My Family (a long time ago)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Glance At the Future - Part 2

In my last post, I shared some of the musings of my 12-year old self as I wrote about what I thought it would be like in the year 1999, some 26 years in the future. It was fun (at least for me) to read back through the project and see just how idealistic and optimistic I was. I believed that things would get better, that huge international problems like hunger and war would be taken care of.

Since there was so much good stuff in the paper, I split it into two parts. Here for your continued reading pleasure is Part 2 of the mind of a 12-year old (spelling and grammar errors again included) looking ahead twice as many years as he had actually been alive:

Since 1973 poverty has become almost extinct and most of the countries are modern or almost modern. 1973 non-modern countries became more modern with help from United States, Japan, Russia, China and Great Britain. It took these non-modern countries until almost 1988 to become almost modern.  
Wow, almost no more poverty in the world. I could have taken a bold step here and said poverty was a thing of the past, but even at that young age, I knew it highly unlikely. The amazing part is that it only took 15 years to accomplish the near extinction of poverty! Of course, those countries that we helped became only “almost modern”, not fully modern like us. It’s also kind of funny that I had China in the group that helped other countries become modern, since at that time China was pretty far behind. Anything that said Made in China was thought to be junk back then.

And every country just seems to treat each other with kindness that never would have been thought of in 1973.
This was probably brought on by the commercial where people from all over the world sang “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, but changed to be about buying the world a Coke. People treating each other with kindness would have been great, but sadly for all of us it never happened. There’s that idealism again.

People can sit back and rest while going somewhere with cars called Finches. Finches can fly, go on snow, water and regular streets. These cars go on programs. If you exceed the speed limit an alarm goes off. If you ignore it then you could take wrong turns.  
It is still a dream of mine to be able to ride in cars with no one driving as you get to your destination via computer. I think that was what I meant by programs. I don’t know how you could exceed the speed limit if the car was driven by computer, but it is true that you can take wrong turns if you’re driving too fast. I even included a drawing of the Finch, which said that it could go up to 500 mph while in flight. Again showing that I had no chance at a career in advertising or marketing, I wrote “place where program is put in”. Brilliant! And seriously, I doubt the average man would be bragging about his cool Finch.

Not many young men or older men wear musaches or beards. You’ll never see a person without at least some kind of shoes. In 1973 teenagers wore big giant bell bottom pants and army jackets. Now they wear shirts and pants that match. 
Men without any facial hair? As I mentioned in another post, I couldn’t wait until I could grow a beard (the picture there was from thisproject!). I guess I thought teenagers back then wore clothes that didn’t match, because in 1999 I noted they did. Maybe it was just me and some of my friends from big families that wore hand-me-downs that didn’t match. I wonder what my classmates thought of that last sentence.

Kids used to drink smoke and drink like it was nothing, now if you are caught smoking people almost run you out of town. Grown-ups don’t even smoke. 
I knew some kids that were already smoking back in 6th grade. It was not a habit I wanted to pick up, but imagine getting run out of town for smoking cigarettes? I guess they wouldn’t have needed No Smoking sections in restaurants. Drinking was still OK, though.

In the winter you can still grow crops because of a special substance in the soil (which a farmer puts in) called Oragonnas. This stops the ground from freezing and killing the plants. Scientists found this makes the plants grow faster. So now there is a lot more vegetables and plants every year so people won’t be as hungry as they used to be. 
This kind of goes against just having to eat a little pill for food, but maybe all these vegetables and plants went into the pills. As an almost-teenager, I knew a little about being hungry. I would have welcomed not being as hungry as I used to be. And another pitiful product name with the substance that went into the soil.  

But the man has to write to the mayor and tell him of his problems. Then if he hasn’t done anything really bad to destroy someone else’s property then the mayor usually gives the money to him. 
This was for the farmer who had a bad year with his crops. He could get some help to hold him over, but the guy had to take some initiative to get the money from the mayor. It’s a great system; he could do something a little bad or possibly something bad that didn’t destroy someone’s property and still get some mayoral money. Just don’t cross the line into something really bad to destroy someone’s property.

Now that most of the 1973 problems have been solved the world and it’s people are a little better. And an almost impossible happening has become a dream come true, peace throughout the world. 
In my optimistic mind, the world would be better in 1999 than it was in 1973, with most of the problems solved. Maybe peace throughout the world was talked about more back then than it is now, and maybe that’s why I mentioned it multiple times. I don’t seem to hear much about it today.

There you have it, Part 2 of my glance into the (then) distant future. Poverty gone, people treating each other with kindness and buying one another a Coke; teens not smoking and wearing clothes that match; cars that could fly; peace throughout the world. My 1999 would have been a pretty incredible place to live. If only I could have come up with some cooler names for things!

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