My treasured copy of the humor classic Science Made Stupid, copyright 1985, contains a Wonderful Future Invention Checklist. Who in 1985 would have thought that just 25 years later, I could check off a third or so of the entries?
- Househould Robot. Does my Roomba count?
- Magnetic Train. Check.
- Flat-Screen TV. Check.
- Flat-Screen 3-D TV. Check.
- Two-Way Wrist Radio. We are so far past this.
- Two-Way Wrist TV. Ditto.
- Intelligent Computer. My computer’s a lot smarter than it looks, honest. It just acts dumb when it has to run Microsoft products.
- Instant Access to All Human Knowledge. Check!
- Human Clones. Getting there.
- First Woman President. Does Secretary of State count?
- First Black President. Check!!
- Universal Language. That would be English.
- X-Ray Specs. My infrared camera sees through clothes.
- World War III. By some accounts, we’re about 9 years into it.
- Access to Other Dimensions. Talk to the string theorists.
- Immortality. Check?
- Spelling Reform. OMG! I cn chk ths 1 off 2.
Some of the other entries, like “Home Holographs”, “Personal Rocket”, and “My Trip to Other Galaxy” might be a bit farther off. But things sure change in a hurry.
What else about your current life do you think would most surprise a time traveler from 25 years ago?