In 1968, the Foreign Policy Association gathered experts together to predict what life would be like in the year 2018 -- and issued their forecast in the book Toward the Year 2018.
The book jacket promised that the contents were "MORE AMAZING THAN SCIENCE FICTION," and, like a lot of sci fi, it wound up frequently missing the mark. The 1968 progrosticators figured that we people of the future would have TV ads for anti-gravity belts, the "suppression of lightning," a country powered heavily by nuclear, and the ability to launch "a man-made hurricane" as an offensive weapon.
But as this writeup in the New Yorker notes ...
But for every amusingly wrong prediction, there’s one unnervingly close to the mark. It’s the same Thomas Malone who, amid predictions of weaponized hurricanes, wonders aloud whether “large-scale climate modification will be effected inadvertently” from rising levels of carbon dioxide. Such global warming, he predicts, might require the creation of an international climate body with “policing powers”—an undertaking, he adds, heartbreakingly, that should be “as nonpolitical as possible.” Gordon F. MacDonald, a fellow early advocate on climate change, writes a chapter on space that largely shrugs at manned interplanetary travel—a near-heresy in 1968—by cannily observing that while the Apollo missions would soon exhaust their political usefulness, weather and communications satellites would not. “A global communication system . . . would permit the use of giant computer complexes,” he adds, noting the revolutionary potential of a data bank that “could be queried at any time.” What “Toward the Year 2018” gets most consistently right is the integration of computing into daily life.Read the rest