Thursday, January 3, 2008

What were your parents thinking?

1980s girl in latex
Teen from the year 1980 dressed in a "futuristic" Latex/nylon suit.....the closest we have to her is the latex model Bianca Beauchamp, who squeezes her stunning body inside tight latex suits!


teen girl in funny clothes
Who is this young lady and why is she wearing these funny clothes? Well she belongs to our parents' generation, and they believed (back when they were young in the 1980s) that these were the kind of clothes we (their children) would be wearing today....or actually seven years ago in the year 2000!
funky hair
These girls are models featured in an article from the 1980 issue of "Seventeen", the magazine published even today for teenage girls and young women. The article made predictions on our life "at the dawning of a new century" looking at what we would be wearing, who we would be dating (the magazine asks excitedly, "A clone? A robot?"), where we would be living, etc. It included predictions made by leaders and experts of many fields like technology, medicine, politics, and society.

Here are their predictions on the other material things that (were supposed to) improve our lives (back) in the year 2000:

Fashion, dating, and lifestyle
nails in polish vats
From vats of nail polish to all-season lotions to wild hair colors, the magazine also made predictions on the clothes we would wear.

Body-hugging dresses, unitards (full-body variant of the leotards!), Mylar vest (for keeping out both the cold in winter and the heat of summer), plastic shoes, rubber and nylon wear for the girls.........and for brides: "a creamy leatherette jumpsuit veiled with filmy netting that's hooped at the hemline"!!!
Though there will be much more sex among teens, there will be much less sexual exploitation. It will be as immoral to have sex with someone you don't care about as it was at one time for teenagers to have sex without marriage. Teenage marriages will become a thing of the past; more and more obstacles will be placed in the way—social pressures, more demanding educational requirements, and perhaps even a test for maturity before you can be married. Also, before couples can have children, they may have to take a test to see if they're qualified to be good parents.

Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist, columnist, and author.

The doctor is on the dot about more demanding educational requirements, we spend more time in education today than 20 years ago, and as they say: thirty is the new twenty (a time to learn and earn) and forty is the new thirty (a time to settle down and raise a family). As for more sex among teens, we have virginity pledges, groups like True Love Waits, chastity calls, and movies like the forty-year old virgin. There are a number of virgin celebrities in the US and other countries including a stunning virgin supermodel from Brazil! AIDS was then hardly known outside the medical fraternity and few could visualize the enormous impact it would have on our lives, so Joyce Brother's prediction of tests before couples can bear children, actually applies to the fields of genetics and medicine!
Instead of commuting to factories and offices, many parents will work in their living rooms, which will be equipped with computers, and millions of teenagers will be able to study at home, often with their own parents as teachers. Just as it was true on the old farmstead years ago, kids will be expected to help with the family work chores—feeding the computer with signals for example. The result will be a lighter family unit—a work-together study-together environment.

Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock.

Yep plenty of people working from home, plenty of computers used in each home, though I didn't understand the bit about, "feeding the computer with signals"?
I expect we'll be moving steadily in the direction of teaching machines. There will be a shift toward computerized homework; students will be expected to make use of library and other resources through a computer terminal in the home or school.

Isaac Asimov, science writer and author of 208 books.

Accurate prediction, though we still have teachers, and Asimov went on to write many more books.
The average American's living room will be transformed into a luxurious theater dominated by a wall-size TV screen, which may even project 3-D images. Viewers will have a virtually unlimited choice of programs to watch, including a selection of first-run movies. In fact, magazines like Seventeen may come to you via a TV broadcast that you can record on a video-cassette and play back whenever you like. You'll even be able to send video letters to friends any place in the world. Hit records will be available on super high fidelity videodiscs and tapes so you can watch a concert as well as hear the music.

Joseph A Lagore, President of Sony Consumer Products Company.

Great prediction though what he meant for video/TV actually came true through computers and the Internet.
Using a TV set, you'll be able to do your transactions at home via a secret code or a voice recognition device or a gadget that recognizes your fingerprint. You'll be able to shop by looking at clothing on TV, ordering it, and instructing the bank to pay the store. You may even have an all-purpose charge card to pay for everything from movies to gasoline!

Daniel Eitingon, VP Bank of America.

Excellent prediction, though again TV didn't make this possible.
underwater restaurant
There will be underwater farms where we'll raise lobster, shrimp, and other fish, as well as grasses and seaweed. Robots equipped with TV cameras and operated by remote control will do most of the work. I also expect that we'll have underwater restaurants, which would be sort of neat.

