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My Year 2000 Predictions

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Posted on : 11:11 AM | By : Nic | In : ,

I was just reading this article about predictions made in 1900 about what people thought would happen by the year 2000.  The predictions highlighted were mostly about energy, agriculture and transportation, and surprisingly, many of them were spot-on or at least close.  The weirdest/saddest one to me was #13 about the U.S. population. The predictions was that there would be at least 350,000,000 people in American.  There are only 306,000,000, but it says that if America had not participated in so many wars since its inception, the number would be accurate.  At least a million Americans have died in these wars and they would have had enough descendants to fill in the gap.  


I began thinking about predictions I had made about the year 2000 and the new Millenium in general.  When I was very little, I thought of the year 2000 as The Future - so far away.  Then suddenly, it was upon us.  In 1999 I was 18, I had a good job as DSL phone tech support (no really, I was a good one!  I fixed things!), and I lived in Montana.  People around me were preparing for Y2K, lol.  And now it's going to be 2009 - almost a decade has passed.

The first thing I thought was that maybe the Y2K scare (which I thought was fun but not too much to be concerned about) would make people realize how unprepared they are in general and we'd see some more self-reliance.  Unfortunately that didn't happen.  

I thought we would finally see a mainstream, affordable electric vehicle, or at least a significant decrease in our dependence on fossil fuels.  My husband's tiny iPod is so much more powerful than the Packard Bell computer I used at home then, and we couldn't invent a better car?

I thought that America would slow down the wars a little bit.  Since I can remember there has been a conflict - Desert Storm, Desert Fox, Haiti democracy operations, Afghanistan... Iraq.  What I have realized since being in Canada is that war is psychologically unhealthy, even for those who are not actively participating in it.  It creates an environment of fear and conflict.  If you think of it in smaller terms, it's as if a skirmish is always going on in your front lawn - your neighbors are sending their sons to go beat up people directly in your front yard.  You can't really go anywhere, you don't really have a way out because other people are orchestrating it, and you feel obligated to support it since your neighbors have kids involved, but still it's a stressful situation just being on the fringe of it.

I thought that there would be a second Renaissance as the result of some kind of global trauma.  I looked to the hippie era and wondered what had happened to them... why did it end the way it did.  I thought that if something happened, people would use it to get back to the pursuit of a meaningful existence, a generation of discovery, invention, art, music, etc.  A generation of people who refused to be consumers.  Unfortunately only half of this prediction came true - something did happen in 2001, and people did the exact opposite.  Rather than a wake up call it became a catalyst for more consumerism, more wars, and more fear.  I think what we're seeing now is that the my generation is waking up. It's too bad it wasn't everyone, but after years of our schools and television programs hammering environmental and conflict-resolution messages into our brains, maybe my generation is ripe for a Renaissance. 

I'm actually not sure where I am going with this - it's a Sunday morning where everything got cancelled because it's snowing quite a bit.  Here on the island quite a bit is 5 inches and still snowing.  I suppose I sometimes feel as if my responsibility to my children hinges on what I have seen since making my way in the world when I was 18.  It's not a pessimistic view, but a view that we are capable of so much more and at some point we will whether we want to or not.  

Comments (2)

Bravo! It takes time, but it is happening. The more people live it, the more it'll happen. The hippy generation - well they're still younger than my parents and parents-in-law. They haven't shown us what it means to be old, yet (just older). Look, Emerson was talking about this a hundred and fifty years ago! We're getting there (and yes, I agree, there might be a rude awakening or two, but let's be the ones to soften the impact, if we can, round the curves to make the journey as easy as it can be...)

Steve, optimistically...

When I was a young teen, in the 80's, I thought we'd have flying cars by the time 2000 rolled along. lol
When we do, I wonder if they'll be green? :D