Monday, January 14, 2013
14 January 2013
Jason Bateman b. 1969
Lawrence Kasdan b. 1949
Bateman's sci-fi link is co-starring in Hancock.
Kasdan is on the list for work on the screenplays of the Star Wars movies.
Prediction: In 1980, there are six nuclear nations. By 2000, there will be fifteen. In 2020, there will be twenty-eight.
Predictor: The OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982
Reality: The OMNI Future Almanac is a great source of predictions and the first one I pull out is their assumptions about what countries will have nukes in the foreseeable future.
If the great hopes of the futurists were space travel and flying cars, the most common aspects of the futuristic dark side would have to be overpopulation and nukes. Here is a list of countries the writers assumed would be armed with warheads. The countries that actually have nukes are in bold. If a country in bold has an asterisk, that means they have warheads that are controlled by NATO on the sovereign territory, but no nuclear program of their own.
1980: United States, United Kingdom, France, (former) Soviet Union, China, India
2000: Pakistan, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Libya, South Korea, Taiwan, Iraq
2020: Cuba, Venezuela, Nigeria, Zaire, Angola, Spain, Italy*, West Germany*, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Japan, Indonesia, Australia
So they guessed about 22 countries and got 5 kinda, sorta right. South Africa had the bomb and scrapped it, Israel has never confirmed or denied, there are NATO nukes in Italy, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands and Belgium. Countries that had NATO nukes and got rid of them are Canada and Greece. Former Soviet republics that are no longer armed are Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus.
The only nation currently assumed to have nuclear capabilities that wasn't mentioned is North Korea.
The last time a nuke was used in a war was 68 years ago. As crazy and stupid as humans are, no one has been crazy or stupid enough to start a nuclear war yet, though it was touch and go during the Cuban missile crisis according to many accounts.
The positive thing about the current situation is that fear of nuclear war is no longer what it was. We don't get saturated with it by the news or popular culture the way we did in the 1960s or even the 1980s. There is a very good chance it won't happen in my lifetime and (knock wood) even in the lifetimes of my students.
Looking one day... INTO THE FUTURE! Robert A. Heinlein discusses something in modern culture he doesn't like and assumes everyone will agree with him... in the year 2000!
Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!