Beyond 1975

1975 And The Changes To Come

How to Preserve Foods. A rack of canned beans is lowered into a radioactive container where, in six to twenty minutes, the beans will receive enough radiation to preserve them indefinitely. Atomic radiation of foods will be routine in the seventies. Meats, vegetables, and fruits will be preserved by the process. Radiated foods can be kept for years with little or no refrigeration.

Push-Button Learning. Teaching machines break complicated subject matter into bit-by-bit segments, permitting each student to progress at his own pace. This machine, for example (called the “AutoTutor”), first presents a unit of information. Then come questions based on what the student has learned, together with alternate answers. If the student presses the right buttons for the answers, he is “rewarded” with a new unit of study which appears on the machine. If he flubs the answers, a paragraph of text appears on the screen setting him right, and then he tries again. On the right is a classroom demonstration of the machine — a scene that will be commonplace in future years in most schools.

Wash Dishes Ultrasonically. High frequency sound waves energize the water to wash the dishes in this ultrasonic dishwasher. A device called a transducer produces the high frequency sound waves (about 20,000 cycles per minute), pitched so high they cannot be heard by the human ear. Ultrasonic washers are more effective than existing types; they scour without scratching, remove baked-on matter readily, and wash much faster than any type now in general use. The same principle of ultrasonic cleaning will be applied to washing machines within another decade.

Reference Finder. Every 60 seconds, day and night, approximately 2,000 pages of books, newspapers, or reports are published somewhere in the world; and the output is increasing by leaps and bounds. Libraries will ultimately be forced to use computers such as this for locating documents and references, since it will be so difficult otherwise to keep up with the printed material. This pioneering installation is at the Center for Documentation and Communication Research at Western Reserve University.

from 1975: And the Changes To Come by Arnold B. Barach

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