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Opinion: Predicting what would occur in 2023 clearly was an inexact science in 1923

When Chattanooga Day by day Occasions readers opened their morning paper on Aug. 23, 1923, there, above the fold, was a headline that will need to have grabbed their consideration:

“Sees Workday Of 4 Hours In The Future”

Had been this newspaper to publish such a headline at this time, it definitely would seize readers’ consideration.

The supply of the prediction was Dr. Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a German-born American engineer and electrical professional who — in an apparently reprinted article from The New York Occasions — was trying forward 100 years to 2023 and to a world he foresaw as being remodeled by electrical energy.

Actually in that common prediction he was proper. For electrical energy has introduced mild, heating and air-con, all method of time-saving devices and even vehicles to all components of the world at this time.

Electrical energy, Steinmetz stated, would permit individuals to work 4 hours, then “observe [their] pure bent” for the remainder of their day. Nonetheless, he stated, individuals would not be idle nonproducers.

“Leisure will probably be occupied in productive diversions, satisfying the actual instincts of the person,” he stated.

If Steinmetz might see the hours wasted at this time on TikTok, selfies and video video games, he may need modified his thoughts about that.

He did precisely predict the “enlargement of leisure time and ever-increasing transportation amenities” permitting “hundreds of thousands who now stay in cities” to “spend the key portion of their lives past the town in suburban areas or rural sections.”

In fact at this time, with the proliferation of Chattanooga’s downtown residences and homes, you’d assume most individuals wished to maneuver again into the town.

Nonetheless, Steinmetz did not fairly get it proper about suburban “approximity to idle soil area” resulting in hundreds of thousands “elevating most, if not all, of the meals for his or her households as a pleasure-giving occupation.”

Weekend farmers nonetheless have their place, however when you should buy Crispy Jalapeno Items and Chile Spiced (dried) Pineapple at Dealer Joe’s, who desires to take time mixing in all that useful manure along with your soil to stimulate higher development?

Of some curiosity additionally was Steinmetz’s suggestion that 2023 would possibly see communication with Mars.

“[I]f the USA went into the mission of linking up a method of communication with Mars with the identical depth and thoroughness with which we entered and prosecuted the battle (World Warfare I),” he stated, “it’s not in any respect not possible that the plan would succeed.”

Utilizing the then-new means of radio-wave primarily based wi-fi telegraphy (radio), Steinmetz figured “it could be a protracted course of, little question, of counting, measuring and punctiliously recording the messages we acquired,” and figuring a key to deciphering them, however “would possibly conceivably be indications of an intelligence on Mars looking for communication with the intelligence of this planet.”

Hovering past mere communication, in fact, the U.S. first flew by Mars in 1964, first orbited it in 1971, first landed there in 1975 and first operated a rover there in 1996.

And there is this: When HuffPost requested celebrities in 2012 in the event that they’d be prepared to go to Mars, Kris Jenner of Kardashian parentage stated sure. We’re undecided whether or not Mars is the Kardashian house planet or if she’d identical to an occasional escape from all issues Kardashian.

Alas, Steinmetz additionally opined that “co-operative human effort would be the resolution of many of the difficulties besetting mankind.” In fact, he needn’t have been often known as the “Wizard of Schenectady” to determine that out. It had been the answer all through historical past earlier than his beginning and can be within the century following his dying the identical yr wherein he predicted the long run (although apparently not his).

“Wars,” he stated, “will proceed till now we have realized that [cooperation] lesson in its remaining facet. I search for extra wars as a result of males and techniques proceed to wrestle in opposition to one another as a substitute of with one another.”

We’re taking a look at you, Putin and Russia.

“We’ve got not but sufficiently grasped the philosophy of Christianity,” Steinmetz went on, “no matter how many people profess to be Christians.”

In that, he stated a mouthful. Right this moment, right here in the USA and overseas, many need to stamp out Christianity and all that goes with it. However many Christians would surrender their church buildings, their creeds and their guidelines if everybody solely adopted “the philosophy of Christianity,” embodied by the commandments of Jesus to “love the Lord your God with all of your coronary heart and all of your soul and with all of your thoughts” and to “love your neighbor as your self.”

Steinmetz, in summation, stated, “We’re on the threshold of an age higher in its significance to the mass of humanity than even the hundred years by way of which now we have handed, miraculous because the fruits of these years might appear to have been. No different interval in recorded or unrecorded historical past witnessed such a flowering of man’s ingenuity.”

Not surprisingly, the following 100 years did the identical. And so, seemingly, will the following 100 years.

So we’ll be searching for that four-hour workday any time now.

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