Ah, the future. The golden, glorious future. A time when food will be replaced by pills, walking will be replaced by hovering, and someone will have finally invented a printer that will print your black and white theatre ticket even though (even though!) you have an empty magenta ink cartridge. Who can wait?
Unfortunately, what with the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it (see: Trump, Donald J) the future seems less and less spectacular everyday. Is it time to build an underground bunker? Who can say? I can. The answer is yes.
But while you’re waiting for your Spaghetti Hoops to heat up in your concrete hidey-hole, you’ll need something to read. Here are seven futures that we could have had, if it wasn’t for fascism (and also, I guess, the fact that some of these are really dumb).
1. Commuter helicopters
Popular Mechanics (1951) via Flyingcarsandfoodpills.com
What they predicted: Personal helicopters which would transform commuting forever.
Why it didn’t happen: Because apparently Future Us are sufficiently advanced enough to create mini, personal helicopters, but not smart enough to have grasped the concept of a helipad.
2. Instantly-cookable food
Via Reddit u/Jaykirsch
What they predicted: Food that can be heated or chilled instantly within its packet, by the turn of a knob.
Why it didn’t happen: Remember in 2005 when Walkers Worcester Sauce crisps were recalled because it was thought they’d give you cancer? Yeah, that.
3. Space puppies
Amazing Science Fiction (1958) via Pulparchive.com
What they predicted: Space puppies. Puppies in space.
Why it didn’t happen: Because God enjoys our pain.
4. The “Dinosaur Truck” elevated bus
The Practical Science For Boys And Girls (1949) via Darkroastedblend.com
What they predicted: Buses that could seamlessly glide over cars, carrying us onwards to a new and better future.
Why it didn’t happen: It did! China have it. Well done China.
5. A radio that prints newspapers
Radio Craft (1934) via Tarzan.org
What they predicted: A radio that could print out your morning newspaper, with some kind of nice little red thing on top.
Why it didn’t happen: All media is obsolete. You are not even reading these words. Unless you’re my mum. Hi mum.
6. A robot that hits children on the head if they don’t listen in class
Computopia (1969) via Pinktentacle.com
What they predicted: A robot that hits children on the head if they don’t listen in class.
Why it didn’t happen: Whilst our robotics are advanced enough, it turns out so too are our morals. Bummer.
7. Wrist computers
Byte (1981) via archive.org
What they predicted: Little computers that will sit on your wrist, like a watch.
Why it didn’t happen: You might be gaping and gawping that someone in 1981 successfully managed to predict the Apple Watch, but you’d be wrong. Take another look – see that tiny keyboard? No one could use that tiny keyboard. What were our ancestors thinking? Idiots.