It’s fun to speculate about what those inventions might be, but history cautions against placing much faith in futurology. Fifty years ago, Herman Kahn and Anthony J. Wiener published The Year 2000: A Framework For Speculation. Their crystal-ball gazing got a lot right about information and communication technology. They predicted colour photocopying, multiple uses for lasers, ‘two-way pocket phones’ and automated real-time banking. That’s impressive. But Kahn and Wiener also predicted undersea colonies, silent helicopter-taxis and cities lit by artificial moons. Nothing looks more dated than yesterday’s technology shows and yesterday’s science fiction.
Excerpt from: Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy by Tim Harford