Bold predictions for the year 2112

Predicting the future is difficult, but that’s never stopped some clever folks from trying.

In 2112, people will still be buying this guy's 600-year-old book.

In 2112, people will still be buying this guy's 600-year-old book.

French seer Nostradamus is most famous. Among his many prognostications is that of his own death. Feeling ill, he told his secretary “You will not find me alive at sunrise” and he was right. He was found dead the next morning way back in 1566.

But the truth is that Nostradamus’ writings were so nebulous that future generations of crackpots were able to warp (or mistranslate) them into something resembling the facts of history. Truthfully, he struck out more than Babe Ruth and had zero home runs.

Less famous is John Elfreth Watkins Jr., a writer for the Saturday Evening Post who, in 1900 after interviewing the movers and shakers of the day, attempted to predict what life in America would be like in 2000. [See article]

Compared to Nostradamus, he was a genius. The Saturday Evening Post recently dug the 1900 article out of its archives and claims Watkins correctly predicted:

  • Digital photography: In 1900, photos were black and white and snapping a pic of a friend doing tequila shots with Blondie was a lot more difficult that whipping a cellphone out of your purse or pocket. But Watkins wrote “photographs will reproduce all of nature’s colors… [They will be transmitted] from any distance. If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence, snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later.”
  • Wireless phones: Local phone calls were rare in 1900 and long-distance phone calls were impossible because they relied on these old fashioned things called wires which had yet to span the continent. Watkins wrote “Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn.”
  • TV: The ubiquitous boob tube was not commercially available until 20 years or so after Watkins wrote “Man will see around the world. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span.” Watkins, like myself, failed to predict my $150 cable bill, however.
  • The DeKalb Farmers Market: The ice box was patented in 1901 and quickly flooded U.S. homes, so it is not so remarkable Watkins wrote “Refrigerators will keep great quantities of food fresh for long intervals.” But he also predicted “Fast-flying refrigerators on land and sea will bring delicious fruits from the tropics and southern temperate zone within a few days. The farmers of South America… whose seasons are directly opposite to ours, will thus supply us in winter with fresh summer foods which cannot be grown here.”

Watkins also predicted Americans would grow two inches taller and the manufacture of military tanks, but his inherent optimism led him spectacularly astray.

  • “A man or woman unable to walk ten miles at a stretch will be regarded as a weakling.” — A lot of folks are capable of walking long distances, but almost no one does it. Instead, obesity is the No. 1 health issue in America.
  • “A university education will be free to every man and woman.” — The HOPE scholarship tried (thanks Zell!) but is going bankrupt and many Americans take on huge debt to get a degree. For-profit colleges are proliferating like lovebugs in August.
  • “There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary.” — Perhaps it was late and Watkins was smoking weed?
  • “Roaches will have been practically exterminated.” — He must not have been watching “Hoarders” on A&E.

I’d like to make a few bold predictions myself for the year 2112. Feel free to make your own in the comments section, but don’t cheat by writing rambling poems like a certain 16th Century prophet.

Here’s mine:

  • No one will remember this article in 2112, much less write about it.
  • The Falcons will struggle to score points in the playoffs.
  • The Cindy Crawford homebot will be sold out.
  • A woman will be president of the United States, but not tell voters she is bound by religion to do as her husband says.
  • “Smaller government” will still be flying out of politicians’ mouths, but the size of government will be even bigger than the national debt.
  • Minimum wage will be $100 an hour.
  • It will be possible to “Google” something merely by thinking about it.
  • Solar technology will advance to the point a panel the size of a hovercraft’s hood will power a home.
  • MARTA rail will expand into Cobb County.

29 comments Add your comment

Iconoclast

January 11th, 2012
9:23 pm

Cobb County will (finally) formally rescind their 1993 homophobic ordinance that was merely allowed to expire, rather than be recanted.

jay

January 11th, 2012
10:08 pm

We will still be reeling and suffering from the most corrupt and ruthless cabal the world has ever seen…Bush and company!

chris

January 11th, 2012
10:18 pm

Rush will finally make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dr. J.

