Tim Powers and Kevin J. Anderson opened a time capsule that had been sealed 25 years at the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Awards Gala.
Predictions on future education were sealed in a Time Capsule in 1998 and opened 25 years later at the 2023 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Gala.
— L. Ron Hubbard
HOLLYWOOD, CA, UNITED STATES, May 4, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — A time capsule sealed in 1998 was opened at the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Awards Gala at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood this past weekend, where predictions on future education were revealed.
Thirty-nine science fiction and fantasy writers and illustrators answered the question, “With the rapid development and vast expansion of computer technology, how do you think the fundamentals of education will be taught to our children by the year 2023?” Who better to predict the future than the great authors of that future? But were their predictions accurate?
During the awards ceremony, Contest judges Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides) and Kevin J. Anderson (Dune Prequels) were called to the stage by Gunhild Jacobs, the event emcee, to cut the seal, open the time capsule, and read a few predictions to the audience.
Rapidly scanning the contents, the emcee gave Anderson the prediction made by Powers a quarter century ago. The audience laughed as it was read out loud, “Voice recognition & transcription programs will have made literacy (all of spelling & most of grammar) obsolete; math-competent people will assume control, morality will be discarded as archaic, & the common people will be bred for food.” To which Powers responded that he “may have been a bit ahead of the curve.”
Powers then read what the famed Golden Age Dean of Science Fiction Artists Frank Kelly Freas (1922-2005) wrote, “Much as usual – badly.”
“Some see education rising to new levels where others see it entirely failing,” noted John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press. But Contest founder L. Ron Hubbard earlier made this very insightful observation, “A culture is held together solely and only by education. Whether that education is accomplished by experience or by teaching, a culture as a whole is the summation of its education.”
Here is a selection of other predictions found in the time capsule.
Some were of a hopeful future. Grand Master of Science Fiction Jack Williamson (1908-2006), one of the originators of the term “genetic engineering,” anticipated education “by bio-silicon brain implants,” while Writers of the Future Coordinating Judge Algis Budrys (1931-2008) (Rogue Moon) forecasted, “On computers. 26 years from now, some other technology will be ready.”
Scientist, international best-selling author, and creator of the science blog Chaos Manner, Dr. Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017) (Mote in Gods Eye and Lucifer’s Hammer) appears to have gotten it closest, “Systematic phonetics with computers for reading. Computers don’t get impatient and don’t make mistakes. Computer education programs will be greatly improved. Virtual classrooms will exist but will not be the standard yet.”
Award-winning science fiction and fantasy artist Rob Hassan wrote, “I anticipate every aspect of education will touch electronic communication starting with pre-school and continuing through all higher education and with this expansion, all students have access to other cultures, technologies, and opportunities, to make the world a close-knit society.”
While others were somewhat dire. Award-winning horror writer, Scott Nicholson, provided his view of a dystopian future by 2023, “By direct implant via brain wave resonators, all knowledge will be controlled by government agencies.”
Chesley award-winning illustrator, Val Lakey Lindahn, foresaw that “The fundamentals of education will be primarily to teach the children to find fresh water – a precious commodity due to overpopulation.”
L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future Writing contest in 1983 to provide “a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” Based on its success, its sister contest, Illustrators of the Future, was created five years later to provide that same opportunity for aspiring artists.
The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 547 winners and published finalists of the Writing Contest have published over 2,000 novels and nearly 6,300 short stories. In addition, they have produced 36 New York Times bestsellers, and their works have sold over 60 million copies.
The 394 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 700 book and magazine covers, over 6,800 illustrations, 390 comic books, and 1.4 million art prints in circulation.
For more information on the Writing Contest and Illustration Contest and to see the annual awards gala, go to www.writersofthefuture.com.