Wednesday 28 October 2009

A look back at the future...

Usborne Book of the Future (1979)

Christmas 1979. The seventies were teetering towards their end. Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall was the Christmas number one. I was seven, and one of my favourite presents that year was the "The Usborne Book of the Future". The book is a cornucopia of likely and unlikely predictions, including robots in every home, an electronic mail system that would send handwritten letters to be printed out for the recipient, and wars fought by remote-controlled tanks with laser guns.

So far, most of their predictions haven't come true, however there was one small piece that caught my eye even then. Dealing with the vulnerability of society in an age increasingly dependent on computers, it made a bold suggestion for a backup plan.

Thirty years on, I wonder what the author would make of the Transition movement!

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