Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Predictions, Then and Tomorrow

Last time (read below) we shared some predictions by Futurist Arthur C. Clarke and asked for your own. We got some very thoughtful replies.

Reader Mona Liesa had a heartfelt and hopeful on for cruelty-free products and lifestyles.

Vegan-vegetarian lifestyles, plant-based foods and cruelty-free cleaning products and cosmetics

-Mona Liesa

Reader Diana suggested developments along a similar line.

I think the fact of climate change will come to be accepted more as time goes on


Reader Jane C. looked ahead and predicted some  financial issues due to technology and GNP. Meanwhile, both Barbara and Bobbi S pointed out that some of Clarke’s predictions are already extant. Live and learn!

Lastly, reader Alan B, wrote all the way from New Zealand with some kudos, saying “I thoroughly enjoyed the interview of Arthur C Clarke. He clearly foresaw the possibility of the internet that has changed our lives so much.”

And ended on a nice note.

Thanks for sharing on your platform.

It’s our pleasure, Alan!
We’ll keep the comments open so you can add your own predictions.

Original column below:

(Video link for mobile)

Few people were as prescient about the future as Arthur C. Clarke, best known as the sci-fi author of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and its sentient computer HAL9000 – and he was a futurist.

The above interview clip, from a 1976 AT&T-MIT conference on futurism and technology, has Clark speculating life in the 2010’s and beyond:

Internet-connected computers (“...a high-definition TV screen, and a typewriter keyboard…”)

Video call communications like Skype (“Friends… tey’ll be able to see us, we’ll be able to see them, you will… exchange pictures, pictorial information, graphical information, data, books, and so forth.”)

Search (Google) (“You’ll tell the machine, I’m interested in such-and-such item – sports, politics and so forth – and the machine will hunt the main central library and bring all this to you selectively.”)

Other Future Predictions

He also predicted the end of newspapers, the pros and cons of mobile phones, and smartwatches – watch the whole thing, it’s fascinating.  So is Clarke’s “Chart of the Future,” predicting that by 2100, earth dwellers will have their first meetings with extra-terrestrials.

My Predictions:

It’s fun to think about what the future will bring. Here are mine:

-Inflation will continue to increase.

-Queen Elizabeth will pass on in 2022 and Charles will assume the throne.

-The Academy awards committee will decide to allow movies based on comic books to compete.

-Wearable technology will expand to chips or devices that can be implanted in humans.

(Of course, I”m an amateur when it comes to predictions.  For something closer to reality, watch for what comes out of the Consumer Electronics Show…and for the CES-related post on Senior Planet that will come out later this month.)

But what about you? What are your predictions for the coming year and beyond?  Let us know in the comments!


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at



6 responses to “Open Thread Update: Predictions, Then and Tomorrow

  1. Vegan-vegetarian lifestyles, plant-based foods and cruelty-free cleaning products and cosmetics, thank God! are no longer fringe items which only appeal to a small demographic!! Yay!! So, I predict they will take over even more mainstream market share in our daily lives and high street shops in the future!! Double yay!!!!! This is what we all should want: to finally see a complete stop put to the horrific pain and suffering experienced by our fellow earth-dwelling sentient creatures by ill-informed humans who continue to promote cruel, barbaric factory farm animal production – as well as animal testing of caustic cleaning products and other toxic substances on these helpless beings “to see what happens”. This is no longer OKAY! In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: ‘the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members’.

  2. I think the fact of climate change will come to be accepted more as time goes on…quietly, in the background, not out loud. We will all begin to do more to accommodate to that fact, recycling, using less plastic, perhaps electric cars (perhaps not). Scientific breakthroughs will continue to astonish us in some fields, like astronomy. At the same time, there will be other trends in society seeking to move us all backward, toward the Dark Ages, socially. That’s my two cents and worth every penny!

  3. I hate to inform you that some of Clarke’s predictions were actually already up and running in the 1970’s. Example: MHT Bank had already developed a video phone. It was mothballed for some reason.

    You should also read Carl Sagan’s “It’s A Demon Haunted World.” His predictions may be more relevant.

  4. Hi,
    I am a subscriber in New Zealand and I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the interview of Arthur C Clarke.
    He clearly foresaw the possibility of the internet that has changed our lives so much.
    Thanks for sharing on your platform.

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