The comic includes many predictions from the 1800s and early 1900s. Many of them are for the twenty-first century in general, and only two specifically mention 2014.
Just a note that the PNG file for this comic is (or was initially) actually a TIFF file with a PNG extension. 220.127.116.11 05:37, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
- And now it's fixed. 18.104.22.168 06:07, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I presume most of the quotes are genuine, but surely Randall has made up the one about subsisting on jellies? 22.214.171.124 11:08, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
- I wouldn't be so sure. The Book-Lover - Vol. 4. (No. 17 to 22) 1903 contains Poe, Edgar Allan and Dickens, Charles and Emerson, Ralph Waldo ... maybe it refers to some of Poe's horror stories? -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:10, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
- Spherical jelliies and creams were very fashionable in the era in which it was written, so it may have been simply a prediction of great luxury for the future. 126.96.36.199 14:37, 1 January 2014 (UTC)(Kyt)
- Here's the Book-lover reference: 
- Two sections from the H.G. Wells book it came from (When the Sleeper Wakes):
- "There were several very comfortable chairs, a light table on silent runners carrying several bottles of fluids and glasses, and two plates bearing a clear substance like jelly."
- "They gave him some pink fluid with a greenish fluorescence and a meaty taste, and the assurance of returning strength grew."
- -- Jim Gillogly 188.8.131.52 16:50, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
- Ok ... William Carey Jones quote:  ... I would say that while technically true, he didn't meant it because he doesn't refer to first world war but instead some problems of American democracy which were probably forgotten ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:21, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
- Christopher Baldwin:  ... I would say good luck with preserving everything printed :-), but the idea is certainly good and projects like Google Books are attempting to solve the problem he was talking about. -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:25, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
- Actually, no. Google Books is trying to make printed books accessible on-line. That does not make them more preserved, just more accessible. Paper books (provided they're printed on acid-free paper) are actually more likely to be preserved and readable two centuries from now than are electronic media, which must be periodically refreshed. 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Both paper books and electronic media must be periodically refreshed. Electronic media must be refreshed more often, but on the other hand, they may be refreshed more quickly. Compare time it takes to reprint book (even if you use scanner, OCR and high-speed printer) with time it takes to copy the PDF from older HDD to newer. If we manage to evade World War III, it is easily possible the folder "all data obtained in 2014" will still exist in Google datacenters, safely mirrored to all locations, thousands years after all paper printed today will turn to dust. Archaeologist of 40th century wouldn't dig real dirt, they would dig in exabytes of digital archives, trying to find the real important stuff between stuff someone stored simply because storage capacity was cheap enough. (On the other hand, if we DON'T evade World War III, there wouldn't be any archaeologists in 40th century. It's not like the ruins would be safe to enter anyway.) -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:29, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Found the reference to Shakespearian rope bridges...
http://books.google.com/books?id=BJIeAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=oriental+herald+postmaster&source=bl&ots=7_NUMfRlPW&sig=6d6WLenjQBjOiGJBDoQjIa-FYkk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Q0XEUuKbKsTpoATP-4HgCg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=oriental%20herald%20postmaster&f=false -- Androgenoide (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Found the reference to Spherical jellies: http://books.google.com/books?id=8IckAQAAIAAJ&lpg=PA87&ots=WRVY13FRwM&dq=%22subsist%20entirely%20upon%20jellies%22&pg=PA87#v=onepage&q=%22subsist%20entirely%20upon%20jellies%22&f=false Zeeprime (talk) 17:57, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Found another reference to Shakespearian rope bridges. In short, some British officer called Mr. Shakespeare experimented and promoted the use of rope suspension bridges in India, apparently for the ease of colonization and military operations. http://books.google.com/books?id=aZRPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA367 -furrypony 220.127.116.11 21:21, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
This looks like the actual rope bridge quote: http://books.google.com/books?id=8nyrbv2d_EUC&pg=PA115&dq=oriental+herald+%22bard+of+avon%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=g5_IUruFMIyPkAffrIDIAQ&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=oriental%20herald%20%22bard%20of%20avon%22&f=false 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Is it possible that the highlighted words can be shuffled to reveal a hidden message? Has Randall done this before? 22.214.171.124 07:53, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
The fourth quote (.."rocked and cradled by electricity"..) seems to appear in The Champagne Standard by LANE, Annie Eichberg (Mrs. John Lane).  126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- regarding the languages of new york city
http://languagehat.com/doing-field-linguistics-in-new-york-city/ 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Tone of the explanation
I find the tone of the explanation as it stands right now not to be in line with the rest of the explanations available on the site. For example:
By the twenty-first century I believe we shall all be telepaths.
