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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

A Matter of Opinion: Future Watch, Take 1

In the mid-1980s, I interviewed Jonathan Peck, a futurist with the Institute for Alternative Futures.

We were talking about the then changing telephone technology and he mentioned that someday people would carry their phone numbers with them everywhere. He wasn't sure how it would work. Maybe our phone numbers would be on a sort of credit card that we'd plug into hotel phones.

Cell phones turned out to tbe the universal phone number carriers that Peck imagined. And the ability to carry my phone number with me everywhere, which seemed so sci-fi in the late 1980s, is now a 2007 reality.

I wished I had recorded the exact date and time of the prediction by Peck (and I can't find the story I wrote back then.) But this blog allows me to track some of the future watch stuff more easily.

And here's the first. Yesterday, the editorial board met with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council folks. They talked about future stresses on the power grid, especially during peak-load times. They then, almost casually, mentioned the peak load demands that might happen with people get home from work and plug in their cars to recharge them for the next day. They are already talking about ways to meet that potential demand.

Wouldn't that be a great problem for society to solve. Can't wait! Will it take 20 years? Longer, shorter? Your predictions are welcome.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.