Dr. James W Miller, Deputy Director, Manned Undersea Science and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Actually any of this coming true, even in the next 20 years, would be sort of neat!

Medicine
We hope to be able to freeze people who have become very old, and when we have learned how to rejuvenate them, we will bring them back. We feel that aging is caused by a biological clock that slowly turns off the body's glands and muscles. With special drugs and diet, we will be able to slow down—or even reverse—that aging process.

Dr. Paul Segall, postdoctoral research fellow, University of California, Berkeley.

Yes it's possible with drugs, diet, exercise and surgery!
We probably won't need eye-glasses or contact lenses. We will have perfected the surgery that restores impaired vision.

Dr. Leo Bores, ophthalmologist, Eye Clinic of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Some way off from perfection and we still need contacts.
By the year 2000, we may have a blood test that will not only tell if a patient has cancer but also pinpoint where it is. We may also have a battery of drugs with no side-effects that can help cure—and maybe even prevent—cancer.

Dr. Frank J Rauscher, senior VP for research, American Cancer Society.

Cure yes prevention not yet. Dr. Rauscher died in 1993....he discovered an animal cancer virus that produces a form of leukemia in mice. This became a valuable tool in cancer research because of the speed with which it acted in rodents.
We may well have drugs that can shorten or prolong our memory, reduce our need for sleep, regulate sexual responses, relieve guilt, and control aggression.

Dr. Nathan S Kline, director of Rockland Research Institute, New York.

Control aggression: check, prolong memory: check, regulate you-know-what: check, relieve guilt: eh? Dr. Kline unfortunately passed away only two years after making this prediction....the Rockland Research Institute was renamed after him.
Right now, we have patient simulators that look like real human beings. They breathe, their eyes blink, and they have a pulse and 'blood' pressure. They 'die' when they're given an overdose of certain drugs. By 2000, I think we'll have a patient simulator with lifelike blood, bones, and tissue.

Dr. Stephen Abrahamson, director, Division of Research in Medical Education, University of Southern California.

Well we still have patient simulators but we can regenerate entire organs from tissue, stem cells.

Technology
You'll probably be carrying around a cordless telephone in your pocket. Anyone who wants to reach you can dial your number, and the call will be forwarded. No matter where you are—at the supermarket, at the beach, in Beirut, in the Alps—the call will find you.

William Sharwell, VP, American Telephone & Telegraph Co.

Awesome and most accurate prediction......except that the call can only find us where the cell company's signal reaches us!
Satellites in space measuring 30 square miles will convert sunlight into electricity. By the second half of the '80s, the first private tourist will be in space, and by the '90s, private excursions will be frequent, though expensive. Eventually, there will be classrooms in space......

Dr. Jesco Von Puttkamer, Program Manager for Planning Studies, NASA.

Most over-optimistic prediction. And from a man in his position! What was he thinking? See this article by Puttmaker in July last year...no more predictions!
We'll have robots who can handle a variety of domestic and medical tasks. They'll be sold through dealerships in the same way that cars are sold today!

Anthony Reichelt, President, Quasar Industries.
Korean robot for the homeYes we have robots for sale but only for home use and entertainment.

The era of 'smart cars'—cars with electronic brains—is fast approaching. They will give maintenance reminders, warnings, and route selections. They may even 'speak' to you. It will also be possible to create an automobile that only starts when it hears its master's voice. If you wanted to drive your family's car, your parents would have to program your voice into it too!

Martin Caserio, VP, General Motors Corporation.

Amazing prediction, but that era has come and gone......we are now in the era of green cars, alternative fuels, and energy crises.

Politics
Perhaps with the stabilizing of populations and economic improvements, man will be less ready, by 2000, to torment and oppress his neighbor who speaks a different tongue, has a different skin, worships in a different faith.

Gerald Green, author of teleplay Holocaust.

9/11.
The President will be able to go on TV and ask the public what they think of his energy program. The audience will be able to respond by pushing a button. In a few minutes, the President will know what the people want.

John A Lack, Executive VP, Warner Cable Corporation.

Possible not through the TV but the Internet. We wait for such a day when the Prez asks the public their opinion on his policies!
Women will be in every industry. What we are working for now—the passage of the ERA—will decide if they get equal pay. It's possible we'll have a female president. By the year 2000, we will no longer be the silent majority.

Eleanor Smeal, President, National Organization for Women.

Yeay!
1980 teen modelThis teen model created the moonwalk dance, which Michael Jackson later made famous!

Pretty Girls