Predictions about the future seem to have a
paradoxical quality about them. On the one hand, you see all
sorts of articles and images showing a prosperous, peaceful people
enjoying complex and interesting lives with all sorts of wonderful
gadgets. On the other hand, you find gleeful descriptions of the
most incredible means of wielding death that an adolescent mind can
Come to think of it, that ended up being not very
far from the truth.
The late 20th
century saw the West, and many parts of the rest of the world,
enjoying incredible levels of prosperity with some of the most
wonderful technological toys ever made, yet at the same time the
entire world had a nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over its head.
The difference is that those who made such predictions never really
considered the effect that such weapons can have on a society even if
their use is only a potential, which
is particularly odd because the people of
the '20s, '30s, and '40s had first-hand experience of some of the most
nightmarish wars in human history.
those of us who lived through the Cold War were well
aware of the prospect of ending up as piles of radioactive
brochettes, which tended to put the damper
on the best of parties.