In the early 1900’s America was introduced to the literary works of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, as well as the innovations of mad inventor and visionary Nikola Tesla. In an age where radios were in there infancy and telegraphs were largely still being utilized, these three names envisioned the future we live in today as well as the technology that entertains and plagues us on a daily basis.
Orwell’s novel “1984”, Huxley’s “A Brave New World” and Tesla’s proposed Wardenclyffe tower foreshadowed much of what we see and use today. In Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” we find a larger entity (big brother) watching and gathering information about the people and surroundings of the world, much like the NSA does and as a new technology used by Facebook in which stores and restaurants use cameras to capture facial recognition in order to directly send us mobile ads and updates on the aforementioned places.
Orwell spoke of a future of fear of technology and how it may control us to our demise, much in the way people are fearful of breach of privacy and the hacking and tracking of personal information today. Huxley on the other hand, though he agreed with Orwell, predicted a future riddled with “trivial cultures’ and hedonistic distractions which very much parallels our use of the internet today. Our hedonistic distractions are made up of cat memes accompanied by “cute” misspelled text, fail “gifs” of people acting hilariously reckless, and endless dramatic posts and long-winded diatribes on social media networks that distract us from our non-virtual lives.
Culminating all these thoughts into the world we live into today was Tesla, who envisioned a world rife with free wireless information and communication strewn into the Earth’s ionosphere and all of the world. Tesla’s Wardenclyffe tower, a large 100 foot structure built with the sole purpose to distribute wireless information for lightning fast communication parallels the Wi-Fi technology today that makes what we all fear and love happen today.
The idea that almost a century ago there were those who could accurately predict the world in which we may live in the future is nothing short of fascinating. Even though Huxley’s “A Brave New World” isn’t as popularized as Orwell’s “1984”, and Tesla’s invention was faced with bankruptcy and abandoned, I think if the past can predict the future today, what predictions today are going to come into fruition a mere century from now.