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Funny Predictions for the future, From the Past...
Tired of all those predictions people make at the start of the new year? Don't worry - most of them probably will never come true. At least, that's the opinion of Cynthia Crossen in the Wall Street Journal, who explains that even the smartest people throughout history have been unable to predict the future: "If you are tempted to make predictions about the future... consider keeping them to yourself. History can so easily make a fool of you."
Among the silliest predictions cited by Cynthia:
(1) In 1911, an English clergyman, William Henry Fitchett, suggested that war would become an historical oddity: "There will, in the near future, be a revolt, both of the reason and the conscience of the civilized world, from the state of armed peace which at present prevails, with its ever-multiplying fleets of Dreadnoughts and its universal training for war. The appliances for war have grown to such a scale that war itself will be recognized as impossible." (This prior to WWI, WWII, Gulf War and Desert Storm-- Still waiting for this one).
(2) In 1911, Richard Lucas of the Royal College of Surgeons in England predicted that some day human beings of the future would become one-toed. "The small toes are being used less and less as time goes on, while the great toe is developing in an astonishing manner."
(3) In 1914, Sir Henry Blake, a British government official, predicted the rise of the noiseless city, where rubber would replace brick, stone and asphalt as street paving.
(4) In 1925, Harvey W. Corbett of the American Institute of Architects said, "Fifty years hence automobile traffic will have entirely disappeared from the surface thoroughfares of New York City, and people will be shot through tubes like merchandise."
(5) In 1929, a New York City haberdasher, John David, predicted that "the well-dressed man of 2020 will wear shorts for every occasion except formal events."
(6) In 1942, the associate editor of Better Homes and Gardens predicted that the housewife of the future would know how to repair radios, irons, lamps, washing machines and cars (Wishful thinking).
(7) In 1943, the research director of the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. predicted that hybrid auto-airplanes "will fly through the air and then fold their wings like a housefly and run along the road."
And here are some regrettable quotes from the past:
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?
Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
We dont like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? Youre crazy.
The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.
Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.
Louis Pastueurs theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.
Im just glad itll be Clark Gable whos falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.