In 1977 he wrote: “In any civilization with computer science so advanced as to make teaching machines possible, there surely will be thoroughly centralized central libraries. Such libraries may even be interconnected into a single planetary library... Each machine would be plugged into this planetary library and each could have at its disposal any book, periodical, document, recording, or video encoded there” -From The New Teachers
In this essay Asimov is imaging what education in the future will look like. Each person will learn what they want and at their own pace. The traditional class room as we know will be a thing of the past. This is a trend of course but the above quote sounds a lot like Google.
1989, Future Fantastic. “In the 21st century we will see a society in which one third of the population will entertain the other two thirds.” It might not be two thirds but with the proliferation of Podcasts and You Tube channels I would say it’s not that far off.
Same essay. “There will be no bar to travel. You can still be a tourist or visit your friends in person by closed circuit television.” Not exactly, but close enough. Can we say Skype, Google hangout, GoToMeeting, etc to see people we could not otherwise afford to.
This one is interesting. “...the technochildren of tomorrow will be accustomed to living in a decentralized world, to reaching out in a variety of ways from their homes—to do what needs doing. At one and the same time, they will feel both entirely isolated and in total contact.”
This is exactly what is happening. While Asimov is a perpetual optimist the simultaneous isolated connectivity is not having the positive impact I think he imagined. I have seen a few articles and I know there a couple books on the subject. Being connected online has not done anything to make most people feel MORE connected, only more alone. A person may have 2,000 friends on their social networks but still experience profound loneliness. It is definitely a modern paradox that we have yet to figure out how to deal with.
This is just what I read today. If I get any more good ones I will tweet them.