What the future didn't bring
Paleo-Future readers in the Twin Cities may have noticed a certain blogger on the front page of today's St. Paul Pioneer Press. No, it wasn't my idea to pose, fake-blogging on my bed. We have a small apartment. The living room is filled with books and there's no place to sit. The photographer didn't have many options.
A couple friends of mine made a bet about how early in the piece Disney or EPCOT would be mentioned. Nic won. He guessed the sixth paragraph.
It was the fifth.
Matt Novak has seen a vision of the future. A lot of visions.
That's because in the past year or so, the 24-year-old St. Paul resident has turned himself into a sort of accidental expert on the paleo-future: depictions of the future from the past.
He collects and comments on yesterday's predictions of tomorrow on his blog, www.paleofuture.com, which has become a sort of online museum of a promised world of jet packs, meals in a pill and sex with robots.
Novak said the project, "a look into the future that never was," started in January 2007 when he was taking a writing class at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. One of the assignments was to create a blog.
He'd always been interested in the fantastic, strange or goofy predictions of the future, dating back to a childhood visit to Disney World: "In the 1980s, EPCOT was a thing that already looked dated." There also was his second-grade diorama in 1992 of what the world would look like eight years in the future: "Cars on magnetic tracks, all sort of crazy things like that; 2000 was such a magic number, the world would be so different."