January 6, 2014 | Lists
Isaac Asimov is one of the best known science-fiction writers in history, taking a place of pride alongside Philip K. Dick and whoever else Amazon recommends when you go to purchase one of those books. He reportedly wrote more than 500 of these works. Sure, at least 450 must have been utter dreck just to make the numbers, but the elbow grease he would have had to put into that in the pre-dictation software era is still pretty impressive.
Despite these accomplishments, his reputation as some kind of great visionary seems unwarranted. Sure, by writing as much as he did he would have had to have been totally lacking in all powers of human perception not to get some things right. But when he actually sat down in 1964 to predict what the world would be like in 2014, he basically crapped the bed.
A list of predictions of his made during the 1964 is circulating now online which many believe, for some unfathomable reason, are “eerily accurate”. Of the list of 12, none are accurate, including “The human race would be incurably bored.” You know a surefire cure for boredom? Civil war. The other 11 are all wrong as well and read like a crap Back to the Future script: cars that fly — sort-of, appliances with no electrical cords and the topper “[robots which] will be neither very good, nor very common in 2014″.
Still having about 498 books to go, give or take, before we catch up with Isaac, we thought at least that we would trump him as a futurist here and provide you with a glimpse of the world in 2074. You’ve been warned.
1. Vacuum cleaners will be rendered obsolete by the clouds of post-explosion particulates constantly wafting in opens windows, rendering any such attempt at housekeeping futile.
2. Video games will reach a new level of hyper reality in that scenarios involving you strangling a leper in mortal combat over a piece of gristle will be carried out in real time, by you and said afflicted individual with no option to restart if you lose.
3. With Alex Trebek long in the ground, Final Jeopardy! will now be a Russian Roulette-like game carried out in survivalist camps — only all the chambers of the guns will be loaded and the participants will know it.
4. Great works of literature and music will be unearthed by battle-scarred inhabitants of the earth for whom culture is, at best, a long faded memory, providing fuel — not for the imagination, mind, but for the fires that keep them freezing to death.
5. Previously cold climes now under an unforgiving sun will witness the thawing out of the dead bodies of several hikers who wandered off paths or were too cheap to hire guides.
6. With stadiums no longer useful even as mass aid stations for poor people, sports will no longer exist as we know them. However, the skills honed through such activities over generations will prove useful. The precision throwing arm of the skilled baseball outfielder, for example, will find a new use in beaning a running enemy with a rock.
7. A new type of “Super Disaster” will have developed, wherein the oceans rise up, floodwaters rush deep into land, massive wind storms kick up, powerful earthquakes erupt and those miraculously left standing after all of these simultaneous catastrophic incidents develop a serious case of the trots.
8. Surfing, long the domain of those able to afford a board and the leisure time needed to perfect the skill, will grow in popularity. Or, rather, trying to stay afloat on a plank of wood amid tumultuous waters will become a more commonly shared experience.
9. The demise of print journalism will be looked on with deep regret, because you can’t wrap a radiation contaminated fish in a now non-existent online media portal.
10. Future versions of us, preserved in cryonics jars, will thaw out long before this scenario unfolds due to the statute of limitations running out on insane demands made in last wills and testaments.