Amazing Tech Predictions from 1978, Come True!

Musings, Nostalgia, Technology

“Must…have…now!,” I exclaimed, as I whisked this 1978 Newsweek from atop a stack of vintage, disco-era magazines at a nearby Antique Mall. Cost: $1, same as cover price in ’78! Are you kidding? A deal to reveal… “TV of Tomorrow!”

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I am mesmerized by the meticulously rendered M. Kunstler cover, with its Bruce McCall-like images of a nuclear family at play. But more so, I gasped at the cover’s eerie, uncannily accurate prescience regarding details of Our Modern Digital World.

Hold onto your Roller Derby helmet! This painting predicts:

1. Our ability to summon Uber and other ride-sharing services while tracking driver proximity.

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2. Remote-controlled drones.

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3. The iPhone 10. (You heard it here first.)

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4. Our growing acceptance of recreational marijuana.

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5. The breech at Ashley Madison and revelations of passion gone awry.

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6. The announcement that Will Ferrell will soon start in a tennis dramedy. (True and coming soon.)

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7. Ghost photobombs.

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8. The perennial popularity of vinyl. (Vinyl? Still around? That can’t be right.)

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But, bravo, Newsweek, for this unnervingly accurate, telescopic view of tech today from 1978, the year of “Grease,” “Superman” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Let’s download those films by thought control, shall we?

Meanwhile, there is one futuristic, tech object I can’t identify in the shot.

I mean:

What the heck is THIS?

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Perhaps the future isn’t completely knowable.

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Walt Jaschek is obviously a futurist.

My Letter in TV Guide, May 9-15, 1987

Flashbacks, Letters to Editors, Walt a Life

NO TALKING AT THE PICTURES!

Yeah, okay, I’ll buy James Morrow’s premise that people should watch TV “noisily and together,” [The Best Way to Watch TV? Noisily and Together,” April 11]. But there’s a dangerous side effect to such behavior: the compulsion to converse loudly in movie theatres. We at HUSH (Help Us Silence Half-wits) submit that the social dynamic of the living room is too often transferred to the cinema, where boorish cretins babble with no regard for those around them. Sure, discourse should be nurtured at home. But so should manners.

Walter S. Jaschek
St. Louis

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Walt Jaschek writes about stuff that matters. To him.