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1967 Futurists Predictions For The 21st Century based on the Monte Carlo technique

1967 Futurists Predictions For The 21st Century
(Or America Robs The Planet of A Bright Future)
by Billy Ingram

This is a half hour CBS News special that aired in primetime back in 1967, when the 3 networks would occasionally preempt popular programs with a news feature / documentary like this.

Of course, network executives understood these programs would end up at the bottom of the Nielsen ratings but they did it out of a sense of obligation to educate and inform the public - not just entertain. That's an old-fashioned notion! (Actually it was government mandated at the time.)

This special was hosted by legendary newsman Walter Cronkite who intones at the start, "A panel of experts has studied a list of possible 21st century developments, from personality controlled drugs to household robots. They have estimated the numerical probability of each, from zero to 100 percent. The twenty sided dice are then rolled to simulate these probabilities. A use of random numbers known as the Monte Carlo technique, often used in thinktank games. All of this is highly speculative."

I'll say! Rolling dice to determine future probabilities? But, those guys are a lot smarter than I am (hopefully) so who knows?

Mid-sixties futurists, using scientific methods of the day, predicted what life in the 21st century would be like, providing a fascinating glimpse into the past. So optimistic and so very, very wrong.

Sadly, those past futurists forgot to factor in human greed and the refashioning of Americans' way of thinking to be less communal and more self-centered, a development television largely brought about. A means to distract while our pockets were being picked, our true potential squandered.

The powerful forces that came together to strip mine the nation's resources and gobble up its wealth kept us from this Utopian future, leading to our present day dystopian lives (comparatively speaking).

This is worth watching to the end - and worth contemplating how we ended up where we are today as opposed to what could have been a glorious existence across the entire planet.

This film was also distributed to schools by McGraw-Hill.

 

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WIKI: Monte Carlo methods, or Monte Carlo experiment, are a broad class of computational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results. The underlying concept is to use randomness to solve problems that might be deterministic in principle. They are often used in physical and mathematical problems and are most useful when it is difficult or impossible to use other approaches. Monte Carlo methods are mainly used in three problem classes:[1] optimizationnumerical integration, and generating draws from a probability distribution.

 

 


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