The Future Chronicles - Page One

Predictions and Prognostications

H. L. Siddons, Jr.

Making accurate predictions about the future is not really some sort of mystical magic. It doesn't necessarily require oneself to be a bonefide psychic or possess esoteric skills with advanced doctoral degrees. It does, however, require a type of life experience, that which has developed a broad understanding of basic human psychology along with a knack for the effects of technological events upon a society. And there are several of us who actually have these skills or talents.

Event Driven and a Long-Winded Boolean

Predicting things such as whether the TV or the computer will be the future appliances that will give us the Interactive Device for the Information Age or whether the new DVD (Digital Video Disk) co-developed by Phillips and Sony and which format of it will replace existing CD's and CD-ROMS, or if the so-called Network PC or teleputer (a.k.a. $500 Internet terminal) will turn out to be the industry's Edsel, or if an earthquake rocks Los Angeles next year or the remaining Beatles get back together or a definitive cure/vaccine for AIDS is discovered in 1998 or when the first men land on Mars or if Michael Jackson becomes a recluse shunning publicity or that the world will be devastated by an asteroid/comet in the year 2068, (O.K., you can take a deep breath) all have their more specific unique deterministic variables and timelines. Events like these occurring depend on an extensive knowledge of a plethora of interdependent events and preconceived assumptions.

Whether DVD will eventually supplant existing CD and CD-ROM formats is pretty moot so the question really becomes one of when and how, not whether or not it will happen. This will depend on politics, implementation, marketing, costs and consumer demand (which have their own set of arbitrary variables). However, whether either ISDN, ADSL, cable modems (as in @Home ) or satellite communications will be the primary pipeline for information superhighway into the next century and whether any of them will solve the impending bandwidth issue, is less obvious. More on that in a later edition...

Believe it or not, public belief, perception and opinion have a tremendous impact on current reality and future events.

Media based ideas and the embracing towards realization of them have even more of an impact.

Technology and resulting inventions have the most profound effect of all...

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