Your Flying Car Awaits: Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century

Your Flying Car Awaits: Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century

by Paul Milo

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061724602
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/08/2009
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Paul Milo is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. His freelance work has appeared on Beliefnet and in Editor and Publisher and Exit, an alternative weekly.

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Your Flying Car Awaits: Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The cover copy on this book, not to mention the title, seems to promise a light-hearted, gently mocking look at popular 20th century ideas about the future in which we currently reside. This is somewhat misleading, as it actually deals in a more-or-less thoughtful fashion with carefully considered but ultimately incorrect suggestions made by serious futurists, and often spends more time tracing the ways in which trends and technologies actually did develop than on what people expected to happen.Opinions on how well it succeeds at this may vary; I know my own opinion varied considerably as I read. The initial section, which covers biology and medicine, didn't impress me very much. Its focus on the reality rather than prediction disappointed me a little, since it covered a lot of ground I was already familiar with. It also seemed to me that the author was dealing with some complex subjects (such as genetic engineering and human cloning) in a rather cursory fashion, and there were even a few statements which were scientifically iffy. The later sections were generally more satisfying, though, with the exception of an oddly out-of-place chapter on religious End Times predictions. Particularly interesting were the parts that focused on domestic and social issues, as those provided some worthwhile (albeit still not terribly deep) discussions comparing the assumptions and expectations of the previous and current generations.Should you ever happen to find yourself in possession of a time machine and an urge to jump back fifty years or so and mess with the timeline by telling people about what's to come, you could do a lot worse than to bring a few copies of this book with you. The reactions should be highly interesting. Otherwise, it's a decent enough read if you don't go into it expecting either lots of laughs or lots of analysis.For the record, though, I don't think it ever even mentions robot butlers.
meggyweg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author takes various predictions that were made fifty-odd or a hundred-odd years ago about what the state of the world would be today, explains why these predictions were made, and how and why they didn't work. In the very last chapter, he talks about some predictions that were eerily accurate. Reading this book actually made me less fearful for the future; perhaps today's doomsayers will turn out to be just as wrong as the gloomy forecasters of the early 20th century.This book is always interesting and often funny. The only fault I can find is that there are no notes, not even a bibliography, which is a big disappointment.
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