Here is an idea of how tough it is to predict the future. This story from Modern Mechanix magazine predicted what life will be like in 2008. It was written in 1968.
To me, the most interesting part to me is not the rocket cars and vacations in space. They really, really got that wrong. Rather, I’m intrigued by the parts they got right — because when they got something right, they ended up getting it wrong. Example:
Farmers are business executives running operations as automated as factories. TV scanners monitor tractors and other equipment computer programmed to plow, harrow and harvest. Wires imbedded in the ground send control signals to the machines. Computers also keep track of yields, fertilization, soil composition and other factors influencing crops. At the beginning of each year, a print-out tells the farmer what to plant where, how much to fertilize and how much yield he can expect.
Farming isn’t confined to land. Mariculturists have turned areas of the sea into beds of protein-rich seaweed and algae. This raw material is processed into food that looks and tastes like steak and other meats. It also is cheap; families can have steak-like meals twice a day without feeling a budget pinch. Areas in bays or close to shore have been turned into shrimp, lobster, clam and other shellfish ranches, like the cattle spreads of yesteryear.
It’s darned interesting. Read the whole thing.