Arthur C Clarke speaks about the future from the past

Tweeted a bit of this yesterday, but here’s a longer version of Arthur Clarke on Horizon back in 1964. This was the year after he published Profiles of the Future (the one with a chapter explaining why hovercraft will mean the end of road transport).

The great carbon-based biped is in fine form, beginning with his usual disclaimer about the impossibility of seeing into the future, then making a series of increasingly confident, and outlandish, predictions about technological transformation.

and part 2

The film is also a nice study in old documentary styles, set-up by a long extract from the film shown in the Futurama pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, with its undersea cities, forest clearance, and hi-tech dwellings, which has appeared on this blog before. I am one of the boring old viewers who finds Horizon intolerably dumbed-down these days but after seeing this I’m not so sure. Clarke does get to speak uninterrupted for a spell that would now give any director problems, though.

The whole thing is a nice preview for an intriguing show at the British Science Festival in Birmingham next week, when there will be viewings of some more obscure, and older documentaries about the future, presented by Tim Boon and others. It is called, of course, Tomorrow’s World.  Looks good.

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