CANADA IN 2067

You’ll get a new body when your old one wears out, live in towers, speak a universal language. There’ll be no wars—or privacy. And you’ll stand loyally to attention for the anthem, God Save Our Machines

DOUGLAS MARSHALL May 1 1967

CANADA IN 2067

You’ll get a new body when your old one wears out, live in towers, speak a universal language. There’ll be no wars—or privacy. And you’ll stand loyally to attention for the anthem, God Save Our Machines

DOUGLAS MARSHALL May 1 1967

CANADA IN 2067

You’ll get a new body when your old one wears out, live in towers, speak a universal language. There’ll be no wars—or privacy. And you’ll stand loyally to attention for the anthem, God Save Our Machines

DOUGLAS MARSHALL

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON wrote these lines for Locksley Hall 125 years ago — more than 60 years before the invention of the airplane. Although Tennyson's political crystal ball was clouded by excessive optimism (he also predicted "the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world”), his scientific vision of aircraft stands out as a remarkably accurate long-range forecast. What would the poet-seer see if he "dipt” into the future today?

Lacking obvious Tennysons, the Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company decided as one of its Centennial projects to put the question to several hundred prominent Canadians, all experts in their own fields. In some areas there was considerable agreement about what will happen in the next 100 years. If the experts are right, Canada in 2067 will be an intellectual Utopia populated by the elderly but dominated by youth. Our transportation systems will be fully integrated and atomic-powered, spare-part surgery will have licked the problems of aging, and apartment blocks will tower into miniature self-contained cities.

For / dipt into the future, far as hitman eye could see,

Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would he; Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails . . .

If that all sounds too organized for comfort and mildly depressing, there’s more to come. McLuhanism will reign supreme, meat and fresh food will become a once-a-year luxury and children will become wards of the state virtually from the nursery-school stage. And while none of the prognosticators were pessimistic enough to speculate about nuclear war, at least one philosopher is convinced the social structure as a whole will evolve into a modified version of George Orwell’s 19S4. Here are some of the predictions in detail:

MEDICINE: Most doctors agree that major breakthroughs will come in the cure (or prevention of) cancer, arteriosclerosis, arthritis and mental diseases. Kidney banks, bone banks and heart-valve banks will become as common as eye banks, and the use of plastic and other artificial tissues in replacement will become universal. Dr. Morton Shulman, Chief Coroner for Metropolitan Toronto, foresees “the ultimate in cadaver use where living men whose bodies have finally worn out have their brains transferred to young bodies that have been killed in accidents, and thus begin a new physical life with all their mental powers intact. We may thus develop a group of permanent super beings.”

Even if we don’t go to this extreme, suggests Dr. Shulman, the average man’s life could well be extended to 125 or 150 years. “Accidents will become the primary death producers, suicides will become increasingly common as more leisure time produces ennui, and within the century all bodies will be autopsied and then cremated, while cemeteries will disappear.”

Dr. Harvey Agnew, president of a Toronto firm of hospital consultants, says hospitals will become specialized and automated, “but as a whole will give a more complete service to the community. All of the populace will have a complete medical history on file in a national registry of personal data. Patients will undergo much more extensive periodic overhaul. Blood will be entirely withdrawn and replaced temporarily by special fluids while the blood is being checked, toxins and poisons filtered out and desired cells and other substances added.”

CANADA IN 2067 continued

The wheel will be obsolete, and you’ll drive a Hovercraft

TRANSPORTATION: Chaos will be conquered, says Donald Gordon, former president of the CNR. by an integrated and balanced national system combining planes, trains, trucks, buses, water carriers and pipelines. As in other fields, the computer will be king. Fully automatic trains may be hauled by atomic power, and “it could be that bulk commodities such as wheat, ores, flour and petroleum products relatively soon will be flowing across the country in specially designed pipelines.”

Gordon also believes that current research on controlling or eliminating the force of gravity could eventually revolutionize all man’s previous transportation techniques and concepts. “It may even be that the wheel will disappear.”

The first vehicle to lose its wheels probably will be the family car. says George Grant, Commissioner of Roads for Metropolitan Toronto. He predicts urban rush-hour problems will be solved by airocars, personal Hovercraft moving on a cushion of air. Later, he says, computer controls and nuclear power will produce the day “when all we have to do is go out of the house in the morning, get into our own personal rocket sitting on a launching pad, dial our destination on a central computer, and automatically take off.”

EDUCATION: Dr. Gordon Shrum. chancellor of British Columbia's Simon Fraser University, says “the rapid accumulation of knowledge will force the acceptance of the concept that education is a lifelong process, rather than an activity for adolescents between the ages of six and 18.” He also thinks the main role of the universities “will be to instruct in the humanities and other cultural courses adults who have already completed their professional training in a wide variety of other specialized institutions of higher learning.”

By 2067, says Murray Ross, president of Ontario's York University, “close to 100 percent of our youth under 25 years of age will be in some form of post-secondary-school educational program — nursing school, teachers' college, community college, university. The millions of youth, secure in schools, colleges and universities, will be much more creative, adventuresome and socially active than past generations of youth. One can count on them to induce great social change.”

