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Reality check


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#1
Leptictidium

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In 1999, an excited cardiologist made the following predictions for 2009:

 



    [*]The use of cholesterol-controlling statins steadily increased throughout the decade as knowledge of their benefits spread among generalists, prices fell, and generic brands appeared;
    [*]Angiogenesis drugs, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), obviated the need for much bypass surgery by growing new arteries on damaged hearts;
    [*]Anti-angiogenesis drugs (e.g., endostatin), locally implanted in arterial plaque, inhibit its growth;
    [*]Myogenesis drugs rebuild damaged heart muscles;
    [*]Antiglycosylation therapies prevent the cross-linking that weakens aging heart muscle;
    [*]New vaccines raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels to help stave off heart disease;
    [*]New genomic therapies repair damage after a myocardial infarction and prevent the mass apoptosis that commonly follows;
    [*]A nicotine vaccine allows smokers who wish to quit smoking to rid themselves of the physical craving for cigarettes; and
    [*]New antibiotics are used prophylactically to prevent chlamydia and other infections, which cardiovascular specialists continue to investigate as a cause of cardiovascular disease.
    [/list]

I'm disappointed to say few of these advances have actually come true, even four years after 2009. If the same applies to other fields of science, the pace of progress may turn out to be slower than we thought.



#2
Casey

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We're all quite aware that predicting the future is shaky ground. Don't think most of us need a reality check there.

#3
Leptictidium

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Yeah, but the fact that just 1 out of 9 predictions has materialised just makes it even worse. If even a renowned expert in the field of cardiology failed in 88.8% of his predictions, then what are the prospects for all the other predictions regarding health and longevity?



#4
Casey

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Depends on the source, depends on the prediction. There's a wide world out there of predictions that have come true just like there's a wide world of predictions that never did, and there's individuals and groups out there that boast a much higher accuracy rating for medical predictions than 11%.



#5
SG-1

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In 1999, an excited cardiologist made the following predictions for 2009:

 

 


  • The use of cholesterol-controlling statins steadily increased throughout the decade as knowledge of their benefits spread among generalists, prices fell, and generic brands appeared;
  • Angiogenesis drugs, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), obviated the need for much bypass surgery by growing new arteries on damaged hearts;
  • Anti-angiogenesis drugs (e.g., endostatin), locally implanted in arterial plaque, inhibit its growth;
  • Myogenesis drugs rebuild damaged heart muscles;
  • Antiglycosylation therapies prevent the cross-linking that weakens aging heart muscle;
  • New vaccines raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels to help stave off heart disease;
  • New genomic therapies repair damage after a myocardial infarction and prevent the mass apoptosis that commonly follows;
  • A nicotine vaccine allows smokers who wish to quit smoking to rid themselves of the physical craving for cigarettes; and
  • New antibiotics are used prophylactically to prevent chlamydia and other infections, which cardiovascular specialists continue to investigate as a cause of cardiovascular disease.

I'm disappointed to say few of these advances have actually come true, even four years after 2009. If the same applies to other fields of science, the pace of progress may turn out to be slower than we thought.

When you are fed technology info through Fox News or tech websites all you see are finished products.

When you look at research you will, unfortunately, see a lot of dead ends..

 

It is pretty discouraging to know we could be doing a lot better and we aren't, but nevertheless technology improves.  Look at how far we have come so far.  It is always good to take things with a grain of salt.  I think being a realist is being optimistic in the long run, but there is a difference between an idealist and an optimist. 

 

Medical predictions are pretty crappy.  We can predict what computers will be doing but when we try and project what we will be able to do with the human body it gets super cloudy.


Hey.  Stop reading.  The post is over.


