How I know anyone who predicts the future will be wrong

Here is my simple test to know that technologists who predict the future don’t really know crap.

Go to Netflix or Blockbuster and rent a futuristic movie made 20-30 years ago. Start counting how many video screens are all over the place. Now, notice the aspect ratio. They are either full-wall or larger versions of a 4:3. Nobody predicted the 16:9 screen.

Yet, everywhere we go now it’s HD 16:9. Airports, grocery stores, hotels (most). And sometimes the 16:9 isn’t used as intended. Meijer turns their video screens around so that they display vertically. The Detroit airport (DTW) shows CNN news on the left 4:3 portion and runs ads on the side with the remaining screen real estate.

So before you go off parroting the latest prognostication from some self-proclaimed expert on future technology, stop and think about what you know and compare that against what you have already seen. Contrary to popular opinion, Social Media is not going to take over the way we communicate, newspapers are not dead and neither is print. The past does not get stripped out of existence when new technologies arrive; it is integrated into them.

After all, we’re still making “documents” and putting them in “folders” on our “desktop” in our computers long after many predicted the death of paper.

And we’re still “dialing” cell phones.