CANADA IN 2067 continued

There’ll be no teachers, theatres—or Canada as we know it

FOOD: Canada will meet her increased food demands by importing and producing more during the next 100 years, says Everett Biggs. Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture. By 2067 the domestic demand for food products will be five to six times the 1967 demand. There are still 27 million acres of agricultural land uncultivated in Canada and by developing these Canada could increase her agricultural production by 50 percent.

However, says Biggs, by the 1980s a significant proportion of our food requirements will be supplied by synthetic products. Within 100 years livestock, still a relatively inefficient producer of food, will be abandoned.

“It is entirely conceivable that by 2067 our foods could all basically come from plant sources.”

L. H. Johnson, president of Canadian Canners Ltd., predicts that even 50 years from now a typical businessman's lunch will consist of a martini made from instant alcohol and a reconstituted Spanish olive, followed by a ham omelet (the egg is still around but the ham comes from a soybean base) and selections from a tray of dessert cubes.

THE ARTS: Ed Mirvish. impresario and owner of Toronto’s Royal Alexandra theatre, believes that legitimate theatre will not exist as we now know it, but “will flourish on a scale that will dwarf anything exisdng today or in the past.” Mirvish believes soaring costs will price live productions out of existence and space will eliminate the present forum type of theatre.

Instead, theatre will exist electronically in the home.

“Popular entertainment will be taken over and become part of the communications industry. and even the classic fare of the past will yield to electronic formats. We will be able to dial-a-drama, of either the Shakespearean cr Petticoat Junction variety, depending on our mood.

"Where then will the so-called ‘true theatre’ reside? 1 think it will reside in what is now known in its embryonic period as ‘Happenings.’ Greatly refined, the true art form will evolve from small groups, inundated with enormous amounts of free time, who will gather primarily for a live human experience and to communicate on a personal basis.”

In a lighter vein, pianist Glenn Gould foresees at least one dire consequence of the arts becoming absorbed by mass communications: “Symphony orchestras across the country will emulate the music-loving public of Toronto and Montreal in

their quest for conductorial exoticism. But the trend will begin its inevitable decline when Lee Phong Whee, the celebrated Cambodian maestro inaugurating his first season as conductor of the Fort St. John Philharmonic. will confuse a subdivided sforzando with a karate chop and decapitate his concertmaster.”

SOCIETY: Most of the social reforms we're currently fighting for will be long-won battles by 2067. Journalist June Callwood predicts “criminals will be treated as people with an illness, along with addicts, alcoholics, tycoons and perverts.” Miss Callwood also believes departments of education will be supervising parents whose personal problems make them unjust, uneven or antagonistic to their young. Housing will be concentrated in tall towers containing a vertical mosaic of facilities — hobby rooms, libraries, schools,

theatres, nurseries and rooms for those in need of solitude.

On a broader scale, says social philosopher Marcus Long of the University of Toronto, Canada's peculiar problems will cease to exist because there w'ill be no Canada as we know it. “Nationalism and cultural rivalry will disappear in a world where distance will have become meaningless, isolation impossible and interdependence essential.” Ideological conflict will seem absurd. “War, as a resolution of anything, will be unknown. The USSR and the U.S. will be administrative areas under a central administration. Universal communication will require a common language (probably English). Government will be by nonelected experts using machines. Big government will become Big Business. Efficiency will become both a watchword and a fact.”

If this sounds like Tennyson’s “federation of the world” finally come true, Long warns that it also means sacrificing individuality: “There will be no privacy. The most intimate details about every individual from birth to death will be recorded and m a d e easily available. This will increase the efficiency of the regime and make organized rebellion against it impossible. Schools will co-operate. The aim of education will be to produce quiescent, co-operative and useful citizens.

“Teachers will be replaced by machines and the intellectual needs of students will be determined by their potential usefulness to society. Various techniques will be used to condition the person through manipulation of the brain. Artificial insemination will make selective breeding possible and. perhaps, make women unnecessary. The family unit w'ill be abolished for central training of children whose father will be unknown to them.

“The stupid human problems of tribalism, nationalism, language rebellion, immorality, individualism, divorce, delinquency, poverty, discrimination, hunger and war will be abolished. The price for such a delightful bill of goods is very small. Give up your rights to be a person. Follow the advice of Hobbes. Accept the machine as master.”

Terrifying? Certainly, but as with all predictions, to be taken with a cellar full of salt. It is interesting to note that a similar set of experts, canvassed by Maclean’s back in the late 1940s, scored a dismal zero out of 10 in most of their predictions about what would be happening in the late 1960s. By now, it was prophesied, we should be flying the Atlantic for $100 (cheapest commercial flight is still $233 one way), going to work every day in a helicopter, reading facsimile newspapers fed into every home by radio process, living in all - plastic houses and surviving on one pill of concentrated food compound a day.

One of the all-time lows in the forecasting business was scored by the great C. D. Howe. In 1948, just four years before CBC-TV went on the air, Howe predicted that television would not come to Canada for many years, “if ever.” ★