1950s vs. NOW: Did Mid-Century Futurism Flop?


Hey there! Welcome to Life Noggin! If I’ve learned anything from watching movies
and tv shows of the past, it’s that humans have a hard time predicting what the future
will actually look like. I’m still waiting for my hoverboard and
flying car… But they do come up with some pretty cool
ideas. And in the 1950s, after World War II came
to an end and the space race was just beginning, they had an, well, impressive imagination. The magazine Popular Mechanics published plenty
of predictions over the years by scientists and inventors about future technology. In the 50s, many of their predictions centered
around travel and homes. They had ideas for vacuum tube trains that
traveled at nearly 8,050 kilometers per hour, pneumatic tube highways to transport your
car, personal helicopters you park on your lawn, and floating domes that would cover
entire cities. They also thought that in the future, cleaning
your house would mean spraying everything down with a hose, including your furniture,
curtains, and rugs, which would all be made of a waterproof material. To dry them, simply turn on a blast of hot
air. In 1950, an Associated Press article was published
titled, “How Experts Think We’ll Live in 2000 A.D.” While smell-o-vision and amazonian sized women
were among the more outlandish ideas, they correctly predicted that public health and
agriculture would improve, what they called “space platforms” would monitor the planet,
and house appliances could be controlled by your voice. Okay Animator, set my house to party mode! [Techno Music Plays] The home appliances company Whirlpool also
made some accurate predictions about future technology. Their “miracle kitchen” concept included
a video phone, home surveillance, an ice dispenser, and a robotic vacuum. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! An ice dispenser? Okay! Yeah that’ll happen! A famous science fiction writer of the 50s
had some more outlandish ideas about the future. In 1952, Robert Heinlein published his predictions
for the end of the twentieth century. As an engineer, he was known for incorporating
plausible science theories in his books. Even so, some of his ideas were a little far-fetched. By the year 2000, he thought we would have
found intelligent life on Mars, that interplanetary travel would be commonplace, that we would
have cured the common cold and cancer, and that modern art would have disappeared. Sorry buddy, it’s here to stay! I just made this beautiful thing! But some of his predictions were pretty spot-on:
Contraception has changed social and economic structures,, we have explored our solar system,
we have phones that can fit in our pocket, and scientists have begun work on regenerative
medicine,. Other predictions made during this era were
more hopeful. Like that we will rely primarily on solar
power, that we will have put an end to most diseases, overpopulation, the housing shortage, and that mankind will not have destroyed itself. Hopefully, in another 70 years, mankind will
continue to exist and we can see which of our predictions about the future we got right. Seriously an ice dispenser. I mean, let’s be reasonable, okay? So what technology do you wanna see in the next 70 years? Let me know your predictions in the comment section below right now, and get as imaginative as you want. Curious to know what would happen if you were an adult in the 1970s? You’re gonna wanna check out this video! many of the states lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18. While I’m sure some of you are wishing they left it there, this change actually resulted in a lot of deaths from car crashes as always, my name is Blocko, this has been Life Noggin, don’t forget to keep on thinking!

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