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History's Failed Predictions Thread

Luddites Optimists Pessimists predictions history future

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#1
Yuli Ban

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Came across this in /r/Futurology, reminded me of Clifford Stroll, which thus reminded me of Lord Kelvin.
 
Let's have a thread dedicated to failed predictions, whether too optimistic, too pessimistic, or completely off the mark.
 
1985 NY Times article about why Portable computers failed

The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don't want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so.

 
WHY THE WEB WON'T BE NIRVANA

After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.
Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.
Consider today's online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#2
Yuli Ban

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26 Hilariously Inaccurate Predictions About the Future

 

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#3
Yuli Ban

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Top 30 Failed Technology Predictions

 

And I could go on all day about failed doomsday predictions.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#4
TheComrade

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I especially liked this:

 

 

“[Television] won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

 

The similar mistake was made by our TV-bosses in early post-soviet years: "these foreign soap operas will fail, Russian audience is too smart/educated for such a primitive tv-product... but let's try". Alas, those soap operas has a huge success  :biggrin:


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#5
Jakob

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https://www.lhup.edu...ek/neverwrk.htm



#6
TheComrade

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Some of those predictions were quite reasonable for their historical context. For example, you can't blame this Roman governor for he didn't see the firearms or industrial revolution in far distant future... he was right that "engines of war" has reached the limits of possible since there were no serious changes during the last few centuries.


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#7
MarcZ

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Can't believe no one has mentioned the most famous failed prediction in history:

 

https://en.wikipedia...e_of_Population

 

https://en.wikipedia...ian_catastrophe

 

People still believe this shit 300 years later!!!!!



#8
Jakob

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Can't believe no one has mentioned the most famous failed prediction in history:

 

https://en.wikipedia...e_of_Population

 

https://en.wikipedia...ian_catastrophe

 

People still believe this shit 300 years later!!!!!

Yeah, it's very silly.



#9
Yuli Ban

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Can't believe no one has mentioned the most famous failed prediction in history:

 

https://en.wikipedia...e_of_Population

 

https://en.wikipedia...ian_catastrophe

 

People still believe this shit 300 years later!!!!!

Yeah, it's very silly.

 

A population of 1 trillion is equally silly.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#10
Jakob

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Can't believe no one has mentioned the most famous failed prediction in history:

 

https://en.wikipedia...e_of_Population

 

https://en.wikipedia...ian_catastrophe

 

People still believe this shit 300 years later!!!!!

Yeah, it's very silly.

 

A population of 1 trillion is equally silly.

 

Only if we keep using primitive methods of agriculture and energy generation and/or fail to adopt an Innovationist mindset.



#11
Yuli Ban

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It's silly regardless.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#12
Jakob

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It's silly regardless.

No, it isn't. It's realizing our potential.

 

Or beginning to. A trillion trillion trillion trillion people spread out across the observable universe is realizing our potential.



#13
Yuli Ban

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No, it's not. 

 

If we could have a pentillion people spread out across the universe, we'd be stupid to actually do that when we could instead have one cosmic AI.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#14
Jakob

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Sending out machines is utterly pointless and cripples our own potential, much like sending out random organisms.

 

The goal of Innovationism isn't for "something" to gain ultimate power and knowledge, it's for us to gain ultimate power and knowledge.


Edited by Jakob, 14 January 2016 - 06:56 PM.


#15
Yuli Ban

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Sending out machines is utterly pointless and cripples our own potential, much like sending out random organisms.

 

The goal of Innovationism isn't for "something" to gain ultimate power and knowledge, it's for us to gain ultimate power and knowledge.

I don't think you're quite getting this.

 

There is absolutely no reason to waste shit on humans if we can have something superior to humans, with none of our drawbacks, see to the creation of all great things at a rate far quicker than even a googol genius humans combined.

 

AI. Will. Rule. Get over it.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#16
Jakob

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Sending out machines is utterly pointless and cripples our own potential, much like sending out random organisms.

 

The goal of Innovationism isn't for "something" to gain ultimate power and knowledge, it's for us to gain ultimate power and knowledge.

I don't think you're quite getting this.

 

There is absolutely no reason to waste shit on humans if we can have something superior to humans, with none of our drawbacks, see to the creation of all great things at a rate far quicker than even a googol genius humans combined.

 

AI. Will. Rule. Get over it.

 

For humanity, nothing is superior to humanity.


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#17
Lunix688

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Sending out machines is utterly pointless and cripples our own potential, much like sending out random organisms.

 

The goal of Innovationism isn't for "something" to gain ultimate power and knowledge, it's for us to gain ultimate power and knowledge.

I don't think you're quite getting this.

 

There is absolutely no reason to waste shit on humans if we can have something superior to humans, with none of our drawbacks, see to the creation of all great things at a rate far quicker than even a googol genius humans combined.

 

AI. Will. Rule. Get over it.

 

 

Since I am a Human, I for one care first and foremost about the interest of humans.

It should be our goal as a civilization to expand the human race, as far as possible. 

 

Also, I see AI as a utility. I really do not see why we need sentient AI? After all, what is the benefit of doing so? Just because it CAN be done, does not mean it SHOULD be done.

I also care about individuality and rights - and so I would definitely not want a future whereby all humans are some 'borg" like hive mind (which I think you are alluding to). 


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"Liberterianism is a mental disease. A national health crisis and a threat to the future of this country...Worse than the threat from terrorism, asteroids, disease and yes global warming.
It is mindless anti-government idiocy. If it isn't turned back I predict the end of this country as a world power. Simply put the need to educate our entire population like any sane country is sen as wrong by the cult that practice this foolish idiocy. So is simple workers rights, child labor and every other sane policy of the modern world."
-Matthew
 
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
-Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
"The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way."
-Milton Friedman
 
 

 


#18
Frizz

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Basically the whole timeline.
“Give me time and I’ll give you a revolution.”
- Alexander McQueen

#19
MarcZ

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Basically the whole timeline.

 

Why are you here?



#20
Yuli Ban

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BACK ON TOPIC
 
Robert Heinlein's predictions for the Year 2000 (from 1952)
 
18lp56gep0jkajpg.jpg
 
 
Asimov's 2014 Predictions Were Shockingly Conservative

In 1964, sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov penned a piece for the New York Times with his predictions for the world of 2014. Looking at the World's Fair of 50 years hence, Asimov imagined 3D TV, underground cities, and colonies on the moon. Many people online have hailed this as an incredible example of prescient thinking, but what sticks out to me is just how shockingly restrained—unoriginal, even—his predictions were for the time.
There was nothing Asimov proposed in that article that hadn't already been promised by popular futurism of the 1950s and early '60s. In fact, you can pretty much find every single one of Asimov's 1964 predictions in the 1962-63 TV show "The Jetsons" — a show that existed to parody the future as much as embrace it. This isn't a slight to Asimov, but rather an indication that popular visions of the future evolve like any other idea: Slowly and in a sort of invisible collaboration with the culture at large.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






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