Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remarkable Prediction in a 1922 Golden Age Magazine


As pointed out in the first hour of the 2014 Annual Meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses, the April 26, 1922 issue of The Golden Age magazine had a remarkable prediction of the future that has proven to be "spot on." Read it for yourself here:

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This is the second page of the article "The Gift of Speech" by H. E. Coffey, which appeared on pages 462-3. Today we would immediately identify this prediction with the smartphone, where we can indeed receive news from various parts of the earth and communicate at will with private individuals wherever they may be. I don't know how much coffee Mr. Coffey drank before writing this, assuming he did drink that caffeinated beverage, but it is absolutely amazing how his technological prediction was so farsighted and accurate. May his closing statement about the future also find the same realization!


Humor:
What's especially amazing is how specific the prediction was, down to the actual name of the first popular smartphone!

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THE iPHONE!

(Please appreciate that this is just a humorous coincidence.)


In case you were wondering, here is page 462 of "The Gift of Speech." The entire magazine is free on the Internet in PDF.

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Credits:
  • Introductory graphic from the website Research Applications: http://researchapplications.org/HTML%20pages/GoldenAge3.htm
  • The Golden Age was published by Jehovah's Witnesses, and is now called Awake!.



Appendix

Nikola Tesla and his predictions
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a brilliant physicist best known for his contributions to electrical engineering together with Thomas Edison. But he is also known for making some fascinating predictions, one of them seeing fulfillment in today's smart phone. His first prediction appeared in the October 1909 edition of Popular Mechanics, under his article as quoted from the New York Times: Wireless of the Future. This article can be seen here in Google Books. There he said that a future telephone will be an "inexpensive instrument not bigger that a watch." While his prediction of it being "inexpensive" is certainly debatable currently, he made a similar prediction seventeen years later in 1926, or four years after the Golden Age issue. There, in the January 30 issue of Colliers magazine (seen here), he said:
We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. (underscore added)
Considering the similarities between the April 26, 1922 issue of the Golden Age and Tesla's 1909 prediction, later repeated in 1926, I imagine it is possible that H. E. Coffey was familiar with Tesla's 1909 prediction, and perhaps Tesla was familiar with the 1922 Golden Age article—especially seen in his reference to "vest pocket" used earlier by Coffey. (8/8/2015; 5/4/16)

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