Favorite Visions of the Future in Literature, Movies and Television that Have Been Rendered Obsolete

BAYLOR

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By the the passage of time and Ideas and Technology. Which visions and what renders them obsolete .:)
 

Danny McG

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Alexei Sayle show (UK comedy series) in very early eighties, he was waffling on about being a secret agent with a communication device. This involved him walking along the street apparently talking to himself so just ignore if you saw him.
This comedy idea is now legit with smartphone and bluetooth headset
 

Vladd67

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I remember reading a political thriller set in the near future, in it everyone communicated by text messages on their pagers. The idea was sound just the device was wrong.
 

Mirannan

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The old show UFO. Working Moonbase in the 1980s. Unfortunately - no. Similar remarks apply to the film 2001, unfortunately. A self-aware computer on board a manned Jupiter mission. [sigh]
 

Dave

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Transport - we were meant to be travelling by rocket ships (UK to Australia in 30 minutes.) They could be built, there have been plans published, but no one wants to pay that much for the journey. Even Concord was too expensive to continue running.

Transport - we were mean to have air-cars or anti-grav cars. Again, the helicopter cars and autogyros are possible but their cost, and the impracticability of take-off and landing, means they are not in general use. Anti-gravity seems very unlikely anytime soon.

Atomic Power - planes, trains, ships, cars, refrigerators, almost everything was going to be run on the power of radioactivity and splitting the atom. Some of the ideas were really quite bizarre. It was going to cure diseases and was magical. The reality was that people were afraid of the weapons, for good reason, and disasters happened. Miniature power plants are not possible, and could they be safe? Then there is the question of the nuclear waste and the fact that Uranium is not a renewable energy source. It just never lived up to the exciting expectations.

Weather Control - we should only be having rain at night with long sunny days. No more floods or droughts. Perfect farming weather all year around. Yes, no clue where that idea went either. Wishful thinking? The one thing we have leaned is that nature cannot be tamed.
 

HanaBi

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Those tablet things from the original Star Trek. I think Spock and McCoy used to carry them around. And now here they are for real!
 

Mirannan

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Transport - we were meant to be travelling by rocket ships (UK to Australia in 30 minutes.) They could be built, there have been plans published, but no one wants to pay that much for the journey. Even Concord was too expensive to continue running.

Transport - we were mean to have air-cars or anti-grav cars. Again, the helicopter cars and autogyros are possible but their cost, and the impracticability of take-off and landing, means they are not in general use. Anti-gravity seems very unlikely anytime soon.

Atomic Power - planes, trains, ships, cars, refrigerators, almost everything was going to be run on the power of radioactivity and splitting the atom. Some of the ideas were really quite bizarre. It was going to cure diseases and was magical. The reality was that people were afraid of the weapons, for good reason, and disasters happened. Miniature power plants are not possible, and could they be safe? Then there is the question of the nuclear waste and the fact that Uranium is not a renewable energy source. It just never lived up to the exciting expectations.

Weather Control - we should only be having rain at night with long sunny days. No more floods or droughts. Perfect farming weather all year around. Yes, no clue where that idea went either. Wishful thinking? The one thing we have leaned is that nature cannot be tamed.
I think the reason we can't control the weather is twofold. Chaotic behaviour of the atmosphere, and the fact that we simply don't have the power available - yet. I imagine that the power beam from a solar power satellite might have interesting local effects if pointed away from the rectenna, but we don't have any of those - yet. I remain hopeful that we will have them eventually.
 

Harpo

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There's a song by The Tinklers called The Future Is Not As Good As It Used To Be, which lists various once-futuristic things that the singer had been excited about when young, but which failed to happen.
"Twenty hour work weeks, and everybody speaking Esperanto
International worldwide government solving problems pronto"

And as for inventions:
"Monorails above the city I was gonna love to ride
Tiny pills that you pop in your mouth with a sixteen-inch pizza inside
Jet-powered packs that you strap on your back, and zip off into the sky"
 

Guillermo Stitch

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Does anybody remember The Two Ronnie's The Worm That Turned? Probably need to be British or Irish.

