When David over at Photon Courier linked to a post here I went over to check out the setting and found this: Predictions in 1931 of what 2011 would be like. This is a better-than-usual list however, as they asked thoughtful people who took the time to really think about it, rather than clever people who just spent an hour scratching out ideas.
It's a nice illustration of my previous point about experts. The thoughtful people had some stunningly accurate forecasts (see the last one especially). But there are several which are not just comically wrong, as the clever guys sitting around over drinks would have, but profoundly and almost chillingly backward. Worse, on numbers 3 and 4, whoever is doing the modern grading shares the bias that was nascent among intellectuals then and is a commonplace among the intelligentsia now, that he gets the grades wrong, granting Millikan a "not quite" when that worthy is horribly wrong, and declaring Pupin wrong when he is very nearly right. On the latter, Pupin predicted that poverty would generally disappear, and believed this must also result in equality of wealth distribution. He got the first part quite right, as poverty by the standards of 1931 is nonexistent in America. It was the second part he got wrong. But the modern grader, entirely caught up in the idea that equal distribution is the only measure of prosperity, misses what Pupin got right.