Looking Back On Looking Forward

Dave Killion — August 10, 2012

As Danish physicist Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Caleb Bennet demonstrates just how true that is by revisiting the April 1964 edition of The New York Times Magazine, and its predictions for the year 2000. I am sorry to say that the prognosticated appearance of flying cars (not to mention the disappearance of racial and religious discrimination) have yet to be realized, but it is some comfort to find the errors in one particular chart and to imagine what that error portends for the next fifty years –

U.S. GNP in 2000 was actually over $10 trillion. This is not an increase of four times, but twenty. It may well be that we are entering a point in human development where poverty is not only no longer the norm, but perhaps even experienced only by ascetics and a portion of the self-destructive.

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