The plain "absurd" does not provide an explanation, only a judgement. It would be more useful it the explanation contained a link to a source with the quote, to provide context. Or provide a short bio for the person credited with the explanation. I understand the fascination behind arguing against or for the prediction, but that does not explain the comic. For example, you could argue that this particular prediction is in a sense accurate. Nowadays we all communicate in a way that people from a century ago would consider almost telepathic, given that "telepathy" means "distant experience". No, we are not mind readers, but a lot of us carry a device in our pockets that allows us to experience things at a distance.
Also, I wonder why some sentences are in boldface. I tried reading only the bold text, and it is not coherent enough. I tried reading the grey text, and it isn't coherent either. I tried several other ways of reading the texts, and I cannot find any "hidden meaning".
- I believe it's just to highlight content. The grey or non-bold text is (for the most part) non-essential to the content of the quote. 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
--mem (talk) 16:10, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
- I see I'm not the only one who thought of cellphones when he read that sentence. I've edited the article to reflect this explanation. --NeatNit (talk) 17:39, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
It seems to me that Randall believes that bolded text is false and grey text is true.220.127.116.11 16:13, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
- This makes no sense. Most of the grey text has little content, and Abortion is still a very debated topic. 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I think it's just for emphasis. He used a similar style in 1227: The Pace of Modern Life to highlight the bits that particularly resonate with modern times, e.g., the writer in 1905 who complained that people converse while riding their bikes, oblivious to their surroundings. Fryhole (talk) 20:53, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
There is also the recent budding prospect of technologically assisted telepathy, such as was recently done with small laboratory rodents. While not exactly "everyone" just yet, (ahem), the prospect is certainly not "absurd". Technologically enabled telepathy certainly looks possible, and given the rate of technological progress of this century, the prediction could well come true.
22.214.171.124 17:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Technologically assisted telepathy redefines the word telepathy. For example Random House says communication between minds by some means other than sensory perception (my emphasis). Collins: the communication between people of thoughts, feelings, desires, etc, involving mechanisms that cannot be understood in terms of known scientific laws (my emphasis). 126.96.36.199 17:51, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Note also that the novel is talking about natural telepathy, like the one birds may have. 188.8.131.52 22:15, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
184.108.40.206 17:16, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I suspect that most -- but not all -- of the "predictions" are apocryphal. For instance, I can indeed find the Gumbril (not "Gumbriel") character and citation in Huxley's "Antic Hay". However, the statement attributed to a methodist preacher and proselytizer (who really existed) in Upper Canada in 1864 seems to me totally out of character, and very hard to believe for the period. It was essentially the French who called themselves "Canadiens". The "others" still saw the place they lived in as an extension of the UK. To wit, John A. MacDonald, who famously wired "Send me another $10,000", also said "A British Subject I was born, a British Subject I shall die".
- electric baby rearing
It should be noted that this quote was wrong about making love being a sanctuary from electric devices. 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
In fact electrical love making was one of the first appliances of electricity. But in the 1880s selling or advertising these devices was a taboo.
--18.104.22.168 11:22, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
Regarding languages spoken: according to
English is only third in languages spoken as primary language after Chinese and Spanish, while closely followed by Hindi and Arabic. I would not be too sure, if English will win out in NYC.
22.214.171.124 17:19, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
According to this report from the New York State comptroller's office dated 2006,
there are about 170 languages spoken in Queens. If that's at all accurate, it means that language diversity in New York hasn't shrunk but indeed nearly tripled.
--Dotour (talk) 10:21, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the quote about colleges, football, and partying is included as an aversion. Football is still huge in the south, and partying everywhere. 126.96.36.199 16:53, 25 January 2014 (UTC) (P.S. Apparently this comment got eaten by ??? so I had to post it twice. Weird.)
If not a typo, is it worth mentioning that the guy in the title text is called "Shakespear" not "Shakespeare" but all you modern guys apparently ignored the difference? 188.8.131.52 15:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
- Could be a typo in the quoted Oriental Herald article. The book referenced above spells it "Shakespeare". Brion (talk) 17:08, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
- We have six copies of Shakespeare's signature, and they're all spelled differently. It's possible that the Herald thought that people might assume "Shakespear" was simply an alternate spelling. 184.108.40.206EvanJM42
English is not my native language, but surely "barrieres" is a typo, right? I'll edit it. If I'm wrong, please revert it. And, if this comment is absolutely unnecessary, please delete it. 220.127.116.11 02:58, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I was curious about what was meant by "petting parties", and I found this article: http://www.npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept/2015/05/26/409126557/when-petting-parties-scandalized-the-nation
It seems to me that what the original quote meant by petting party, is now totally a thing of the past :-) --18.104.22.168 17:12, 17 July 2015 (UTC)