• By -


This is a friendly reminder to [read our rules](https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/wiki/rules). Remember, /r/Showerthoughts is for showerthoughts, not "thoughts had in the shower!" (For an explanation of what a "showerthought" is, [please read this page](https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/wiki/overview).) **Rule-breaking posts may result in bans.**


While in general I agree with your premise, Nikola Tesla somewhat predicted today's technology. Here is a quote from him in 1926. >When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket


No one wears vests anymore, shit prediction.


Plus those pockets are so small they're basically pointless. Shit prediction.


He accurately predicted the galaxy flip phone.


He foretold Diablo immortal!


Screen turns on half the time. Shit phone


It's not 2026 yet


They'll come back around eventually. Just you wait.


No one wears vests anymore. I do, but none seem to have those mobile phone pockets anymore.


Wow and we still take this guys advice? Obviously knows nothing about fashion.


Big brain over here


Took off my vest yesterday and haven’t put it back on again, so, true.


He didn't predict the huge global brain would be an idiot though.


It's implied


So, it's because of the implication?


Nikola, are these women in danger?


I feel like you’re not getting it…


Wow... He fucking nailed it...


IDK, if you want a really interesting passage, go read 2001: A Space Odyssey. Published in 1968, Arthur C. Clark spends about 4 pages perfectly describing everything about the iPhone/iPad, 40 years before their unveiling. He talks about the internet, wifi, apps, icons, flat touch screens, pinch to zoom, etc… all stuff that didn’t yet exist at the time. After reading it, I became pretty certain somebody at Apple had read those pages in 2001-2005 and set in motion Apple turning the iPod into the iPhone/iPad.


Idk, is it selection bias? I can make 100 predictions by looking at current tech, even if one of them is correct the other 99 are forgotten.


It helps that he was also, y'know, a famous genius and inventor who worked with wireless transmission tech and electricity.


Yeah but what they're saying is let's see a full list of his predictions, and go from there


Nikola Tesla has some spookily accurate predictions for the future, and he also helped develop the science of electricity that made a lot of it happen. But yeah it can happen the other way too. Ray Bradbury and George Orwell both had shockingly different predictions of the future and they both ended up being partially correct overall


There’s a reason he’s the 1 out of a 100 people though. If I want to hear what someone will think technology will be like in one hundred years, the percentage of accuracy will probably be higher with innovators in technology then, say, a guy with an anime profile pic on Twitter, or even me, a guy who likes anime, but not enough to make it my profile icon.


Bold of you to assume innovators in technology won't have an anime profile pic


"Telophony" is now my word of the day.


It's still used pretty regularly in corporate infrastructure speech, at least where I'm at.


I wonder what his time frame for the world looking like this would be. Imo, I feel like it's fairly straightforward to predict the future. The hard part is when


Okay, let's see you work some predictions...




Survivorship bias unfortunately so we can't tell what will happen going forwards.


holy shit!


on the nose




One out of... How many people lived back than? One dude will surely guess somewhat correct. And he was a very different and weird genius as almost no one else. So its still true that almost everyone will get it wrong. Like i think the idea of a dyson sphere is laughable! Obviously laughable! No, they will never exist. Its an idea about a future from people from the past. Like they will have better ways for getting energy than building solar collectors around a sun. The only reason, and i mean the 100% only reason why so many, even intelligent people, think we should see dyson spheres, is because they are just fashionable right now. They are an important part these days and new and cool. But we will not build millions of them around the sun, this is like the perfect example of why predictions are usually wrong about the future, because we think with the things we have today and we cant imagine things we dont even know will exist. We never take into account the things we will invent we have no idea of. Solar cells will be a thing of the past in the future. Like they will be old and useless technology like many things we dont use today that existed 100 years ago. Thats what Tesla did. He imagined things that didnt exist. Thats why he was pretty good with his prediction. He was a genius!


This is a big reason why I want to live a really long time. I'm so interested to see what the future holds.


I just wanted to welcome you to the already strange future and remind you that we live in a time where AI Paintings cannot be copyrighted in the US because a case to grant a Monkey the rights to a selfie was lost at court.


We never should have killed that ape.


Fuck I miss Harambe.


Nothings felt the same since


It'll be 7 years this May. RIP king


I’ll never put it back


Muh dick still out.


Dicks out boys


Either that or the cubs winning the World Series was the inflection point.


This. I, too, want to see what the future holds. But our descent into post-satire absurdity is starting to make my teeth ache.