Anyway, things don't seem to have turned out as depicted. Although if you get your news and analysis from certain sources you might still be worried they will.
 

Ray Pullar

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Stories that presented the Soviet Union as a necessary part of the future such as 2001 and 2010, Jerry Pournelle's CoDominion and several of William Gibson's.
 

Ray Pullar

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West Germany had a public monorail in 1961. Hasn't Seattle had one for decades? Arthur Clarke loved to promote them, but hovercraft never replaced ordinary ships and goods trains as he foresaw. Probably lost support after Jeremy Thorpe almost drowned when his sank off the British coast in 1974.
 
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BAYLOR

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Stories that presented the Soviet Union as a necessary part of the future such as 2001 and 2010, Jerry Pournelle's CoDominion and several of William Gibson's.
Then there is 2010 A Space Odyssey in which the Soviet Union is still standing and this 2018 and we have yet to send managed mission beyond the moon.
 

Ray Pullar

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Ones which depict the Earth's population reaching 7-10 billion and mass insanity or cannibalism resulting e.g. Stand on Zanzibar, Soylent Green, Larry Niven's U.N. birth lottery.
 

Ray Pullar

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Never mind venturing beyond lunar space, the USA has no manned-spaceflight capability. So much for attack-ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
 

Ray Pullar

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The idea of the United Nations as an effective world government starting with H. G. Wells and still with us in the Expanse.
 

Onyx

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Atomic Power - planes, trains, ships, cars, refrigerators, almost everything was going to be run on the power of radioactivity and splitting the atom. Some of the ideas were really quite bizarre. It was going to cure diseases and was magical. The reality was that people were afraid of the weapons, for good reason, and disasters happened. Miniature power plants are not possible, and could they be safe? Then there is the question of the nuclear waste and the fact that Uranium is not a renewable energy source. It just never lived up to the exciting expectations.
People get all sorts of kooky ideas when it comes to a newly available technology, but the fact is that both military and civilian nuclear powered ships exist, and the reason we don't use them on trains is because it is much easier to run the trains on electricity from a nuclear power station. Small reactors are used in space to power satelites and Skylab. The Russians have been running small 11 MW reactors since '70s in power plants.

Sometimes there is an over exuberance to new technology, but since we do cure cancer with radiation, power independant craft and even small devices with it, I don't think all that is really off base.
 

-K2-

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Ones which depict the Earth's population reaching 7-10 billion and mass insanity or cannibalism resulting e.g. Stand on Zanzibar, Soylent Green, Larry Niven's U.N. birth lottery.
Just to counter that (oh yeah, I'm working on one of those :lol:), so what do you do when there are no other options? It is not out of the realm of possibility being actual history. Sure, you don't have to have a population explosion, but be sure, if there is nothing else, many people will opt to survive. Once enough opt to survive, many others who previously refused will give in. And when enough people give in, then it will become the norm.

I've mentioned it in another thread, yet here is an actual technique used by interrogators, the statement made by a sadistic torturer saying it all:

"You would be amazed at how malleable the mind becomes when a person is deprived of food, water and comfort. The terror and suffering however, I inflict for pleasure."

That said, now what if you simply didn't know, and if you might surmise correctly, would you chose to ignore it? Meaning, when you're hungry or thirsty enough you'd be surprised at what you're willing to do.

In any case, forget all you have seen regarding 'trembling, madness, etc.' and all of the indicators that have been portrayed regarding cannibalistic people. Those are myths (sadly). Those historical times unfortunately will not be the last time.

K2
 

Ray Pullar

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I have been hungry and thirsty and what I did never surprised me. My point was that the Earth has nearly attained these population levels (quick check - currently 7.2 billion) without drastic consequences.
 
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