January 11th, 2012
10:56 pm

In the year 2112, the last remnants of Atlanta’s 19th century sewer system will have deteriorated. New taxes to cover the cost of replacement of those pipes will be added to the 767 other separate taxes implemented to pay for the multiphased replacement that began in the late 20th century. The average price of a home in the city limits will rise to 1,890,350,475.00 in 2012 inflation-adjusted yuan. Beijing will not be happy with Atlanta’s lack of productivity and will begin outsourcing municipal services to Shanghai.

PJ

January 12th, 2012
1:01 am

Atlanta will finally get Marta to go northbound up to major malls in Kennesaw/Gwinnett and to major tourist attractions like Six Flags and Stone Mountain. A giant wall will be placed in front of Woodstock to keep tornadoes from entering. A Stadium will be built that is actually on the Marta line. And someone will come up with a prettier tag that doesn’t have a orange peach in it.

HENRY

January 12th, 2012
1:06 am

OBAMA IS ELECTED TO HIS 26TH TERM OVER THE OBJECTIONS OF THE PEASANTS THAT VOTED FOR THE OTHER NINE CANDIDATES.

Old Geezer

January 12th, 2012
8:16 am

More than 50% of grandmothers will have tramp stamp tattoos.

Osama Has the Last Laugh from the Eternal Fire

January 12th, 2012
8:52 am

2112 Will Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the DEATH of the United States Constitution & Bill of Rights by the Department of Homeland “Security.”

Osama Has the Last Laugh from the Eternal Fire

January 12th, 2012
8:54 am

U.S. Department of Homeland “Security” = The Nazi Gestapo for the 21st Century

Jamtonio

January 12th, 2012
1:09 pm

The Hawks and Braves will once again lose in the first or second playoff rounds, then tell us to “wait until next year!”.

desiree

January 12th, 2012
10:27 pm

“Here’s mine” is grammatically incorrect, as this only implies one prediction. It should be “here are mine”, followed by your list of personal predictions.

#whitepeopleproblems

Ray Tardinski

January 13th, 2012
3:18 pm

UGA football team once again wins the preseason National Championship only to fall far short of the fan’s expectations by losing to Georgia Perimeter College Purple People Eaters in the opening game. Fans will still talk about the fluke NC in the 1980s and at the end of another mediocre season will say “wait until next year”. Alabama just won it’s 103rd national championship. Athens is named the largest trailer park in North America.

Quagmire

January 13th, 2012
4:20 pm

Things that will happen in 2012:

1. Cobb County school system will start to teach about dinosaurs
2. Gwinnett County will vote Yes for the Marta Systems
3. GoP will lose the White House again
4. Herman Cain will chase other White Women
4. Alabama will have their 1st African-American Football Coach…SIKE
5. South Carolina will end slavery
6. Rush Limbo will get fatter
7. Georgia State will become the #1 School in the state of Georgia
8. UGA will lose again but the fans will be ok, bc CMR will pray about it
9. 790 & 680 both suck!!!!!!!
10. GT will win a National Championship………….in basketball

Sid Vicious

January 13th, 2012
4:42 pm

Chris – I hope they make it sometime before that. But I doubt it. And if they do in 2112 somebody better play that album in it’s entirety on the Jan 1st 2112…

HeadLine

January 13th, 2012
4:43 pm

We will finally get rid of this putz inthe White House and get another putz in 2012. Can’t be any worse than today.

Spanky

January 13th, 2012
4:56 pm

Ever see the movie “Wall-E”? Those people will be us!

Eric

January 13th, 2012
5:00 pm

1. Dogs will speak to their owners through an electronic voice box
2. Pot will be legalized and nobody will care about politics any more
3. Working from home will be the norm
4. Healthcare costs will be up 1 million percent
5. There will be no middle class, only the wealthy and the poor
7. Canada will invade the US
8. The US will be renamed Mexico North
9. Smartphones will replace human brains
10. Obesity will be considered the new thin

gtalum06

January 13th, 2012
5:30 pm

Atlanta Watershed will still be responding to bill disputes from 2012.

Georgia Tech football will still disappoint fans every season, despite one or two amazing wins and at least one week in the top 10 every other season.

