At some point this year someone was going to point out to you the fact that we are now in the same year as the future of Back to the Future Part II, so it might as well be me. What is the biggest prediction that we don’t have?
The podcast Fw: Thinking put together this two part episode going through all of the various technology showcased in the 80s classic. They are quick to point out that we still have until October so some of these predictions can still come true. Maybe if we lock the lead designer of the F-35, Elon Musk and Larry Page in a room together for the next few months they can get us all our flying cars.
Clearly most of the technology shown in the movie was kind of a joke but I love looking back at old sci-fi to see what people think of the future. Usually the thing that people get wrong is social dynamics. 80s movies show everyone wearing giant shoulder pads, the 50’s and 60s still showed mom in the kitchen. The thing they always miss of course is truly new technology and instead simply take existing technology as far as they can imagine. The obvious advancement of the top telecommunication technology from 1989 was clearly to have a fax machine in every room in the house.
The most interesting thing that I find about sci-fi movies of the past is how it highlights peoples fears about the future. Cities imagined in the 80s were always dark, crime filled and for some reason it was always raining.
These were really fun podcasts, I highly recommend listening to them while getting you’re Doc Brown Halloween costume ready.