Futurist from 1989 is astonishingly accurate about homes in 2020

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/05/futurist-from-1989-is-astonish.html


Yes 2020 will be a real hum dinger, the entire populous will be going back in time to when racism / fascism was acceptable & tolerated, hating your neighbor more in style, cancer causing petrochemicals will permeate all living organisms.

2020 is going to be wonderful.


Astonishing. It’s as if you can see several minutes into the future!


Anyone who was reading 80s cyberpunk and/or Mondo 2000 would have been able to make all the same predictions, methinks. Which is not to put her down – this is largely how futurists work, after all.


The most important prediction was about the need to cut down on fossil fuel use. Some people still don’t get that here in 2020.


Yeah, but did any of them predict that a Chinese hoax would be able, by 2020, of melting glaciers and raising the sea level? Though not.


She missed the part where your every conversation, data request and purchase is fed to large foreign corporations who profile your behaviour, ready to swing the next election.


Some of her predictions are yet to be seen, so I’ll just have to wait for my window to turn into a wall.

This is very much existing.

I am a bit surprised that the variable opacity “smart glass” windows aren’t more popular these days. It certainly exists as a product that can be bought from a number of companies.

I don’t know if any of them double as video screens, but I was reading about someone who had a giant screen tv in his New York apartment showing a nice city view that couldn’t be seen from the apartment, so people are doing that, too.


Bach, please…


Man, that is a really horrible transfer of that Tomorrows World episode and the video nerd in me has a hard time watching video butchered this much.

Here is a better source:


On my flights to/from China about a month ago, I noted with interest that this kind of tech was used on all of the airplane’s passenger windows to control the cabin environment and lighting. Maybe I had seen it before?


I feel like I’ve seen smart glass in some offices somewhere, but didn’t pay much attention at the time.

It seems like it’s only in the last four years that the market has really grown, and looking at the promotional videos, it looks like their current main target markets are business environments, hotels and high-end new housing (though some new entries into the market look to be making it more accessible). Though I guess there’s also a vehicle/automotive market, which amuses me as the glass is transparent only when a current runs through it. So if one is driving along and there’s a failure of the smart glass system, all the windows go black…



Hey, HEY! You forgot that we’ve returned to the 19th century Robber Baron era! That wasn’t supposed to be part of the End Of History!


I heard “no more power points” as “no more Powerpoints” and thought (a) there was some other sort of time-jumping going on (though the original PP was released in 1987 apparently) and (b) that’ll never happen.

And I do want me some of that smart glass. Didn’t realise it was so available (@Shuck) and sadly I live somewhere it would be very hard to retrofit it to.

I still miss Tomorrow’s World, even after all these yearsthose tomorrows.


Thanks! Really helps the awkwardness of that set pop! Apparently odd stairs are all the rage these days. /s

Tomorrow’s World was a favourite growing up as a kid. Like science fiction made real.

This clip was unusually accurate. There must be hundreds of clips of them getting other things wrong though.

Tomorrow’s World died shortly after its presenters were made to look utterly ignorant of any basic understanding of reality (never mind a scientific one) on the seminal media satire show Brass Eye.

Check out Phillipa Forester (of Tomorrow’s world at that time) believing that the internet behaves something like a Star Trek matter transporter (at 21:30) : https://vimeo.com/154223904

[FAIR WARNING: this is the officially most complained about episode of TV in UK TV history. It is not for literally minded folks (at all). It is a brutal no quarter comedic satire of the press hypocrisy about paedophilia, populism and sensationalism. Brass Eye invented Ali-G’s/Borat’s Guerrilla style of interviews, but differs by skewering each person for the field they’re supposed to be experts in. Brass Eye was a thing of wonder. No satire since has been as clever or savage. It is very very British with our darker sensibilities. This episode offends many many people, even in the UK, because they don’t get where it’s coming from. You’ve been warned. Do not watch this if you’re easily offended.]

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You can also get a film that you stick to the glass that works the same way. (There are wires that go to a plug-in transformer, which could be an issue, and it’s probably not exactly cheap, though.)

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An intern who became a buddy this past summer told me to get into Zizek, and this article pushes me further in that direction! Thanks for posting.