From X-rays to computers: 9 technological forecasts, which turned out to be false
The level of technology has always been considered one of the main components of the development of society. Today, representing the world of the future, most often dream of a society where the most difficult and responsible work will be done by robots. But whether these predictions come true, we can only guess. After all, our ancestors also made forecasts, which turned out to be the most perfect fiction.
1. Useless phones
At an internal meeting of Western Union in 1876, the following decision was made: “The telephone has too many shortcomings to seriously consider it as a means of communication. The device has no value for us. ” To put it mildly, the forecast was unsuccessful, because then the company could take a leading position in the phone market.
2. X-rays – fiction
Lord Kevin, the former president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, claimed in 1833: “X-rays are fake, rubbish and deception.” If Kevin knew that a century later this invention would be considered one of the most valuable discoveries in the field of science … X-rays today, as a rule, are used in medicine.
3. Submarines are not needed.
A British writer, known for his works in the science fiction genre, HG Wells once expressed his opinion about submarines: “I must confess that my imagination does not represent anything other than a choking and sinking crew about submarines.” Although submarines today are used to perform specialized functions, Wells was mistaken, considering them useless.
4. Cinema is a passing trend.
Famous actor, producer and comedian Charlie Chaplin said in 1916: “Cinema is only a little more than a hobby. This is a “canned” theatrical production. And viewers want to see flesh and blood on the stage. ” Naturally, the theater was once a very popular form of entertainment, then since its inception, cinema has far surpassed it in popularity. Therefore, it was not as fleeting entertainment as Chaplin thought.
5. Rail travel is not possible.
Irish science writer Dionysius Lardner, who popularized science and technology, once made a prediction that traveling by rail would be impossible. He argued that “driving on rails at high speed is not possible, because passengers will be unable to breathe in and die from suffocation.” But already the beginning of the XVII century showed the inconsistency of his assertions.
6. Space travel will never be
Inventor Lee De Forest, who is considered “one of the fathers of the beginning of the century of electronics”, claimed in 1926: alive is just a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne.
I was brave enough to say: such a journey will never happen regardless of all future achievements. ” In 1962, Neil Armstrong and two other crew members were the first people who set foot on the moon and returned to Earth alive.
7. Alternating current is useless.
American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison, in order to make fun of his rival George Westinghouse, said in 1889: “Doing alternating current stuff is just a waste of time. Nobody will ever use it. ” Years later, alternating current is used in all enterprises and homes.
8. Computers – not for home
In 1977, Ken Oslon, President, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), said: “There is no reason to think that someone wants to have a computer at home.” Today, almost every home has a computer, and moreover, it is difficult to imagine how today one could live without computers and the Internet.
9. Cars – temporary trend
In 1902, the head of the Michigan Sberbank told lawyer Henry Ford, the developer and manufacturer of the first mass car: “There will always be horses, and a car is just an ordinary fad.”
He advised Ford to never invest his money in the creation of cars, because, he said, they are just a whim that will soon pass. Isn’t it so hard to imagine modern highways full of horses.