first post so out of laziness, my first blog post appears below. And I sincerely thank you for reading.

I first came across the word "Paleo-Future" in a Flickr group of the same name. However, the topic first sparked my interest when I visited Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, (now Epcot), and realized that Disney's version of the future was based upon what they thought the future would look like in the 1980s. As is important when depicting the future, your opinions must change with the times, unless you happen to be omnipotent, which means you have no need to revise your vision of the future and have probably used your powers for such noble endeavors as guessing my weight at the local carnival or writing horoscopes that tell me, "you should find time for yourself tonight."


While I might poke fun at the outlandish ideas of 1950s America, corporate puffery, or Jules Verne I do it with an admiration for the idealism we seem to be losing in our post-modern society. The belief that technology has the potential to improve the lives of everyone on Earth seems rare. Just remember that an optimism for the future and the attempt to better the world for all humanity is hidden somewhere within each sarcastic comment about flying cars and space farms. In that same vein, I will always remember that the dystopian societies depicted by George Orwell or Alan Moore are just as plausible if we surrender freedom in the name of security. Here's to a "great big beautiful tomorrow."

Thanks for reading,


See also:
Hello and Welcome


New Hampshire Public Radio Interview (Jan, 2008)

You can listen to an interview I did with Virginia Prescott at New Hampshire Public Radio here.

See also:
Paleo-Future in the Wall Street Journal
Article for MungBeing
Sincerity and the Paleo-Future
Postmodern Paleo-Future


New Posters

Two new(ish) posters are up at the Paleo-Future Online Store. The first is a new version of the 1934 Gigantic Robots poster. The second is a smaller version (11x17) of the Future Travel poster.

See also:
Paleo-Future Online Store
Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)


Paleo-Future Online Store

Do you love the Paleo-Future but don't know how to properly express that love? Buy some buttons. Or a poster. Or print your own.

The 45 button set includes every flying machine featured in this post from August.

You can check out the Paleo-Future Online Store main page here.

See also:
Flying Machines (circa 1885)
Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)