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How Far Forward Are We Able To Predict

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posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:35 PM
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People talk all the time on this board about how we can't possibly understand alien technology thousands of years ahead of our own. And that got me thinking, how far forward can we reasonalby predict where technology will go?

For instance, I would have to think that back in 0 A.D. (and probably further back), that people would see birds flying around and think, "I wonder if there's a way to make humans fly?" That would then lead to thinking like, "I wonder if some sort of flying cart could carry numerous people in the sky." That would be a very rudimentary prediction of an airplane, a device no one would see for another 1900 years. So that's a 2000 year in advance prediction right there.

Even something like the internet may have been predicted, or at least thought of, thousands of years ago. In a letter to your uncle who is all the way across the country not getting to them for weeks/months, I'm sure people thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if there could be a way for my note to instantaneously reach my uncle." Of course they didn't understand electronics - but again it's a rudimentary prediction of what eventually happened.

So my question is, how far forward can we actually predict? 5000 years? 10,000? These alien's technology might not be as difficult to comprehend as we think.




posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:28 AM
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What you have given as an example are not predictions, but wishful thinking at most, propably just being dreaming about a simpler life. Prediction is more like saying that we can do x within 100 years or so.

I believe this basic step of logic is usually missing when somebody notices parallels of some other time compared to ours. Guessing something without predicting it happening is not prophesy.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:44 AM
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Yeah, I didn't explain that very well. I don't mean 100% dead-on predictions. I just mean that you can have an idea of what is possible. People have suggested that we wouldn't even have the intelligence to comprehend something that was 2000-10,000 years ahead of us. I don't think that's necessarily true. A lot of the things that seem impossible are still things that we can dream up. We want to travel light speed - we just don't know how to do it yet.

Now a civilization that was a million years ahead of us - that's a different story.

However, let's say a caveman saw a small jet aircraft. What would he think? Would he have any idea that people might be inside? Probably not. It would be interesting to interview him though.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by CaptnCrunch
For instance, I would have to think that back in 0 A.D. (and probably further back), that people would see birds flying around and think, "I wonder if there's a way to make humans fly?" That would then lead to thinking like, "I wonder if some sort of flying cart could carry numerous people in the sky." That would be a very rudimentary prediction of an airplane, a device no one would see for another 1900 years. So that's a 2000 year in advance prediction right there.

That's funny because people still thought that airplanes where fairly useless in the beginning of the 20th century


The main problem with such predictions is that it has little to do with time. In modern capitalism society, its all about profitability, demand and most importantly, will.

For example, the electric car. Today we have the technology to do it as good or better than a gasoline car. Can you predict its development? In 1998 we probably said "cool, now we have primitive electric cars, in 10 years from now like EVERYONE is gonna have it!". It hasnt happened. And I question if it will happen in another 10 years. Why? Because time is not a factor here... PRICE and AVAILABILITY is the factor. If they would pull a new T-Model Ford (a standard model electric car for like $2000 with all you need), you'd see the era of the electric car begin. So the question of "prediction" here isnt about when we will see it or not, its about when people get their heads out of their arses.

[edit on 5-2-2008 by merka]



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 02:16 AM
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Was it not Leonardo da Vinci that predicted ideas for the tank, aeroplane, and helicopter, the ideas behind his predictions can be seen working today.

So I do think we can look into the future and at least offer the idea of what could be..

How far forward I dont know, I would probably only say upto 2000 years im not sure if we can comprehend the future beyond that.

I do like the work you bring here, its always very logical in its thinking


Regards,

JQ.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 05:56 AM
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Originally posted by merka

Originally posted by CaptnCrunch
For instance, I would have to think that back in 0 A.D. (and probably further back), that people would see birds flying around and think, "I wonder if there's a way to make humans fly?" That would then lead to thinking like, "I wonder if some sort of flying cart could carry numerous people in the sky." That would be a very rudimentary prediction of an airplane, a device no one would see for another 1900 years. So that's a 2000 year in advance prediction right there.

That's funny because people still thought that airplanes where fairly useless in the beginning of the 20th century


The main problem with such predictions is that it has little to do with time. In modern capitalism society, its all about profitability, demand and most importantly, will.

For example, the electric car. Today we have the technology to do it as good or better than a gasoline car. Can you predict its development? In 1998 we probably said "cool, now we have primitive electric cars, in 10 years from now like EVERYONE is gonna have it!". It hasnt happened. And I question if it will happen in another 10 years. Why? Because time is not a factor here... PRICE and AVAILABILITY is the factor. If they would pull a new T-Model Ford (a standard model electric car for like $2000 with all you need), you'd see the era of the electric car begin. So the question of "prediction" here isnt about when we will see it or not, its about when people get their heads out of their arses.

[edit on 5-2-2008 by merka]


I think its more along the lines of oil companies making sure its grounded or else oil prices will be so low they wont be billionaires off of it anymore, can you imagine with half the population with electric cars the price of a barrel of oil? it would probably be along the lines of $30 a barrel.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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One major thing about development and current western civilization in particular is that when ideas were allowed to emerge, they did. That has been happening for about 3-400 years or so. Before that, we had organizations (goverment "the king", church "belief") who at worst got rid of your life for thinking outside of box. Such doing simply wasn't allowed that much, and if it was something that revolutionized any particular thing, you would have had guild of some profession chasing you for your life.

Things aren't that different now either, though, but all those radical measures against development have been laid ineffective. Only abstractions of barriers exist today, and in time those can and will be conquered. Its funny how evolution can sometimes happen in an instant, at least when we do look at time with a large perspective.

Today, most predictions will fail as they have always had in the past, but there will be some educated guesses that are better than average. Those guesses are propably based on predictions about when will certain barriers in society and civilization fall. After all, only barrier today is money, and for that, there are several different barriers that have to be conquered. Astrobiology in particular has flown a long way past the line of being nonprofitable.

Point being, if you can pass a barrier that makes something worthwhile, money will follow. From that, you can be sure there will be progress on that particular subject that gets the money.



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