9 Predictions From 1964 That Failed To Come True
The year is 1964. In the UK Harold Wilson entered Number 10 as leader of the Labour Party after 13 years of Conservative rule bringing new life and possibilities to the world. Meanwhile in the USA as Lyndon Johnson would be elected president, the RAND Corporation, an American nonprofit global policy think tank, issued a report which put several questions to 82 experts across various fields regarding what we can expect to see in the next 50 years and beyond.
A number of these predictions had years attached to them as the earliest we should expect to see these new technologies achieved. And while some have made strides towards the goal, some have been much less successful. Here are 9 predictions from 1964 that failed to come true.
1) 1980: Robots as household servants
While various advances have been made with SMART technology from TVs to phones, heating systems to security systems and devices such as Alexa, Siri and Google Hub, the idea of a servant akin to Rosie from the Jetsons hasn’t completely come to pass, however robots such as ASIMO can provide us with hope that it could be possible in the near future.
2) 1980: Manned landing on Mars
Again, there has been much progress since the 1960’s when sending items to Mars with probes like Voyager and vehicles such as the Mars Rover providing much enthusiasm to the scientific community. The current travel time to Mars is said to be around 7 months and manned missions are rumored, but for now life on the Red Planet still eludes us.
3) 1995: Human lives artificially extended by 50 years
Due to standards of living the average life expectancy across the globe has risen to around 72.6 years, a rise of over 20 years compared to 1964 when this report was released. Better healthcare and supplies has allowed many people in recent times to live for over 100 years, however the idea of being able to extend your life artificially has not occured yet.1
4) 1995: Automated voting
Various different systems have been introduced to speed up and improve the accuracy of voting around the world with punch cards and automated counting machines. However, as the recent 2020 Iowa Democractic Party Caucuses, these are still not full proof, meaning that an X in a box is still the norm in most countries.
5) 1998: Directly recording information to the brain
Many people will have tried the old trick of listening to learning tapes while they are asleep in the hope the knowledge will be absorbed subconsciously. Some will argue it works, others will disagree and the hope decades ago was that this could be achieved via simply implementing the information via injection directly into the brain. Sadly this is still not the case.
6) 1999: A military force on the moon
At the time of this report former President John Kennedy has predicted that man would walk on the moon before the end of the decade and indeed, between 1969 and 1972 several NASA Apollo missions led to a total of 12 men setting foot on the Moon’s surface. At such a rate of contact, the idea of colonies and even a military force on the Moon wouldn’t seem so farfetched, however since 1972 no one else has done so as attention has now moved to further afield.
7) 2000: Two-way communication with extraterrestrials
For many years every week The X Files would tell us ‘the truth is out there.’ It’s been referenced and discussed in several other movies and TV shows. And several people have claimed to have come into contact with beings from other planets for decades. However to this day, unless the truth is being kept from us, worldwide communication with extraterrestrials has failed to be confirmed.
8) 2015: Long-duration coma to allow a form of time travel
In films such as Jennifer Lawrence’s Passengers and in TV shows such as BBC’s Red Dwarf, travellers on long distance journeys have had the ability to take a very long nap, sometimes for years at a time to be able to reach their destination in no time at all. Unfortunately, long distance space travel has not taken off as expected back then, however should that change in the near future, clearly Hollywood and the BBC are the ones to talk to.
9) 2020: Breeding of apes and other animals for menial work
Despite the inhabitants of Bedrock convincing animals such as dinosaurs and birds to take on the duties of heavy duty cranes and intercoms in the world of The Flintstones, today in 2020 animals are no closer to being able to clean our houses. While advances have been made in terms of communicating with other species, the idea of animal servants seems a long way off, ethically and practically.
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