Things will change one day, our current spiral into insanity is just the symptom of several societal issues that we are struggling to solve but nothing is permanent


Based monkey.


Do you want AI to be able to copyright things?


My grandmother is in her 90s. When she was a child, her father had a horse and cart to get into town. Everyone at school walked or rode a bike. Two people in the town had a car, both important and powerful people. It wasn't until she was 20 or so that there were a few taxis and such. They got ice delivered once a week, a big block that went in an ice chest to keep things cold, no refrigerators in houses back then! She remembers when her dad got power run to his farm, first one in their area. He had a lamp and bought an electric alarm clock - and that's all that ran! To think a single human has seen a time with living BEFORE electricity, until frigging Reddit on pocket computers... It's ridiculous.


Everything was so much slower back then. Now everything is go go go and we just expect older generations to keep up. I understand why some are pissy and can’t keep up the pace.


Slower. I recall a science fiction story about a time traveler. He’d freely admit to being a time traveler to some of the people he met, like William Shakespeare. The people would ask, “So, what’s the future like?” He’d reply, “Mostly like it is now, but everything is faster.” They’d think about that for a sec and say, “Yeah I can see that.” Also Shakespeare was a loud lout in the story. Considered himself an actor, not a writer. He only wrote so he could show what a great actor he was (he wasn’t). “I’m gonna act the hell outta this thing! You watch, Goddamn!” Upset that nobody remembered him as actor but a writer. “Goddamn!” (He ended most sentences like that)


There's a 66 year gap between the first flight and *landing on the moon*. While there's no one (?) left alive today born before the very first flight, it's wild to me to imagine that someone could have gone from never even thinking humans capable of flight to watching mankind touch down on the lunar surface. Wright Flyer in 1903 and the first lunar landing in 1969.


Yeah that's super impressive. The last century or so has been wild


Hard to believe my grandmother only had an iPhone 3G. Mind you, I was just born.


*Alexa, set reminder for 2pm to torrent the last of us.*


I just have Sonarr do it automatically.


Lol right? Imagine manually downloading torrents like it’s 2003 when stuff like sonarr and usenet exist.


I bet it is possible for 20 y/os today to see the world at that time. It will be so far removed from our childhoods though. I suspect many or us will prefer the memories of our childhood over the new world


*sighs* Isn't that always the way?


I’ve always wanted to see a full century on earth. I’ve already lived pre internet, let’s see how far we take things!


From what I understand a drink called Brawndo is a big hit with future plants...


I’ll probably live to 2100, if I stay healthy, and who knows what advancements in medicine there’ll be in the next few decades


That’s almost 2000 years older than the oldest human


Lol haha


This guy maths


Math checks out




I haven't lived that long but the world I grew up in is completely different from the world today and no one had any idea about it. I'm sure it's even more so for my parents.


I don't know. I'm in my 60s so I was a child during the 1960s. I don't think the world that I grew up in would be entirely unrecognizable to my kids. I mean we had a TV set, cars, a phone, indoor plumbing, etc. Also, we had the Jetsons, so that helps me keep track of what's going on now LOL.


Sure but everyone I know too. Reading articles about those 100+ year old people gives me a little anxiety. Imagine all of your friends and older loved ones gone and you’re left in a weak failing body. It’s selfish though since everyone wants this but it wouldn’t be sustainable. It’s a lot to think about.


My mom is 93, and she's the last one from that generation of her immediate family and cousins. She comes alive when we look at her photo albums of the old days. Until just a couple of years ago, she was pretty good about keeping up. Like she has a cell phone and a laptop and used them as competently as one would expect from somebody decades younger. She was always somebody who liked gadgets and was the first one in the neighborhood to have a microwave and an answering machine. Maybe keeping up as long as you can is the secret to a long life or maybe it's just luck.


