Do you remember yourself at 14-years old? If someone asked you then what you thought you'd be like in 10 years, you'd probably say something like, "I bet I'm gonna grow a sick beard and work out and get super strong and never stop fucking!" Well look at you now: Single, unemployed, and the closest thing you have to a 'sick beard' is that diseased-looking splotchy collection of neck hair you keep forgetting to shave. In short, you are a massive disappointment to your younger, more idealistic self.
That's sort of how the world is, too. With the first decade of the 2000s out of the way, we decided to find a bunch of predictions people of the past had about life in the 2000s. We wish we didn't, because, cousin, we fucked up. For almost every prediction our ancestors made for us, we not only dropped the ball, but we stomped on it, spit on it, poured syrup on and ate the shit out of the ball. The only thing more depressing than how awesome the predictions were? They're all totally doable...
6The Natural World: Man Goes Nuts on Nature
What They Predicted:
People at the turn of the century fully expected that mankind would have utterly devastated the natural world by now. They envisioned an Earth with no wildlife whatsoever remaining, save for what we specifically bred and protected. And they had a word to describe this barren, lifeless wasteland:
Apparently the people in the past were pretty sure we would've finally gotten our shit together and won the war against Mother Nature that we all forgot we were waging. They saw a future where there were literally "no Mosquitoes nor Flies. Insect screens will be unnecessary. Boards of health will have destroyed all mosquito haunts and breeding-grounds, drained all stagnant pools, filled in all swamp-lands, and chemically treated all still-water streams. The extermination of the horse and its stable will reduce the house-fly." They not only thought we would have intentionally burned, paved over, and chemically sterilized all the world's marshland, but look at how they thought we'd reduce the house-fly problem: "The extermination of the horse." The horse. As in, the collective horse. The entire species.
And they fucking loved horses!
But the second the animals ceased to be useful, turn-of-the-century man fully expected our race to rise up and terminate all horse-kind, and then mount their mournful heads on pikes in our yards as a warning to the rest of the natural world: This is what we do to our friends, motherfucker, what chance do you have?
"Look at the wondrous variety of fish, Harold! ...Fire up the lasers!"
The 1900s did accurately predict Genetically Modified foods, stating that we'd all "be eating strawberries the size of apples" regardless of season, which was spot-on. However, they also expected that "figs will be cultivated over the entire United States." And man, we really dropped the ball on that one. To the extent that--unless a fig is a rectangular pad of dirt and grapes whose primary function is turning perfectly good Newtons into filth-pastries--most Americans don't even know what an actual fig looks like.
Is that... is that a fig? IS THAT WHAT FUCKING FIGS ARE?! I PUT THAT IN MY MOUTH! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
What We Have Instead:
Not only do we still have squirrels in the modern world, we actually have organizations solely dedicated to protecting them. We didn't just forget about the war on nature; we completely switched sides. Sure, there are still some hold-outs--people with McRib tattoos who think a "vegan" is something from Dragonball Z--but even those people aren't in favor of completely wiping out every single species of animal on the planet. Turn-of-the-century man had a scorched-earth policy for the Earth itself; the fact that you're not stabbing a raccoon right now absolutely sickens them.