Tag Archives | Predictions

The 1969 Science Fiction Novel Which Eerily Predicted Today

zanzibarJohn Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar, written more than forty years ago but set in an imagined year 2010 in which ever more power is concentrated in the hands of a few global corporations, is eerily accurate about so much current reality. Via the The Millions, Ted Gioia writes:

Brunner’s vision of the year 2010 even includes a popular leader named President Obomi. Let me list some of the other correct predictions in Brunner’s book:

Random acts of violence by crazy individuals, often taking place at schools, plague society in Stand on Zanzibar.

The other major source of instability and violence comes from terrorists, who are now a major threat to U.S. interests, and even manage to attack buildings within the United States.

Prices have increased sixfold between 1960 and 2010 because of inflation. (The actual increase in U.S. prices during that period was sevenfold, but Brunner was close.)

The most powerful U.S.

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Iranian Government Scientist Claims To Have Invented Machine That Reveals The Future

speculationsHow does it work? Algorithms, duh. Via the Telegraph:

Ali Razeghi, a Tehran scientist has registered “The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine” with the state-run Centre for Strategic Inventions. The device can predict the future in a print out after taking readings from the touch of a user, he told the Fars state newsagency.

Razaeghi, 27, said the device worked by a set of complex algorithms to “predict five to eight years of the future life of any individual, with 98 percent accuracy”. As the managing director of Iran’s Centre for Strategic Inventions, Razeghi is a serial inventor with 179 other inventions listed under his own name.

“My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next 5-8 years of the life of its users,” he said. “The reason that we are not launching our prototype at this stage is that the Chinese will steal the idea and produce it in millions overnight.”

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A History Of Speculation

Can the future truly be changed, or are we on a predetermined path? Chris Woebken and Sascha Pohflepp on grasping at the fabric of reality:
Hermann Minkowski's light cones gave us a visual idea of how the possible may be situated within relations of causality. Then, in the mid-20th century, those ideas were carried into the realm of geopolitics by the threat of nuclear war. With a flight time of 30 minutes between the Soviet Union and the United States, rocket technology shrank the future to a point where speculation became a key asset in the arsenals of the superpowers. Big think tanks like the Californian RAND Corporation, scientists, and engineers were systematically mapping out possibility spaces.
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Bruce Sterling On Technology, Our Fate, And Eternity

Publisher 40kBooks has fresh answers from key science fiction and futurism writer Bruce Sterling, in response to questions from Cory Doctorow and others:

[Is the world] improved by technology? From the point of view of almost anything in this world that’s not a human being like you and me, the answer’s almost certainly No. You might get a few Yea votes from albino rabbits and gene-spliced tobacco plants. Ask any living thing that’s been around in the world since before the Greeks made up the word “technology,” like say a bristlecone pine or a coral reef.

It’s mostly the past’s things that will outlive us. Things that have already successfully lived a long time, such as the Pyramids, are likely to stay around longer than 99.9% of our things. It’s a bit startling to realize that it’s mostly our paper that will survive us as data, while our electronics will succumb to erasure, loss, and bit rot.

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Cultural Shifts And Styles To Come In The 2010s

As we begin 2013, here’s DIS Magazine looking forward to our happy, creepy future:

For humanity, gender bending will extend down generationally, all the way to the unborn. Gender for infants will be predetermined and hormone treatments will become standard treatment for children who reject their pre-natal assignments. Trannies will subsequently grow in numbers and be afforded a great deal of respect—especially transgendered pop stars.

Clearly, the current trend of heterosexual promiscuity will continue to accelerate in direct proportion to the rise in gay monogamy. “Republican sex” (formerly known as “the missionary position”) will become a popular term and it will be considered the most risqué, dirty sex a pervert could ever have.

Animal farming will soon reel from unfathomable scandal and animals will develop severe eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Animal obesity will also become a chronic issue. Domesticated family pets will deal with these same emotional eating issues due to the simple truth that these diseases are psychologically contagious and animals are psychic.

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James Howard Kunstler’s 2013 Forecast

Photo by Charlie Samuels (C)

Peak oil proponent and author (and former DisinfoCast guest) James Howard Kunstler offers grim predictions for the coming year:

Via Clusterfuck Nation:

The people who like to think they are managing the world’s affairs seem fiercely determined to ignore the world’s true condition — namely, the permanent contraction of industrial economies. They just can’t grok it. Two hundred years of cheap fossil fuel programmed mankind to expect limitless goodies forever on an upward-swinging arc of techno miracles. Now that the cheap fossil fuels have plateaued, with decline clearly in view, the hope remains that all the rackets of modernity can keep going on techno miracles alone.

Meanwhile, things and events are in revolt, especially the human race’s financial operating system, the world’s weather, and the angry populations of floundering nations. The Grand Vizier of this blog, that is, Yours Truly, makes no great claims for his crystal ball gazing (Dow at 4,000 – ha!), but he subscribes to the dictums of two wise men from the realm of major league baseball: Satchel Paige, who famously stated, “Don’t look back,” and Yogi Berra, who remarked of a promising rookie, “His whole future’s ahead of him!”

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Five More Possibly Upcoming Apocalypses To Provoke Panic

We may have dodged a bullet with the end of the Mayan long count calendar, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Via Addicting Info, several other compelling ancient doomsday prophesies may be approaching, including the Norse Ragnarök, Nostradamus’ Last Days,  the Hindu Kali Yuga, and even the Zoroastrian apocalypse:

Yes, they have one, too. It is supposed to occur 3000 years after Zoroaster was born but since there is some dispute about that, who knows when it will happen? The whole thing will begin when the sun and moon are no longer seen and a long, dark winter kicks in. The usual fading of morality and religious values and such will darken our doorstep.

Then a big demon will break out of the cavern its been held trapped in and it will eat 1/3 of the world’s population. Then a virgin will bathe in a lake in which the long-ago ejaculated seed of Zoroaster is still alive and she’ll get pregnant and give birth to the savior figure, Saoshyant.

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Ten Top Futurist Predictions For 2013 And Beyond

The World Future Society has revealed its top ten expectations, which could alternately be seen as utopian or dystopian, for the world in which we will soon be living. Including, robots will care for our elderly, a profit-driven space race will unfold, “the cloud” will run our lives, and neurotechnology will know what we are about to do before we do it:

The “cloud” will become more intelligent, not just a place to store data. Cloud intelligence will evolve into becoming an active resource in our daily lives, providing analysis and contextual advice. Virtual agents could, for example, design your family’s weekly menu based on everyone’s health profiles, fitness goals, and taste preferences, predict futurist consultants Chris Carbone and Kristin Nauth.

Robots will become gentler caregivers in the next 10 years. Lifting and transferring frail patients may be easier for robots than for human caregivers, but their strong arms typically lack sensitivity.

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