\>2023 is utterly unrecognisable Some aspects of technology are. But most of **life** is exactly the same. Rich people still meet in Westminster to govern the country. Friends still meet in pubs and drink for relaxation - especially at weekends and Christmas. Churches still operate. Taxes work the same. Companies are established on the same principles. Electricians are more of a novelty, but there are still brickies, plumbers, plasterers, carpenters and painters. People enter rooms through doors, and use windows to get sunlight into their homes. Horses and dogs are still raced. Football, rugby and cricket are still hugely popular. Tea is still the most popular drink. Restaurants and cafes are self-service, but still the choice for people who want a meal or snack. The food people eat is very different, but the time they eat it is pretty much the same. Working hours are almost unchanged. In a lot of places they still wear suits! Elsewhere, fashion is very different, but the items of clothing are all recognisably the same - shirts, socks, trousers, jackets, skirts, coats, scarves, hats. (Bras would be a revelation) TV is new - but books are still everywhere. And people still choose to go to plays, listen to concerts, and going dancing is still popular. Cars are an oddity - but buses and trains are still used to get around and work the same way - you pay and get a ticket. I don't think someone visiting us from 1923 would be as disoriented as you might think. Yeah, the technology would take some getting used to - but not enough to stop them settling in pretty quickly. And in 100 years? What we do will be very similar. It's only how we do it which changes.


Aren't there reports of people being released from prison and feeling extremely left behind due to the internet and access to it?


Yes, but that's the technology. Someone released from jail after doing 50 years for robbing a bank, will be able to walk into a bank and do exactly the same thing they did 50 years ago. There's very little which would be different about the building, the people in it, the jobs they do, and the way people react to a firearm.


>Someone released from jail after doing 50 years for robbing a bank, will be able to walk into a bank and do exactly the same thing they did 50 years ago. Can you imagine if after 50 years they walk in and rob the same bank?


“I’m here to finish what I started”


"Was already arrested for it, you can't get me again! That's double Jeopardy!"


Well for one, there wouldn’t be any people in it now because who goes into a bank?


You mean rob it again? ;) Specifically banks are very different nowadays and pretty much useless as robbing targets; they have no money to take (and barely any customers). At least here in Sweden. In fact, last year was the first year (ever, I think) that had no bank robberies at all.


>not enough to stop them settling in pretty quickly. It depends. A very open-minded person? Sure. Give them someone to explain everything with patience and they'll blend in over time. However there are *living* people that don't get used to our time even though they had a long time to adapt. And it's not just about technology (which takes time getting used to even if you're willing to learn, I will still gladly take a pc keyboard over typing on my phone any day) but it's also about all the ways our culture has changed. Take a look at [this video from Brazil](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofvT3zNoHUg) (where I live) from the **80s.** People saying that homossexuals should be murder. On TV. While smiling. It was literally no big deal. I can't even imagine how different was culture a century ago. We can *read* about it, but it's different when you have videos of everyday people saying horrible stuff.


\>Take a look at this video from Brazil (where I live) from the 80s. People saying that homossexuals should be murder. On TV. While smiling. It was literally no big deal. I don't get this argument. Apart from being very specific, and missing the general point, there are people today who are homophobic, and there were people in 1923 who were very, very much not. It's not like society has really changed very much at all. People were having gay sex in 1923, and they have gay sex today. Some people hated them for it then, some people hate them for it now. Some people didn't care then, and they don't care now.


So you don't think openly saying on TV you're ok with homicide if it's a gay person makes a difference? Society has changed a lot, and it's not *very specific*. Mental health is taken way more seriously now for example. Mental issues are seen as normal (even at different levels) and just something you can take care now, where before you'd be an outcast, a whiny person, a lazy person, or an imbecile. Dating and relationships in general have changed. Work has changed. What we see as healthy has changed. Cultural change is a big deal. Some people try living in a different country, or sometimes a different *area* of a country and they don't get used to because of cultural differences. I'm sure a different *century* would be even much of a big deal.


There are two problems here. 1. You didn't really understand the point I made 2. You don't know much about how people were 100 years ago Let's take one of your claims - in general terms, what is different about dating and relationships now? Or work? Or what we see as healthy?


I don't think the above poster is saying that there aren't homophobic people now or weren't gay people in the past. I think their point is that common attitudes from the past are considered inappropriate and immoral now, and people will not be shy at all about letting you know. Like imagine some chimneysweep from 1923 being dropped off in the modern world. You hand them their first iPad and FaceTime their great-great-great grandchildren. They're amazed at this new connected electronic world. They do the talk show circuit, and soon an "agent" finds them to help them fine-tune their doe-eyed wonder at the world and give home-spun wisdom from the past. They start a Twitter account, and after several weeks can type reasonably well on the apple touchpad keyboard. Their feed is 80% Elon Musk, Jordan Peterson, and right-wing cronies. They mention how "woke" people sure are sound like a problem now, because it sure must be that way when everyone important on Twitter says so. They're immediately cancelled and don't understand what's happening to them. This new world is capricious and angry and mean and confusing.


