I know I’m a geek. Visions of the future have always intrigued me. I was a sucker for EPCOT and its futuristic vibe. On the flip side, the past has an almost equal fascination for me. Not surprisingly, therefore, I have especially been drawn to the future as envisioned by those from the past. Jules Verne pops to mind (Journey to the Center of the Earth , Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea ), as do H.G. Wells (The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon), Mary Shelley (Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus) and others. I loved the section at the end of Popular Science magazine where there used to be a section where they highlighted an old edition looked at the predictions back then. And the short story “The Gernsback Continuum” by William Gibson provided a fascinating look into an alternate future that never happened.
Through my recent dive into steampunk culture, I’ve begun to explore more of this past-sees-future concept and ran across a fantastic site called Paleo-future. Their tag line is “A look into the future that never was”. Grabbed my interest immediately. I could get lost all day there, getting a glimpse of where previous generations thought we’d be today. I highly recommend checking it out. This entry had special resonance for me because I remember reading a book about technology around this time (1978) that featured C-3P0 and R2-D2. I used to fantasize about installing one of those room-sized computers in our families living room!