Tag Archives: futurism

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Intellectual Property

The halls and rooms on the upper floors are for hobbies. Here people make pottery, draw and paint pictures, build model airplanes, or play musical instruments. There are teachers to help you with every hobby.

A very popular room is the library. There are no books. The floor is shaped into tables and benches. Built into these tables are hundreds of vision phones. The books, films, and newspapers are all stored in the library computer.

First you dial the library index. This file contains all the books that have ever been written. It does not matter whether they were first written in Chinese or French. They will be here, translated into English. There is also an index of films and newspapers. You could spend all day watching comics, but it wouldn’t be a good idea.

This is a single page from a children’s book about how the future would look.

Back when I was a boy, I bought a children’s book at my town’s library book sale called “2010: Living in the Future” by Geoffrey Hoyle. Written in 1972, it had been withdrawn from the library’s collection by the mid-80s, when I picked it up. I’ve somehow managed to hang onto it for 25 years and now, suddenly, here we are: 2010. I’m reproducing this long out-of-print book here to see how we’re doing. Are we really living in the future? | a project by Daniel Sinker

Read the whole thing at Sinker’s project site. (Bonus, Geoffrey Hoyle is the son of legendary astronomer Fred Hoyle, coiner of the term Big Bang. Learn more about the father at this site dedicated to his life and work.)

The Disney Aesthetic

Our Friend the Atom

This is the cover of a Disney book from the mid 50s (56-57), companion to a short film. I haven’t seen it myself, but I’d like to. Matt Springer describes it:

It’s one of the things that made me so interested in physics. Well, actually I suppose the cover looks more Russian Constructivist, but I’m no art critic. The interior contains a solidly Art Deco inspired Futurist aesthetic. That’s what today was supposed to look like back then. The science in the book is quite solid as well. In fact, I’d like to scan some of the pages and write a series of posts on it. It really did manage to inspire a sense of wonderment, which is pretty amazing for a book about the history and applications of atomic physics. Will we ever see that kind of optimistic vision of science again?