The Atlantic: Five predictions of the past decade we'd like to take back





At The Atlantic, we pride ourselves on the foresight of our authors. We like to point out that “As We May Think,” Vannevar Bush’s 1945 meditation on information networks, foresaw the creation of the World Wide Web. We less often highlight “The Coming Air Age,” another Atlantic article of the same period, which predicted that the average businessman would soon be commuting to work in a helicopter.

The last decade has been no exception: we’ve published some 2,000 articles, and many turned out to be eerily prophetic. Nine years after James Fallows’s cover story “The 51st State,” Uncle Sam is, as our cover image anticipated, staggering under the weight of a smoldering Iraq. But inevitably, our crystal ball has its flaws. Here are five thoughtfully argued Atlantic predictions that never quite came to pass.

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