We all predict things – events, weather, how we’ll respond – every day. Usually we are predicting for the near future, not years away. We are however bombarded with predictions of the future in our media: Cape Cod is going to disappear; the other political party is going to ruin the nation; the end of the world is coming.
It’s fun to look back on predictions of the past and see which have come true. Bill Bryson in his new book One Summer talks about predictions of the future in the 1920s. “The New York Times for its part imagined a more personal approach. ‘The helicopter and gyroscope will enable a man to land and start from a shelf outside his dwelling window,’ it stated with hopeful conviction in an editorial on the coming future.” In 1966 Time magazine foresaw that while there would be online shopping it would fail because “women like to get out of the house, like to handle the merchandise, like to be able to change their minds.” (I think that tells us more about Time magazine in the 60s, than it does about the future.)
Because both Brave New World and 1984 make predictions about the future, the Community-Wide Read committee felt it would be interesting to see what children and adults think will happen in the near future. Technology and the world economy bring about rapid changes now so even ten years ahead is hard to predict. For many of us we would never have imagined the fall of the Berlin Wall or peace in Northern Ireland. What unbelievable event might actually happen by 2024?
As an individual, a family, a class, we invited you to make predictions of what life might be like in 2024. While you may want to make personal predictions – and keep them somewhere to open in ten years – the ones you submit should be more universal. The prediction can be in the form of a letter, a drawing or a sentence. Please put your name on it if you would be willing to have them read aloud or published when the time capsule is opened. Bring them to the library by March 28th so we can put them away for the grand opening in 2024.