Tag Archives: prediction

Predicting the Future, NOT

5 Apr

Back in the mid-1960s, Dan Gardner reports, Olaf Helmer directed a group of RAND Corporation experts in forecasting the state of this that and the other in the year 2000, which is now well behind us. The following were deemed “very probable”:

Controlled thermonuclear power [fusion power] will be economically competitive with other sources of power.

It will be possible to control the weather regionally to a large extent.

Ocean mining on a large scale will be in progress.

Artificial life will have been created in a test tube.

Immunization against all bacterial and viral diseases will be available.

Highly intelligent machines will exist that will act as effective collaborators of scientists and engineers.

I don’t know about life in a test tube, but, by my lights, none of the others have come to pass. What’s the chance that we can predict the effects of producing more nuclear power plants, more waste, etc.?