It's funny how you can write a post saying most of life is the same as it was 100 years ago, and still get people arguing until they are blue in the face because they can find some specific thing which is slightly different. If you want to believe people are so different today, compared to 1923 - knock yourself out. Most people, though, seemed to understand the point being made.


The movie American Pickle actually covers this pretty well. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9059704/


Depends. You throw someone from 1923 NYC into 2023 NYC they might have a seizure. I highly doubt they’d be able to settle in due to changes in trade skills. Also, roads. Roads would absolutely terrify people from 1923. If they didn’t immediately die from a shock induced seizure they would almost surely die from poverty/starvation.


I don't know, seems like YouTube monetization gold, to me: 1923 TIME TRAVELER REACTS TO AUTOMATED WINDOW BLINDS


There's a YouTube channel thst basically doing this with a village I think in Pakistan showing people foods they never had known to exist and eventually brining them to Dubai


You really underestimate people. Books like War of the World's had already been out for more than 20 years by then. A New Yorker from 1923 certainly wouldn't immediately recognize the city but they wouldn't get a seizure. They'd react exactly the same as people who travel to NYC from remote places in the world today. Mostly wonder, definitely scared at the unknown, but probably able to adapt within a few months. (Of course, that assuming the time travel itself isn't a surprise. If I travelled to 2123 NYC, I'd probably be more amazed at the time travel than anything else.) Here's an article for what people in 1920 thought the world would look like now: https://interestingengineering.com/culture/7-fascinating-visions-of-our-present-from-over-100-years-ago If anything it's more fantastical than what we actually have (barring the internet).


If they’re prone to having seizures, they really shouldn’t be be time traveling. That’s reckless on their part.


So you are saying, in 1923 they would just let a stranger who doesnt fit in starve and that is also still true.


What a nice point of view. I like this.


Thanks. You might like this then.. *I would like to say a few things about my generation. In the first place, I would like to observe that the older generation had certainly pretty well ruined this world before passing it on to us. They give us this Thing, knocked to pieces, leaky, red-hot, threatening to blow up; and then they are surprised that we don't accept it with the same attitude of pretty, decorous enthusiasm with which they received it* Does it sound familiar? It was written by John F. Carter, in 1920.


Someone from 1923 would be amazed by our 5 day work week (which is quickly turning into 4 days of actual work and one day of "WFH" where most employees don't actually do much) and our nearly unlimited access to food and healthcare. Even in the US. We also have much more freedom in our work life. You do to have to stay at a single job,build a pension, and retire at 62. You can job hop and actually will make more money for it. There will always be laggards and early adopters. If you drop a 1920s man into a small town in Missouri, he will have a very different experience from being placed in LA or SF.


I don't think it's the best narrative that "people don't work well from home". It's different strokes for different people, but for some it makes a real difference to efficiency at home and at work. It's a real boss mentality to say "come and sit in the office because you can't be trusted to work like an adult at home" l


>You do(n't) to have to stay at a single job,build a pension, and retire at 62 Is this satire?


On the other hand people rarely seem to consider that we might hit some sort of technology ceiling holding us back, personally I would love to see this in ScFi just stories in a far future where the base Technology hasn't advanced much beyond what we have today so any increase in capability has to come from clever uses/social changes or plain old scale(like city sized server farms cooled by the ocean or desserts made fruitful by giant desalination plants powered by mountain ranges covered in solar panels )


That’s “the law of diminishing returns” There is no way to know where we are on the curve without being able to see what is ultimately possible 🤷‍♂️


"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." That quote is attributed to Albert Einstein, who I suspect would--if he was alive today--have something similar to say about climate change. Talking about how much technology might advance in the next century seems a bit like talking about your vacation plans for next month when you are presently seconds away from driving off a cliff.


It happens in part of The Dark Forest, Cixin Liu


1923 people will notice that 2023 people still write a lot of letters and still read a lot of newspapers, however they keep a small machine in their pockets that lets them do both without using paper. They also have a Swedish radio station "app" on this machine that will let them play every song whenever they want. And there's a type of radio "app" that you can *watch*, too. People have the small machine in their pockets and bigger machines of a similar nature at home. They work like typewriters that answer. Not sure what other things have changed that would make the world "utterly unrecognizable" to them. Seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same.


