Predictions for the 21st Century by Arthur C. Clarke

A list from 1999 which is exceedingly optimistic and so far very wrong.

But perhaps I’m in no position to criticise Thomas Watson Snr. In Transit of Earth (1971), I put the first Mars landing in 1994: now we’ll be lucky if we make it by 2010. On the other hand, when Prelude To Space was published in 1951, I thought I was being wildly optimistic by suggesting a moon mission in 1978. Neil and Buzz beat me by almost a decade.

Still, I take a modest pride in the fact that communications satellites are placed exactly where I suggested in 1945, and that the name “Clarke Orbit” is now often used, if only because it’s easier to say than “geostationary orbit”. And the chapter “The Century Syndrome”, in my 1990 novel The Ghost From The Grand Banks, may well have been the first account, outside the technical literature, of the now-dreaded millennium bug, its cause and its cure.

Even so, the chronology that follows should be given with a health warning. Some of the events listed (particularly the space missions) are already scheduled, and will occur on the actual dates given; I believe all the other events could happen, although several, I hope, will not. I have omitted many interesting and all-too-possible disasters, because optimism about the future is always desirable.

G.I.s’ Guide to Iraq (1943)

From Danger Room:

In 1943, some American troops were stationed in Iraq. Here is a PDF of a War Department handbook introducing them to the country (‘i-RAHK”), and providing some do’s and don’ts when interacting with the Iraqi people. Some highlights:

* NEVER discuss religion or politics or women with Moslems.
* Don’t stare at anyone. Remember the fear of the “evil eye”.
* Knock before entering a private house. If a woman answers, wait until she has had time to retire.
* If you see grown men walking hand in hand, ignore it. They are not queer.