With 2017 drawing to a close, it’s time to look to the future — something movies, TV shows and scholars have been doing for decades.
From killer sports to talking dolphins, people of the past had some eerily dead-on (and some not-so-dead-on) predictions for 2018.
See what they thought future humans had in store, and how their predictions stack up to real life.
Rollerball hasn’t dominated our TV screens
James Caan starred in the 1975 cult classic “Rollerball,” about a corporate-dominated society in which all team sports and warfare have been replaced with rollerball, a violent roller derby-esque sport complete with motorcycles and explosions. The global sport, meant to emphasize the futility of individual action, is extremely dangerous to the point where it appears to be a 2018 version of what the gladiators were forced to endure in ancient Rome.
While sports are as popular as ever heading into the new year, the closest 2018 has to a global platform meant for tearing each other apart is Twitter.
Dolphins have yet to speak English
The NBC series “seaQuest DSV” hit the airwaves (and the actual waves) in 1993, focusing on a submarine that patrols the now-colonized deep sea after humans overpopulate the world and use up all natural resources.
Underwater colonization is certainly still a ways off (just ask the Jonas Brothers — they predicted we’d all live underwater by the year 3000), as is the series’ other bold 2018 prediction — talking dolphins.
Darwin, a dolphin character on the show, was able to communicate with his human companions through a high-tech translation device. Still, hold your horses (er, fins) until at least 2021 for this one — that’s when a Swedish startup says it plans to develop a software that can unlock dolphin communication, according to Bloomberg.
Yes to Siri, no to flying cars
The prediction of voice-activated technology came to fruition in the form of Amazon’s Alexa, among other brands.
A 1968 book of expert essays guessing at the future fared relatively well in its predictions, namely regarding population growth and voice recognition technology.
In “Toward Year 2018,” an essay by D. G. Brennan predicted that computers would be able to work faster than the human brain, and could be easily carried in one’s pocket, which sounds awfully similar to a smartphone.
In another essay, J. R. Pierce suggested that voice-operated devices would be able to recognize and react to human speech, much like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
The experts also came close to accurately guessing the world’s population — demographer Philip M. Hauser put the range between 8.4 and 10.4 billion people, which holds up well against the actual 2018 population of 7.6 billion.
Alas, not all could hit the nail on the head. Brennan also predicted that anti-gravity cars would exist, but so far, no dice.
An inhibition-free 2018
Another spot-on prediction from “Toward the Year 2018” came from Ithiel de Sola Pool, who guessed that, thanks to the “hippie movement” that started to make headway in the ’60s, people of 2018 would be a bit looser.
“We will have more, and more powerful, drugs, capable of making men gay or sad, suicidal or ecstatic. Some drugs will open up the gates of memory and speech; others will lock men in darkness,” he wrote. “There is every reason to believe that…by the year 2018 people will be still more uninhibited than now in openly avowing their impulses and feelings toward others and acting out these feelings in public.”
We’re (potentially) building a wall
President Trump isn’t the only one who believes building a wall is the best way to stop crime. The 2014 film “Brick Mansions” takes place in 2018 in a dystopian Detroit. In the film, starring the late Paul Walker, all criminals live in brick mansions, contained within a giant wall meant to keep crime from spilling out into the rest of the city. Walker stars as an undercover cop who gets tangled up in a complicated plot involving a kidnap and a bomb. Regardless of plot details, the main thing the film gets wrong is that people are still listening to the song “Turn Down for What” in 2018.
Source: Ny Daily News