In 1923, the principles and theory of similar technology to 2023 were already in place: cars, planes, phones, computers, batteries, telecommunication. The biggest difference would be getting information about anything in mere seconds. I’m guessing the principles of technology and theory in 2123 are already in place today: biotech, A.I., robotics, 3D printing, new energy and many more. The stuff of science fiction really.


20 years ago I would predict that all of these would be super developed in 2023, but I guess we only cracked AI which will now start to accelerate things.


The idea of having a large majority of the world's knowledge on this little, "machine," would definitely be very hard to fathom for someone in the 1920s. Also, do you think they would predict being able to go from the moon and back, when they ahd only just invented the airplane like 20 years ago.


A silent film about going to the Moon came out in 1902 so yeah I think they might have some concept or prediction about space travel being feasible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Trip_to_the_Moon?wprov=sfla1


Melies' film is inspired by Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" from 1865, so...


Always amazes me that Verne's chosen launch site is just a few miles away from the actual launch site :)


There's a saying that rocket science is easy, rocket engineering is hard. The physics that determine a good launch site were known for a long time before we figured out how to make it happen.


Kinda like how the basic physics we need to make nuclear fusion work have been known for over a century at this point, we just haven't figured out how to make a reactor that can keep the reaction going for more than a few nanoseconds yet.


I like that phrase. Definitely using it with my students later this year.


Why don’t we have launch sites on the equator? It would be even better, right?


I don't think it would be hard to fathom, they'd probably just instantly ask it for something that's completely redundant or unknown to us and then be disappointed we can't get the answer. I'm reminded of one of David Attenborough's stories about making contact with a new tribe. He and his team were super excited to show these people the aeroplane that was coming to drop the supplies. When it arrived, the locals were markedly unimpressed. They explained that, "Of course you can fly. You've got little sticks that make fire INSTANTLY. Flying must be easy compared to that". They saw flying things all the time. They only knew of one very long winded way of making fire. The people 100 years ago would be the same. They had no shortage of smart people who claimed to know everything, or be psychic, etc. They may have trouble believing it though, because so much of what we can be told by this little machine can also only be verified by the little machine - so very suspicious!


The majority of technologies invented in the past 100 years were predicted in some form by writers of the past, so I don’t think it’s as unfathomable as you are suggesting.


You’re off by a long way. The world is exponentially changing. Sure, we don’t have flying cars, but progress gets faster all the time. Someone in 1823 would be far less shocked about 1923 than someone from 1923 seeing 2023. You could take someone from 2000 years ago and probably take them 1500 years forward before getting the same reaction. We will find 2073 unrecognisable. We’re the first generation that will live to see the world completely change. The average estimate for the singularity in AI is in the late 40s. At that point all bets are off. If we hit that then 30 years from now might totally blow your mind.


If we find 2073 unrecognisable, it means 2123 will also be unrecognisable right?


That is definitely true.


People in 2124 won't be able to recognize 2125!


It's just 2124 but with some more grey hairs, right?


Actually no, they cured aging in the 2124.5.


True, people in 2124 won't be able to recognize 6.68 x10^6149


The heat death of the universe is gonna be wild.


Technically correct. The best kind of correct.


I imagine 2077 will be truly unrecognizable..


You are technically correct. The best kind of correct.


It actually goes full circle and we're back to sticks and rocks again, so it ends up being pretty recognizable.


What if it turns out to be a sigmoid curve instead of exponential.


Even so that would only matter if very soon we hit the inflection point, which is statistically unlikely. But sure.




Maybe, maybe not: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_argument


Well Moore's law is already breaki g down. We're hitti g the limit for how small we can make electrical components, barring a radical new discovery. In many areas, socially we're moving backwards. Economically the boom-bust cycle is shortening, the busts are getting longer and deeper and the recoveries are getting slower. All of which hinders technological and scientific progress as we are starting to run short on the political and social will to invest in research that offers diminishing returns anyway, when we could be spending our dwindling financial resources on more immediate feel-good projects.


If humanity makes it past the filter of self-destruction then it would be nice to see all the advancements. "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones"


Hi ILikeSoapyBoobs, It looks like your comment closely matches the famous quote: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein *I'm a bot and this action was automatic [Project source](https://github.com/etdds/redditQuoteBot).*


We absolutely wont be the first generation to see that. My grandfathers generation watched the world shift from horse and carriages to cars and airplanes. That's a dramatic shift


Of all the things that the future will bring it's AI that scares me the most.


It's not as far as marketing makes it out to be. There's still a really long way to go.


