A prediction about future engineering attained in the late-1 990 s has moved viral because of its amazing Simpsons or Hitchhiker’s levels of accuracy.
Back in 1999, tech editor Esther Schindler interviewed American science fiction writer David Gerrold for a projection about the future of computing. A difficult thing to do, and you’d be seduced to keep it vague.
Gerrold instead was exceedingly specific, pretty much forecast smartphones, exactly how they would work, and how annoying we’d eventually find them.
He managed to predict that his telephone “wouldve been” merged with “a pocket organiser, a beeper, a calculator, a digital camera, a pocket tape recorder, a music player” and a colour television, all fitting in a box smaller than a deck of cards.
He went on to predict how it would connect wirelessly and “function as a desktop system”, as well as is attached to full-sized screens and have speech recognition, act as a translator, and be used for emails.
For good measurement, he predicted that it would also be used to book hotels.
Like all good sci-fi writers, he not only managed to predict the tech, but likewise the massive downsides that would come with it- chiefly how annoying it would become.
“I call this machine a Personal Datum Telecommunications Agent, or Pita for short, ” he wrote. “The acronym also can stand for Pain in the Ass, which it is equally likely to be, because having all that connectivity is going to destroy what’s left of everyone’s privacy.”
People are impressed, particularly with his projection about the machine being used to destroy privacy.
Although he made a few notable mistakes…
He joins Nikola Tesla, Douglas Adams, and The Simpsons in being spookily accurate about what we can look forward to( or not) in the future.