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Books full of bad futurism


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#1
funkervogt

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I'm starting this thread to compile a list of books based on failed predictions about the future. 



#2
funkervogt

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Dow, 30,000 by 2008" Why It's Different This Time

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/1893958701/


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#3
funkervogt

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The Population Bomb

 

https://en.wikipedia...Population_Bomb



#4
starspawn0

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One problem one has to be mindful of is that some books are written as a "call to arms" to effect change and prevent disaster.  And if they succeed, then the predictions don't come true -- making it an example of "bad futurism".  
 
I don't think that's the case of either of the ones you listed (e.g. Population Bomb's error was that it didn't factor in improvements to technology -- and the fact that the population growth rate is slowing).
 
....
 
Here is a releavant SlateStarCodex piece:
 
https://slatestarcod...vironmentalism/

Every so often you’ll hear someone mutter darkly “You never hear about the ozone hole these days, guess that was a big nothingburger.” This summons a horde of environmentalists competing to point out that you never hear about the ozone hole these days because environmentalists successfully fixed it. There was a big conference in 1989 where all the nations of the world met together and agreed to stop using ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons, and the ozone hole is recovering according to schedule. When people use the ozone hole as an argument against alarmism, environmentalism is a victim of its own success.


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#5
Archimedes

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Dow, 30,000 by 2008" Why It's Different This Time

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/1893958701/

 

You just have to love this review for it though! https://www.amazon.c...ASIN=1893958701



#6
funkervogt

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One problem one has to be mindful of is that some books are written as a "call to arms" to effect change and prevent disaster.  And if they succeed, then the predictions don't come true -- making it an example of "bad futurism".  
 
I don't think that's the case of either of the ones you listed (e.g. Population Bomb's error was that it didn't factor in improvements to technology -- and the fact that the population growth rate is slowing).
 
....
 
Here is a releavant SlateStarCodex piece:
 
https://slatestarcod...vironmentalism/
 

Every so often you’ll hear someone mutter darkly “You never hear about the ozone hole these days, guess that was a big nothingburger.” This summons a horde of environmentalists competing to point out that you never hear about the ozone hole these days because environmentalists successfully fixed it. There was a big conference in 1989 where all the nations of the world met together and agreed to stop using ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons, and the ozone hole is recovering according to schedule. When people use the ozone hole as an argument against alarmism, environmentalism is a victim of its own success.

 

I disagree with you. Both of the books I've cited so far are prime examples of bad futurism. 



#7
starspawn0

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I am in *agreement* with you that they are examples of bad futurism.  My post was to point out that one should be careful about any other books added to the list.  "I don't think that's the case of either of the ones you listed..." is saying that the unfulfilled predictions were not the result of the book calling attention to the problem, whereupon it was solved


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#8
funkervogt

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In his book Hubbert’s Peak, published in 2001 by Princeton University Press, Deffeyes predicted a mid-decade peak in world oil production. He later refined this prediction in a January 2004 Internet post in which he wrote that the global peak was going to fall “right smack dab on top of Thanksgiving Day 2005.” 

https://www.amazon.c...wt_bibl_vppi_i2


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#9
Alislaws

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In his book Hubbert’s Peak, published in 2001 by Princeton University Press, Deffeyes predicted a mid-decade peak in world oil production. He later refined this prediction in a January 2004 Internet post in which he wrote that the global peak was going to fall “right smack dab on top of Thanksgiving Day 2005.” 

https://www.amazon.c...wt_bibl_vppi_i2

 

I had a look at reviews to see If any of them acknowledged how wrong the book was, but lots of people even in 2012 were reading it, giving it 5* and commenting about how great an insight it gave into the oil industry. 

 

I liked this review though:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! May 18, 2014

Loved it!!! Finished in two days as I couldn't put it down :) wonderful science fiction story with a great plot. 

 


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