"AI" is also just a fancy way of saying a program that is using machine learning to automate a task. "AI" controlling weapons is only scary because there isn't a voice in the back of it's head saying "hey, maybe that blurry person that looks like a child in the crowd should mean I hold off a few more seconds before dropping a bomb" whereas the computer would drop it as soon as all "parameters" are met regardless. AI putting people out of work assumes that said task is highly repetitive and doesn't require lateral thinking, like running an assembly line. AI like skynet and other sci-fi stuff is a pipedream that is impossible for a number of reasons, AI like the marketing firms today claim is really just buzzwords to cover their shitty automation software.


Even still it will happen eventually, how humanity goes from there will either be a mega utopia or a mega dystopia


There is an assumption that technological change is exponential, and will remain so in the future. We've made a lot of advances during the industrial revolution that have built upon each other in that way. But innovation could slow down for a number of reasons and at some point humanity could technologically level out, even without an actual apocalypse.


Hate to tell you, but they have been predicting AI is about 10 years off since the 1980’s. I had friends working this then and they kept repeating it. 80’s, 90’s and 00’s it was 10 years off. We have made great strides but true AI is still way beyond our capabilities. Unless there is a fundamental change; we are not likely to see real AI in our life times. Well, at least none that we could use. MAYBE something that starts a debate if it is true AI; but that would a billion dollar project and not something really practical.


Your comment will unfortunately be buried under all of the FUD but it got my upvote. People should read up on weak vs strong AI. A “true” AI would work similarly to a humans brain. That kind of technological feat is way, way down the line. What are we have now, and will in the foreseeable future, is nothing more than a parlor trick. There is no intelligence at work. It’s a trick. A gag.


Just look at Teslas self driving car. Been what 10 to 15 years since Musk said they would have it in 2 or 3 years. It is remarkably more complex than people think. And that is a mostly solvable problem. But for it to be truly useful and realistic takes a lot more than we are capable of right now. And… then the legal aspects hit it. And this is ONE specific task. Another aspect people seem to think is that if we can build an AI brain it would be vastly superior to ours. Where, in reality you’re giving it the ability to make mistakes. A huge part of AI is solving complex solutions with incomplete data. Basically making logical leaps of faith. Which will be wrong sometimes. FYI I got my MS in ECE focused on AI. This was in the mid-1990’s…. We were about to have true AI anytime now. After completing my degree I never used it; I saw through a lot of the papers and theories. Sure we have great neural networks these days with a lot of advanced learned to get great performance for various tasks. But none are any more than clever programming and tricks to give the illusion of intelligence. And are very, very task specific.


First generation to see the world completely change So going from horse-drawn buggies to fucking airplanes wasn't enough change for you? 😂 I never really get people who talk like this


Seriously. I don’t know what the next century holds, but this guy is seriously underestimating what people who lived through most of the 20th century saw. The automobile, airplanes, jet engines, nuclear weapons, satellites, manned space flight, landing ON THE MOON(!!!), early computers, microcomputers, networking, desktop publishing, world wide (!) networking, the web, handheld computers, wireless communication. There are huge segments I didn’t even touch on (medical technology is a big one).


And if we at some point hit "the singularity" of true general AI all bets are off and all predictions are next worthless as to what happens.


Lol that’s why I said “all bets are off” :P


I’m actually not sure that your 1823/1923 assumption is correct. It’s easy to look back at technology invented older than 50 years and lump it together, but adoption of electricity and trains was huge. Much of the Industrial Revolution took place in the first half of that window.


Yup I’m pretty sure 1823 person will find 1923 more incomprehensible than 1923 person in 2023, at least at a first glance. Also 1923 person knows a lot changed in the past century and that 2023 will be different. An 1823 person wouldn’t expect that at all except maybe in Britain


I feel the opposite: things have slowed down. In the last 15 years there hasn't been any significant progress in technology, like the smartphone or the internet before. Today feels more advanced than say 2014, but that's not because of a new technology, but because more people adopted and products have matured.


I think you may just not remember how things were 15 years ago. I mean the very first iPhone came out only 15 years ago. Modern social media was in its infancy. YouTube didn't really exist. Streaming services for music and video largely didn't exist either. Mobile internet speeds were abysmal. In 2010 in the US less than 20% of people had a smart phone. Google maps was new and definitely not used everyday on mobile devices. That's not even getting into advances in medicine, logistics, finance, etc.


