A common complaint…

Anyone who grew up reading sf, seeing all the usual movies and TV shows, and maybe reading serious stuff like Arthur C Clarke’s Profiles of the Future[1], will more than likely have developed certain expectations about future technology. Like this guy:

Living in the future

Living in the future

Assuming you’ve clicked through[2] to see the whole thing in its native environment, you’ll have seen that he’s soon put right on that…

But, as often happens with xkcd, it does raise some interesting thoughts – most predictions of the future tend to assume that it’ll be like now, only more so[3]. This isn’t surprising, because predicting technological and social changes is pretty much a matter of guesswork.

But here we are, living in the future as Wil Wheaton likes to say[6], and we got most of it wrong.

[1] I’ve still got that somewhere. I think. Possibly in a box.
[2] Or already seen it anyway
[3] Like the alleged[4] nineteenth century projection that if London traffic continued to increase, then by the mid-twentieth century, the city would be knee-deep[5] in horse manure. This was a perfectly reasonable prediction based on known technology.
[4] I haven’t looked it up, so it may be one of those things that gets repeated a lot, but doesn’t have a genuine source
[5] Or thereabouts
[6] Not to be confused with Evil Wil Wheaton, who appears on Big Bang Theory. He mostly likes to say things that make Sheldon cry.