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Forecasting the Future

Some folks are aware that I co-founded the website Shaping Tomorrow and have a passion for all things in the future.  This is because the future is the only thing we cannot know, but we can shape the future and take advantage of opportunities if we spot them before everyone else.

So I was fascinated to see the Ladies Home Journal of December 1900 article, forecasting the next hundred years (doubleclick image to enlarge, and read predictions in detail by clicking here):

Ladies Home Journal Dec 1900 paleofuture paleo-future

The predictions are interesting, with a few very close to the mark.

For example:


Spot on!


With English spreading around the world in the 1990s as the language of the internet, everyone speaks a version of Anglais.  However, the language has changed rapidly due to texting and mobile, so we now have emoticons and txt as our method of communicating.


High speed trains mean that you can now get from London to Central Paris faster than by plane.


This is now reality, and not in hours but in real-time.  For example, the death of Neda Agha-Soltan in Iran last year was broadcast via twitter and YouTube globally within seconds.


This is definitely the case … the use of automated weapons on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is transforming the face of war … but not the on the ground battle, where loss of life is still way too high for both troops and, more importantly, civilians.

Not all the predictions are that spot on however.  For example:


The idea of having zero noise in Cities as cars fly overground and underground hasn't happened.



Poor wee rats and mice.

Anyways, this find has inspired me to start thinking about predictions for 2110 which I'll post over the Christmas break.  After all, if we knew the future we would be rich!

Now then, where did I place this week's lottery ticket?


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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