Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Book of Predictions

1981, later edition, from Bantam
David Wallechinksy, Amy Wallace, and Irving Wallace
The People's Almanac Presents the Book of Predictions
Possibly bought newish for $3.95
Worn paperback

Although you might think it would be fun to look back at predictions of the future some three decades later, this is a mostly boring collection.  (It does pick up as it goes on.)  I think the two most ironic things are the predicted 1985 headline "KING CHARLES CHOOSES QUEEN" and, more sadly, Jessica Savitch making predictions, when she herself would die in a car accident in 1983, at the age of 36.

Most of the predictions are overly optimistic, with near-utopias by 2030.  Even the predictions of technology that came true, such as email, were a decade or two later than expected.  Online comments that go into specifics can be found here and here:

But the best failures are on the list of National Enquirer failed predictions for the late 1970s, such as "In 1979, Spiro Agnew will win a cinema acting award."

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