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Entries in glenn t. seaborg (3)

Wednesday
Aug172011

Super-Intelligent Ape Chauffeurs by the Year 2020

Planet of the Apes (1968) http://movieposterdb.com

Before it became a magazine, The Futurist was launched as a newsletter in 1967. The second issue was released in April of that year and is filled with some amazing predictions of yestermorrow. The "cover story," if you will, is by Glenn T. Seaborg (the dude who discovered plutonium in 1941) and is titled "Women and the Year 2000."

There's a lot to dissect in this piece, and I'm sure we'll look at it in its entirety soon, but I just wanted to share a small section titled "Intelligent Apes Become Chauffeurs." Yeah, you read that right. The RAND Corporation came out with a report that imagined we'd be breeding super-intelligent animals to perform manual labor by the year 2020. It certainly brings to mind this article from 1926 that thought future animals would have to continually justify their existence if they didn't want to become extinct.

Oh yeah, and those damn dirty apes.*

Intelligent Apes Become Chauffeurs

For housewives of the 21st century who prefer animate rather than mechanical domestic servants, there may be a choice other than the robot. About two years ago, the RAND Corporation came out with a Report on a Long Range Forescasting Study (by T. Gordon and Olaf Helmer) which forecasts future developments in a number of important areas. The RAND panel mentioned that by the year 2020 it may be possible to breed intelligent species of animals, such as apes, that will be capable of performing manual labor. During the 21st century, those houses that don't have a robot in the broom closet could have a live-in ape to do the cleaning and gardening chores. Also, the use of well-trained apes as family chauffeurs might decrease the number of automobile accidents.

 

*Note that Planet of the Apes didn't come out until 1968, a year after this prediction was published in The Futurist.

 

Tuesday
Oct302007

Women and the Year 2000 (1967)

Glenn T. Seaborg, former chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, wrote a piece for the April, 1967 issue of the Futurist (the second ever!) titled "Women and the Year 2000." An excerpt appears below.

In the year 2000, I think that our society will be much more enlightened than it is today with respect to the role and position of women. By the turn of the century, we will be doing much more to help our women appreciate the diversity of roles they can play and the growing values of high-level skills and education . . .

I also think that in the year 2000 we will attach more importance to education for married women - both as preparation for community service and for re-entry into the labor force when their children reach an age where mothers are more able to work outside the home . . . Housewives in general should have more time for study due to automation, more money for educational expenses due to the expected rise in family incomes, and more opportunities for continuing their education due to the increased availability of local colleges and universities. There will probably be many day care centers to enable student mothers to undertake part-time study, and local colleges may even have supervised nurseries and playgrounds to keep young children occupied while mothers attend class. For mature women wishing to enter the labor force but without marketable skills, there will probably be scholarships and educational guidance counseling of both an academic and vocational nature . . .


Glenn T. Seaborg's 1989 (1964)
Lives of Women to Improve (1923)
Hawaii As Educational Resort (1970)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Future (1967)
Longer Honeymoons, Happier Wives (1923)
Headlines of the Near Future (1972)

Thursday
Oct112007

Glenn T. Seaborg's 1989 (1964)

The September 20, 1964 Chicago Tribune ran an article about Glenn T. Seaborg's predictions for the futuristic year of 1989. An excerpt appears below.

In another 25 years, [Seaborg] speculates, teen-agers and adults will have two-way wrist watch radios . . . their own computers to aid studies or automatically translate foreign tongues into English . . . vaccines against cancer . . . synthetic foods . . . books from electronic libraries via closed-circuit TV into their homes . . . flights to Europe in one or two hours . . . clothes of special material which they'll wear once or a few times and then throw away . . . security from hurricanes or tornadoes because scientists will have learned how to prevent disastrous storms.


See also:
Closer Than We Think! Throw-Away Clothes (1959)
The Answer Machine (1964)
Health Care in 1994 (1973)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 1, 1993)
Vision (Clip 1, 1993)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Language of the Future (1982)
Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)
That 60's Food of the Future