The Future Found in Grains of Sand
To my dismay, I have learned that my crystal ball is not Y2K compliant. When I asked it to peer into the next century, it replied with visions of 1900. It predicted runaway horseless carriages and the amazing wireless telegraph. It revealed moving pictures, the hula hoop, laser surgery, rock and roll, space shuttle flights, and cabbage patch dolls.
Like me, the crystal ball has great hindsight. But maybe it got a glimpse of the future, anyway. As someone once said, the past is prologue. Horseless carriages, moving pictures, and all other 20th century innovations will doubtless continue their evolution into the next millennium.
One thing seems certain: the computer will lead the way into the world of tomorrow. What’s interesting is that the prognosticators of a century ago never saw it coming. Who could have guessed that simple grains of sand would lead to silicon and powerful computer chips that mastermind our lives today?
The past century saw mankind utilize forces that were invisible to generations before. We took lightning and illuminated the world and powered our machines. We supercharged sound waves and produced radio and television. We cured diseases with molds.
Mankind’s greatest achievements for coming years are quietly waiting to be discovered out there somewhere, perhaps in the clouds or the soil or the petal of a flower.
Written on January 1, 2000, in response to a request to predict the coming century