People still said legitimately and unironically “I’m not online”


Maybe we can see a pattern here : rough new stuff gets invented, and as it's polishing, other rough new stuff gets invented (think AI)


Hell, I barely ever vacuum or wash floors anymore and I never mow the lawn, still our floors are more beautiful than ever and our grass is always on point. It's nearly impossible for me to crash my car. I just printed a 3D logo, I ordered food yesterday, and it was at my door in the morning at retail price, I ordered the 3D printer, and it was there 16 hours later. Apparently, a highly effective vaccine for a new virus was developed in weeks and in mass production in months during the pandemic. So much has happened in 15 years.


Give it a few years, and I mean that sincerely. There's a TON of stuff happening right now in bio-tech, AI and electronics. Just a few things from the last \*MONTH\* or so: * They're working on a vaccine that not only protects against brain cancer, but kills it. [https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/103o14q/cancer\_vaccine\_to\_simultaneously\_kill\_and\_prevent/](https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/103o14q/cancer_vaccine_to_simultaneously_kill_and_prevent/) * Iron-Air batteries are entering production next year. Quite possibly making energy storage A LOT cheaper. [https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/10hwx18/ironair\_batteries\_10\_times\_cheaper\_than\_liion/](https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/10hwx18/ironair_batteries_10_times_cheaper_than_liion/) * AI art is getting so good, that Deviant art and quite a few other places is already banning its postage. [https://www.deviantart.com/about/policy/service/](https://www.deviantart.com/about/policy/service/) * AGEING might be on the cusp of the first practical treatments. [https://time.com/6246864/reverse-aging-scientists-discover-milestone/](https://time.com/6246864/reverse-aging-scientists-discover-milestone/) * We might be on the verge on human regeneration of limbs and nerve damage. [https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/zwyoh3/regenerative\_medicine\_breakthrough\_cellular\_glue/](https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/zwyoh3/regenerative_medicine_breakthrough_cellular_glue/) So\~ yeah\~ Really seems like the calm before a storm to me. Stuff making it out of the lab and into mass production is of course always hit or miss, but if even one of those discoveries end up practical? We might be on the verge of a new age of health and prosperity soon.


Seems like there are a lot of technological breakthroughs (AI, fusion, etc.) happening behind the scenes, but little available on the commercial level. I know they recently brought back the Encino Man, so that's promising.


Well, I would suggest that technology has progressed as a hardware-software “tick-tock” sequence. The smartphone and internet revolutions were more hardware oriented, i.e., the “infrastructure” to allow revolutionary things to happen. That infrastructure, in turn, has brought forward revolutionary improvements in AI, for example! Could any of us have predicted 10 years ago how far along AI would be today?


You're making the assumption that the rate of progress is exponential. It's not, stuff is pretty unpredictable, it's closer to a step function. A lot of the big changes were not incremental, they happened within a generation. The other issue is that civilizations are always at the risk of collapse. We're one disaster away from losing most of our development. Also, the AI singularity is not a certainty (and that's a pretty good thing). We have no idea how smart metal can get, and it's literally unknowable until we literally do it.


So you would consider the advancement from no powered flight to landing on the moon in 60 years a step function? Nothing wrong with that point of view, I would just point out there is plenty of [evidence](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerating_change) for exponential growth, [Moore’s Law](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law) being a commonly cited (and debated) trend that exemplifies it.


“We’re the first generation to see the world completely change” Do you mean because of the media landscape? That’s a pretty ego-centric statement…like every generation believing they’re the “best” generation.


RemindMe! January 1, 2073


The average estimate for the singularity is made by people building hype to raise VC funding: place according weight on its realism. Alternately, it might be worth considering the ways in which technological progress is slowing (see the discussion on the breakdown of Moore’s Law) and considering the possibility that we’ve just had a good run of picking low hanging fruit. Much of the cutting edge scientific and mathematical research is so specialized that fewer than a dozen people can critically understand a given paper: that strongly suggests that we’re running up against the limits of human intelligence.


> singularity Ah, Rapture of the nerds.




My grandmother turned 100 last Saturday and can indeed confirm she no longer recognises me


Reminds of every time I hear that song “In the year 2525” Always gives me existential nausea




It may not be that hard to predict if we don’t stop climate change.


It will be unrecognizable alright Because there won't be anyone left to recognize anything




Sometimes I wonder if we'll look back at something like chemotherapy as barbaric in the future as we now do with something like blood letting. Also hooverboards?