#6
RandomInternetStranger

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It's a good reality check. I've noticed a lot of people on this forum are a little younger (teenagers and early 20-somethings), and frankly a lot of them sound kind of credulous when it comes to futuristic predictions and futurism in general. Many of them are too young to be aware that futurists have made false predictions for decades and that they're not the first generation to be told that the future is going to have all this whiz bang stuff that they'll get to see. So it's good to have something like this to remind people that, hey, don't get it for granted. Wait until things have been demonstrated as proof-of-concept before you get excited and start making predictions.

 

One of the reasons I'm excited about 3D bioprinting is because it IS being demonstrated as proof-as-concept, in both humans and animals, and clinical trials are actually starting fairly soon for treatments such as replacing knee cartilage and spinal discs, growing skin for burn victims, breast tissue for breast implants, and fixing bone defects and injuries. So it's not so off-the-wall-crazy to predict that we'll have treatments for all of those things, and a few others things that don't involve 3D printing entire complex organs, in 10 or so years because its based on things that are happening now. I'm not a cardiologist but it sounds like the guy who made the predictions in 1999 didn't base his predictions on things that were happening in the present. Like a nicotine vaccine: was there ANY indication that that was in the works in 1999? Or did he just assume that something like that would happen because it's THE FUTURE?



#7
Casey

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It's a good reality check. I've noticed a lot of people on this forum are a little younger (teenagers and early 20-somethings), and frankly a lot of them sound kind of credulous when it comes to futuristic predictions and futurism in general. Many of them are too young to be aware that futurists have made false predictions for decades and that they're not the first generation to be told that the future is going to have all this whiz bang stuff that they'll get to see. So it's good to have something like this to remind people that, hey, don't get it for granted. Wait until things have been demonstrated as proof-of-concept before you get excited and start making predictions.

 

Sounds to me like you're describing a straw futurist there. I honestly can't think of anyone here that is that secure in the accuracy of futurism. We consider the predictions respectable and credible, but we all still take them with a grain of salt and are very aware that things might not come to pass on the predicted timescale.

 

I don't mean to sound testy, since your post is reasonable and fair. I just fail to see any starry-eyed foal on FutureTimeline. I am very optimistic, though in my particular case I prefer to look at the forest rather than the trees. Do I tend to take individual predictions to the bank? Generally speaking, no. But I do believe that most areas of science are advancing rapidly, that there's many wonderful things on the horizon to be excited about, and that humanity's reached the point where, in many ways, the world's a better place each December 31st than it was the preceding January 1st.



#8
RandomInternetStranger

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It's a good reality check. I've noticed a lot of people on this forum are a little younger (teenagers and early 20-somethings), and frankly a lot of them sound kind of credulous when it comes to futuristic predictions and futurism in general. Many of them are too young to be aware that futurists have made false predictions for decades and that they're not the first generation to be told that the future is going to have all this whiz bang stuff that they'll get to see. So it's good to have something like this to remind people that, hey, don't get it for granted. Wait until things have been demonstrated as proof-of-concept before you get excited and start making predictions.

 

Sounds to me like you're describing a straw futurist there. I honestly can't think of anyone here that is that secure in the accuracy of futurism. We consider the predictions respectable and credible, but we all still take them with a grain of salt and are very aware that things might not come to pass on the predicted timescale.

 

I don't mean to sound testy, since your post is reasonable and fair. I just fail to see any starry-eyed foal on FutureTimeline. I am very optimistic, though in my particular case I prefer to look at the forest rather than the trees. Do I tend to take individual predictions to the bank? Generally speaking, no. But I do believe that most areas of science are advancing rapidly, that there's many wonderful things on the horizon to be excited about, and that humanity's reached the point where, in many ways, the world's a better place each December 31st than it was the preceding January 1st.

 

 

You may be correct and I apologize. I'm new to this forum so I haven't fully gotten a "feel" for what the community is like. I was mostly just describing my experience with futurists in general.

 

It's good to be optimistic and to try to see the forest instead of just the trees, as you say. I'm also quite optimistic about the future and I agree with you about the world slowly becoming a better place. 






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