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Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Featured, Science & Technology | 0 comments

Predicting the Future is Hard Work

asimov2The late Isaac Asimov was a brilliant man and a great author.  In 1964 he made some predictions about 2014 – none of which turned out to be true,  He made 12 predictions, if you want to see them all go to the link because I’m going to just cover and comment on a few of them,

2. Appliances would no longer have electric cords

Instead, previously-plugged in gadgets would be powered by “long-lived batteries running on isotopes.” A probably expensive proposition in today’s 2014, except, according to Asimov, the batteries would be cheap by-products of…

3. Fission-power plants that would energize most of the world

By 2014, Asimov surmised that fission-power plants would be “supplying well over half the power needs of humanity.” But Asimov also predicted that fission-power technology would already be on the way out in favor of…

4. At least two experimental fusion-power plants 

Scientists would also have constructed models of “power stations in space, collecting sunlight by means of huge parabolic focusing devices and radiating the energy thus collected to earth.” Solar energy would be just as big a deal on Earth, too: enormous solar power stations in a number of semi-desert regions (including Arizona and Kazakhstan) would be fully operational.

Of course most of this has not happened although earth based solar power is increasingly gaining market share.  Battery technology still seems to be constrained by the laws of physics and chemistry.  We are still waiting for some kind of break through here.

6. There would be robots

But they’d lack in quantity and quality: “Robots will be neither common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.” Asimov predicted one Jetsons-ish advancement in robotics with his idea for a General Electric “robot housemaid…large, clumsy, slow-moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning, and manipulation of various appliances.” Another of Asimov’s predictions picked up on by The Jetsons was…

While we may not have robots in our but homes industrial robots have taken over manufacturing often out of necessity.  A human could not make the mother board or the microprocessor  in the device you are using to read this post now.

Read the rest, interesting stuff but the fact remains predicting the future  is hard work largely because it’s hard to predict technological break throughs or lack there of.