“If by some miracle some prophet could describe the future exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would sound so absurd, so far-fetched that everyone would laugh him to scorn.”
That was Sir Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction author best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, describing the inherent folly of predicting the future in a 1964 BBC documentary. Of course, he then goes on to do exactly that – with remarkable, unnerving accuracy. Part one of the documentary is above. Part two is below.
The piece opens with a generic narration that describes a diorama of future society at the GM pavilion at the 1964 World Fair. Perhaps because it was a more innocent time or maybe because it was sponsored by an automaker, this vision of the future is touchingly oblivious to anything related to climate change. Machines with laser guns will clear jungles in hours flat and people will live in domed communities on the ice caps. (Ice caps in the future. Hilarious.)
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