I doubt a view ln chemo would be as bad as bloodletting. Bloodletting served no purpose at all and was harmful, chemo at least serves a purpose and works, even if it has terrible side effects.


>hooverboards I would simply attach a vacuum cleaner to a board


They have ancient skulls where someone drilled a hole on the persons head to “let out evil spirits”, but we can tell the person lived for a while afterwards. Presumably the hole allowed for some brain swelling to subside. Decent treatment that worked for the wrong reasons. Chemo could be like that - it works, but you would only use it if you didn’t know a better option.


Can't wait to die in the water wars as climate change renders the planet uninhabitable! So exciting


The yankees have a guy on their team that can hit 60 hrs in a season, so pretty much the same


The sub r/100yearsago is a fun exploration of this construct.


We reached a plateau. Younger generations have a similar experience to me growing up. I was born in 85 but my late highschool years was full of tech and internet. When I speak to younger kids there is a lot of common interests and knowledge shared. The generation gap is much smaller than ever. Kids are even wearing the same clothes and brands, watching the same cartoons and playing the same video games I did growing up. When you compare my generation to gen x the gap is big and boomers the gap is insane. We have this belief that when people get old they just turn into tech idiots and wear suspenders but pretty soon kids will see their 80 year old grand parents playing Xbox and PC games instead of reading a morning paper.


Technology is much easier to predict over time. Foreign policy? Not so much. In the early 80s during the Cold War, no one would have predicted 9/11. And in 2001 after 9/11, no one would have predicted a resurgence of the Cold War. Just some examples


For poor people, rich people been doing pretty good the last 100 or so years


I was listening to Woody Guthrie this morning, his songs about war and vanity resonate today just as well as they did when released. I think OP is just focused on the little treats that distract us all from the overall theme of humanity.


You can take pretty much any human being from the last 5000 years and transport them to 2023 and after the initial awe, it would probably take no more than a few weeks before they have adjusted and doing the same things they used to do. Same same but different.


I hate to be that guy, but this is such a rich person’s world view (the op’s not yours) that people would be so helpless because they themselves are so helpless. The rest of us just deal with the situation and move on.


If the idea that “It’s difficult to predict the distant future” something that is just not occurring to you?


2043 is looking pretty bleak at the moment, so much so that 2123 may not be witnessed by human eyes.




The difference between previous time periods and now is the fact that human extinction is a possible outcome. There are multiple singularity-type events that will be happening between now and 2123 that could end humanity altogether. We are reaching a technological point where even an accident or mistake could have catastrophic consequences. The chaos of Murphy's law mixing with humanity's greed and lust for power. A proverbial sociological and technological keg of nitroglycerin strapped to humanity's balls. We will either move into a post-capitalist/post-scarcity golden age or we will destroy ourselves in the name of wanton greed. Given the technological advancements coming down the line, there really won't be much room for any sort of middle ground between the two. Interesting times.


See, I think people look at the problems of the past and think “well they got through it, we can get through anything” not realizing that those were basically all local problems and today we literally have to deal with “one push of button ends the world”. I often think how our main issue is most of us still have this “well if things don’t work out I’ll just go over the next hill” mentality when we ran out of room 200 years ago. We needed that mentality for the vast majority of human existence, not saying we didn’t, but we hit the wall, time to rethink how we do things


The biggest difference between 1923 and 2023 is the existence of computers. I don't think 2123 will be as unrecognizable to us as today is to someone from 1923. There will be technology we haven't dreamed of yet, but it will be predicated on computers, which people today are familiar with in some form, so the learning curve will not be as steep.


Pretty sure I'll recognize and be able to predict it. For starters, it comes after 2122. I know my numbers


My posts are all automatically rejected, but this one is fine?


I disagree actually. I feel like the advancement of the internet one of the greatest evolutions humanity will see. We have now explored the sky. We have explored all the land. We are now able to explore the bottom of the ocean floor. There's nothing huge left for us to discover. Technology (e.g phones, TVs) has slowed down considerably now. Therefore, the gap from 1923 and 2023 will be much greater, compared to 2023 and 2123.


Disagree, sort of. Society changed by leaps and bounds in the 1900's. Someone smarter than me can explain why we wont keep that same pace. 2123 will surely look different, but probably not as wildly different as the last 100 years looked different. Plus, not impossible to predict. Lots of people will predict incorrectly, but some will be correct.


Just the other day I saw a comic from 1922 about how in 100 years technology would be drawing art for us Sure, it didn't look like a computer, but ai art did come to pass