The Internet Imagined in 1969

The gen­der stereo­types might be back­ward-look­ing (we’ll make up for it lat­er in the day), but the tech­no­log­i­cal vision is on the mark, right down to email, e‑commerce and online bank­ing. Of course, these weren’t the only peo­ple imag­in­ing an elec­tron­ic, con­nect­ed world dur­ing the 1960s.

In 1964, the futur­ist Arthur C. Clarke peered into the future and saw our con­nect­ed­ness com­ing. By 2000, he pre­dict­ed, “We could be in instant con­tact with each oth­er, wher­ev­er we may be,” and “it will be pos­si­ble in that age … for a man to con­duct his busi­ness from Tahi­ti or Bali just as well as he could from Lon­don.”

And then Mar­shall McLuhan under­stood the trend too. He saw elec­tron­ic media turn­ing our world into a social one, a world where ser­vices like Face­book and Twit­ter would make com­plete sense. You can watch the pre­scient Mar­shall McLuhan right here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Arthur C. Clarke Pre­dicts the Future in 1964 … And Kind of Nails It

The Inter­net Imag­ined in 1969

Mar­shall McLuhan: The World is a Glob­al Vil­lage

1930s Fash­ion Design­ers Imag­ine How Peo­ple Would Dress in the Year 2000

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.