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Radical changes

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Whatever happens in the 21st century and beyond, it is likely we can't anticipate its scope. To illustrate, let's go not to the future, but to the past — about a century ago. No one in January 1900, not even Edison or Einstein, could have fully understood the sweep of change to come ... and we're talking about what was, in 1900, the immediate future.

Consider the earth-shaking events of the first decade of the century:

  • In 1900, Freud published “The Interpretation of Dreams,” in effect creating modern psychology.
  • In 1901, Marconi sent the first wireless radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean, a development that eventually led to “Cellular Phones.”
  • In 1902, Georges Melies released the cinematic landmark “A Voyage to the Moon,” which along with “The Great Train Robbery” released the next year, invented the storytelling style we know as “the movies.”
  • In 1903, the Wright brothers left the bonds of earth ... for 12 seconds.
  • In 1905, Einstein developed the theory of relativity with his famous E=mc2, beginning a chain of events that would allow us to destroy the earth.
  • In 1907, plastic — of which our world is made — was first synthesized.
  • In 1908, Ford first mass-produced the automobile, resulting in 3 a.m. car alarms and Highway 17, among other curses of contemporary life.

Taken together, those events changed Life As We Know It in a million overt and subtle ways. No feature writer alive at the time could have anticipated such things without the help of the supernatural.

So it is now. If the last turn-of-the-century is any indication, whatever happens is likely to happen quickly and make life a lot more interesting in the meantime. Pay close attention, keep good records. Those thawing from the cryogenic deep sleep are going to want to know every detail.

Source: What we know for sure: nothing by Wallace Baine

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