“In the future, we will drive standing up” (David Byrne, Talking Heads – 1984)

(or, Predicting the Future: Part 3)

 “In the future, we will drive standing up” – David Byrne (Talking Heads)

In the liner notes of Talking Heads’ 1984 album “Stop Making Sense” are a series of seemingly bizarre predictions about the future written by David Byrne.

The album, and the concert movie of the same name by Jonathan Demme, were very popular at the time – especially in America. So one might wonder if these words influenced certain young minds of a particular generation….maybe even the engineers who would go on to develope the Segway Personal Transporter?

Human history demonstrates how the march of discovery and invention results in ideas and concepts that once seemed meaningless or absurd go on to become not just a reality – but normality. And to do so in a surprisingly short time. Indeed, this was one of the things that Steve Wozniack alluded to in his public talk during visit to New Zealand earlier this year.

Twenty years ago the Segway PT was almost inconceivable. Ten years later it was revealed. And today the world is populated by some 100,000 self-balancing machines.

The majority of these are personal transporters, some are robots, and a few are cars. Ten years from now, self-balancing devices will be everywhere.

This is because the intrinsic benefits – combined with new enabling technologies – will generate compelling uses not just for certain existing applications but also for those not yet even imagined.

And so today – almost thirty years later – it is amusing to read David Byrne’s full list of predictions:

In the future, women will have breasts all over.
In the future, it will be a relief to find a place without culture.
In the future, plates of food will have names and titles.
In the future, we will drive standing up.
In the future, love will be taught on television and by listening to pop songs.

In addition to predictions about The Future, the group made predictions in 8 other categories (Tips For Performers, Life On Earth, Living With Other People, The Space People, Money, World Travel, Work, and Growing Up). You can find them all here.

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