Now and then, people speculate what the future might look like long after they pass away. Even though some people today might picture the future to look like a post-apocalyptic mess like in a Cormac McCarthy novel or an Orwellian 1984 full of over-reaching government surveillance, people back in the day saw a bit more hope in the future it seems.
F.E. Smith, former cabinet minister in England and a friend of Winston Churchill, wrote a book of predictions of 100 years into the future shortly before his death in 1930. Of those predictions, he speculated a few outcomes that were both sometimes hilarious and slightly accurate in certain cases.
F.E. Smith Thought Everyone Would Own Airplanes
“Thus… the man of 2030 will set off for the weekend, after his work, in a small, swift aeroplane, as reliable and cheap as the motor-car on which we depend today.”
F.E. Smith believed the automobiles they relied on in 1930 would advance far enough to leave the ground; not an uncommon prediction as hovercars are still a popular fantasy today. But cars are still the main vehicle of transportation; they’ve just advanced.
But affordable flights are something that F.E. Smith was right about. Taking a short trip by plane is more accessible today than ever before, and the flight industry is something that’s affordable. Although not everyone has a plane parked out front, a lot of people might be able to afford a trip or two every year.
F.E. Smith Thought Tobacco Would Find a Healthy Substitute
Should chemistry in the next hundred years be able to discover new substances as pleasant and harmless as tobacco, yet each possessing a different effect on the consumer, it will have earned the thanks of every hard-worked man and woman in the world.
One of F.E. Smith’s guilty pleasure was a good smoke, much like his friend Winston Churchill. He believed that one hundred years after he passed from old age, along with a combination of the damage of smoking and drinking, scientists would find a healthier substitute for tobacco. The catch is that it would still have to have the same effect on consumers.
Unfortunately, tobacco has only gotten worse. With the knowledge of dangerous carcinogens often increasing, tobacco usage still caused an estimated 101,000 deaths in the United Kingdom in 2010, according to Cancer Research UK. There are some substitutes, but culturally the norm is to either smoke tobacco or avoid it entirely.
F.E. Smith Predicted Unmanned Drones…on Land
“The commanders of tank forces will be carried in the air above their commands and thus will be able to watch the course of operations and control their progress by wireless telephony.”
Seeing the tank perform in WW1, F.E. Smith thought the war technology would eventually progress to a state of unmanned warfare, cutting back on casualties.
While the technology exists for unmanned ground vehicles, it’s much more prevalent to send drones into the air rather than keep them locked on the ground. Even though the unmanned drone technology is controversial, it does cut back on native casualties of war.
F.E. Smith may have had a wild vision for the future, but he wasn’t as close to any truth like these listed predictions. He also thought a canal would be cut from the Mediterranean, creating a Saharan Sea that would be a playground for all of Europe. He believed an average work week would only be 16 hours, and with the extra leisure time everyone would be hunting foxes.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not hunting any foxes any time soon.
Image from Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock.
Beware Uber Drivers! The Robot Cars Are Coming
Uber announced that that the world’s first self-driving Uber cars are on the road in Pittsburgh, the Steel City. The road ahead is still long, but the implications are staggering.
GPU-Maker Nvidia Moving into Autonomous Vehicles with Chinese Search Giant Baidu
Nvidia and Baidu, which is basically the Chinese version of Google, are teaming up to create a “cloud-to-car” autonomous car platform for auto manufacturers worldwide.
The DEA Digs Your Instagram Bong Selfies
It will come as no surprise to the average Hacked reader that the government is interested in their social media activity. People talk, and a lot of times, give themselves away, even when doing things which can get them in lots of trouble. Thus the DEA, FBI & Secret Service, all of course with some help from the NSA, are quite keen to know what’s going on with social media.
Specifically the DEA revealed as much in their 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment, an annual report the agency publishes. On page 80, they write:
Social media reflects how younger people perceive marijuana use as evidenced by various Internet searches that demonstrate minors using marijuana publicly and with impunity. Social media users of all ages, but primarily younger individuals, have posted hundreds of thousands of photos of themselves with marijuana products on various social media sites; these photos are associated with hashtags that represent marijuana (e.g. #420, #710, #BHO, #dabs). In 2014, approximately 1,200 new photos and videos were posted to Instagram® each day associated with the hashtag #BHO, a slang term for marijuana concentrates.
In November 2014, after the success of a popular online challenge, another social media challenge was issued for people to post photos and videos of themselves using marijuana in public places with the corresponding hashtag #loudchallenge. In response to the challenge, people have posted videos of themselves using marijuana in restaurants, in airports, on public transportation, and in classrooms.
The report also discusses the up-tick in explosions caused by butane extraction of THC, which then yields a form of hash popular nowadays known as “dabs.” While it’s technically never been illegal to take or post a photo of drug activity, it is not always advisable in states where the prohibition of the plant is still a reality.
But even in legal states, it can be a bad idea to post pictures of grow operations that have not followed the letter of the law, as Susan Squibb of the Cannabist cautioned Coloradans earlier this year:
So, it’s O.K. by state law to post online photos of your home grow, but [Colorado Attorney Lauren] Davis mentions there may be other risks. One factor to consider is whether the photos show off a garden compliant with local laws. Davis says, “If you are not within your legal limits (e.g. your town has a plant cap), you could be facing law enforcement scrutiny for the posting.” So make sure your garden is compliant before posting photos.
Big Brother is watching, and he’d rather you punish your liver than light up that bong. So take all the pictures of kegs and booze you want, those are considered past times. But take the wrong picture of yourself doing something with marijuana and you might find yourself in trouble, as Jeremy Clayton found out last year.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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