Dose of Reality

January 13th, 2012
5:50 pm

1. The Falcons will ‘finally’ win a championship
2. Marta will not exist, it will be torn down and turn into MRAG (Moving Rednecks Around Georgia)
3. The Hawks will be in Nashville
4. Georgia State will indeed run this State in sports
5. None of these will matter, because the world would have already ended 80 years prior to this….

Still boycotting ASG

January 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

Atlanta will have just lost their 3rd NHL team, and it will cost $45 to park at the Arena @ Gwinnett

Outside_the_box

January 13th, 2012
6:37 pm

In 2112
a. I-285 will be a 10 lane wide, double decker roadway.
b. People who work in Atlanta will ride high speed rail from thier nieghborhood in Chattanooga, Macon, and Birmingham
c. Washington DC will annex Baltimore, Alexandria, and other nearby cities to acquire space for federal offices.
d. De-salination of sea water will become feasible on a large scale, turning north africa into the new grain belt.
e. Video technology will improve such that homes will be built with video meeting walls, effectively making your living room and your friends living room appear to be one. The extended family under one room will be available like “on demand”, so you can turn it off too!!!
f. Grocery checkout scanners already record an inventory of purchases. Govt. Social Services will finally learn to use that data to track Food Stamp purchases.
g. Doctors will become luxuries of the upper class. Medical service employees will dispense drugs or urgent care according to regulatory guidebooks – which will be available online for home use.
h. HOV lanes will be restricted to cars that drive themselves. Drivers will ‘pilot thier car’ onto the freeway into HOV, then put it on autopilot.
i. Indian car manufacturers will make thier way into the US, selling disposable cars that we drive for six to twelve months, then deposit in the scrap yard.
j. The Fox Network, and Jerry Jones will embark on a partnership to build an all in one facility with 32 playing fields, a shopping mall, hotels, and casino, so that NFL fans can live at one location and catch every game live – in person – under one roof.

FireRodneyHo

January 13th, 2012
6:55 pm

The AJC and it’s boring articles will be a thing of the past. And Buckhead Life restaurants will be similar to Huddle House.

Fried ChickennQueen

January 13th, 2012
7:02 pm

Our cars will run off of Paula Dean and Oprah Winfrey’s fat reserves.

The Future is now the Past

January 13th, 2012
7:29 pm

All of the people mentioned in all the above comments (and those to follow) will be dead and forgotten. The world will have an entirely new set of people to complain about.

Huffmeister

January 17th, 2012
5:08 am

The priests of the Temples of Syrinx will assume control! (I’ve seen at least one Rush fan on this thread!)

Cincinnati

January 19th, 2012
12:50 am

[...] he’s no John Elfreth Watkins Jr. He got some things right, but considering the U.S. would go to war in Iraq later in 2002, most of [...]

Mark

January 30th, 2012
12:20 pm

Nancy Gracy will grow a heart, or is it a breast reduction, can’t be sure as the fog has not yet cleared.

ahsoisee

January 31st, 2012
3:46 pm

The world will have experienced a physical transformation from self destruction, due to Islam’s attempt to annihilate Israel and Christians with nuclear attacks. God will also have intervened during seven of those 100 years to bring his destruction on the wicked of the earth.

God will then have reshaped the earth with an earthquake of enormous magnitude never seen before and never to be seen again. Jesus will have already brought those in heaven down to the earth inside the New Jerusalem. It will hover above the earth near the Old Jerusalem. Jesus and the saints inside the New Jerusalem will Judge all matters of the earth from the wisdom of Jesus and his children residing in the New Jerusalem.

The 1000 year reign of Jesus on the earth, and the Old Jerusalem (occupied by Israel) will rule the world. It will be a peaceful world ruled by the iron hand of Jesus. In this new environment on the earth, the people of the earth will see the wisdom of this peaceful rule by a Holy God. It will evidence the good results obtained by the absence of evil dictators over the various countries. This peaceful earth will last for the full 1000 years and then “time” will come to an end.

Those who belong to God in the New Jerusalem, and those who accept him during the 1000 year reign of Jesus, will then spend eternity with God and his Son in heaven. Those who have not accepted this Holy Way of life will then be separated from the children of God and spend their eternity in the Lake of Fire.

The Old Man