A century ago, the English novelist Walter Lionel George tried to imagine the future of the world: the one we live in today. His books, a great source of inspiration for George Orwell, were defined as "good bad books", because even in the analysis of negative and dystopian aspects they provided interesting insights.
In its edition of May 7, 1922 , New York Herald asked George to share his predictions with readers. A rather interesting portrait turned out.
The future of the world: WLGeorge's predictions
First, George thought about the end of the transport revolution. 2022 will see a future world where "commercial flying will have become completely common", with the distance between North America and Europe reduced to eight hours, and fewer and fewer railways and steamers.
"Wireless telegraphy and wireless telephones they will have crushed the cable system", he continued: in the future world no one would ever see poles with wires.
George, a great supporter of Tesla, also applied this prediction to the transmission of wireless electricity (and in this, I must say, he proved hasty). But not only in this.
By 2022, coal will be overtaken bysolar power and from that of the tides, and "even atomic energy could be used."
As for the cinema, "the figures on the screen will not only move, but will also have natural hues and speak with their voices". Will the theater disappear? Quite the contrary, indeed: as "once upon a time", the actors of the future world of 2022 "must also be able to speak, as well as smile".
Role of the woman
“All positions will be open to them and a large number of women will have risen to the top. The year 2022 is likely to see large numbers of women in Congress, many as judges, others in civil service positions, and perhaps some in the president's cabinet. "
George foresees the birth control pill: unlike some reformers, he hesitates to declare the abolition of the family, but he imagines the "majority of humanity" occupying modular houses in skyscrapers that are perhaps a bit shoddy ("I have a vision of walls, furniture and curtains made of papier mache more or less compressed "), inside cities with a climate controlled by large glass domes. On freedom of speech?" There will be no more things that cannot be said and things that cannot be thought about ". He who knows if he would have ever imagined social media.
The future of the world seen since 1922, in a nutshell
For George, however, the progress of 2022 would not have been so crazy, perhaps even a little boring. In fact, only the improvement of a technological orgy that has just broken out. He wasn't all wrong. At least today, 2022: but as then, we are on the eve of a great explosion (and I'm not talking about war).
Overall, seen since 1922, in 2022 "the progress of science will be astonishing, but it will not be as surprising as it is today compared to a hundred years ago".
You can read a copy of George's original article at the Library of Congress.