Predicting the Future: It’s your turn on cancer? space?

How optimistic are you about America in 2050? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

Optimism is an abiding American trait. Whenever I travel outside the U.S., people always say that they marvel at our optimistic spirit. Indeed, a large percentage of Americans are optimistic about our nation’s long-term future, despite any reservations they may have today. Seventy percent of those polled in April by Pew-Smithsonian feel optimistic about America in the long run. An even higher percentage said they are optimistic about the long-term future for themselves and their families.

What’s your reaction to that finding? How can most Americans be optimistic when they also predict global war by 2050?

Perhaps it’s because many Americans foretell a world in which science fiction becomes true. Here’s a potpourri of prognostications gathered by the survey:

  • Computers will be able to converse like humans—81% of Americans say it will definitely or probably happen.
  • Cancer will be cured—71% of Americans make this prediction.
  • Artificial limbs will perform better than natural ones—66%.
  • Ordinary people will travel in space—53% predict yes. (As a long-time science fiction buff, I hope this one does come true!)
  • Most of our energy will not come from coal/oil/gas—74% say so.

How about you?

Are you as optimistic about the long-term as most American say they are?

Do you agree with the predictions about computers, cancer, artificial limbs, and space travel for ordinary people like Joe the Plumber?

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