I’ve been keeping a few books over the last 40-50 years or so, mainly books to do with future predictions, interested to see how many of these thoughts and ideas have come to pass so far, while referencing them every 10 years or so.
A book called the “Wired Society” a 1978 hard cover book, dealt with the way the author thought events would unfold in the future. Even in the first few pages, it said that on current predictions, oil would run out in 35 years. He was a little wrong there!
But even in those days he could see the way our television sets would transform our lives, how the internet, in it’s infancy then, was going to shape the way we do things in our daily lives and in the future.
How cars were going to ‘talk’ to each other, how electronic banking with no cash was going to change criminal behaviour. How transport and new ways of making products were going to change companies to such an extent, as to make it cheaper and easier to manufacture the goods we need for every day living.
And the list goes on!
Later, I came across the “ The Readers Digest Great World Atlas” a hard covered, very large and heavy book published in 1961. It’s outside pages were discoloured with age and the spine covering was split, but the work that the publishers had done at that time, not only with the beautiful coloured maps and illustrations of individual countries, but the useful information that one could look up about religions of the world, food distribution, the solar system, what the world was eating at the time, early explorations and the history of the worlds migration over the centuries. And much more!
An absolute mine of information. (You may even have this one on your bookshelf).
There are more than 5,000 Australian place names, including little old Ipswich and over 21,000 world place names.
Interesting though it was and having mentioned to a friend its value, we looked up the atlas for ‘Marbella’ in Spain with the cross-indexing noted. He turned to me and smiled while pulling out his phone, he politely asked ( the AI ) for ‘Marbella’ in Spain. Instantly, a picture of the Ocean Club, where it was situated in Spain, how the city was a resort area in Southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, which was part of the Andalusia region and how it had over 27 km of beautiful beaches together with hundreds of other items of information on the area.
Well, I wondered if the author of the ‘Wired Society’ had ever envisaged, how far we would progress in 60 years.
With all this information we have at our fingertips now, what value is there in these old books? And what of the next 60 years!
As a reference, they are invaluable and as a means of learning how far we as humans have come,…. YET!
There are still millions of people, living life as they have done for thousands of years.
I struggle to understand how these people will keep up. What will happen to those who have to trudge great distances even now to get water. How will these huge changes in the world affect them.
Here we are with the world at our finger tips, space travel beckoning, other planets to visit and a range of health benefits just around the corner…….
What’s next! You may ask.