The man who saw the future …


Albert Einstein was a very smart guy. But could he see the future? It would seem he could. He said: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”


 Appreciating art 

Chatting in a coffee shop

Conversation in the coffee shop


 A day at the beach


 Cheering for the team


On a date




Albert Einstein was a very smart man and obviously could see the future.

49 thoughts on “The man who saw the future …

  1. Do you know what it’s like to get a green light at a traffic signal, begin to pull out only to just miss getting T-boned by a female in a car doing the speed limit right through a red light in front of you? I noticed the driver’s head was down, texting as she drove. 😦


  2. I got t-boned by a bubbled headed young thing without enough insurance and she didn’t even have the excuse of texting … she was just in a hurry and didn’t feel that red light applied to her.


  3. I looked it up and got back several responses, all who seem to think it was Einstein (who was, in fact, known for pithy comments), though wording varies slightly:

    Einstein: I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.

    Read more: Einstein: I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots. Was he right? | Answerbag

    I don’t know how much more authoritative I’m going to be able to get. But feel free to go into bloodhound mode and if you should find definitive proof that I am not finding … or MORE definitive proof than I’m finding, let me know. I’ll gladly publish it,


  4. GREAT JOB Teepee12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had done a Snopes search and there was attribution of all of this to Einstein…my bloodhound days are over so going forward, I shall rely on your skills which clearly are excellent…Thank you.


  5. I was on the bus the other day and a good (bad?) percentage of the people were using these devices – even the people standing up – even though they only had one hand to operate it. It’s unbelievable. And when I see these morons who camp out at stores for the latest Ipod … or whatever. It really mystifies me.

    I wouldn’t say that everything advancement in Tech is bad … after all, I spend half my life on this computer – and cell phones have saved plenty of lives … but most of this stuff is really just entertainment gadgets.


  6. Just because people are using technology a lot doesn’t mean we’re becoming idiots, it’s not like there wasn’t stupid people 50 years ago or even 100 years ago or any period of time for that matter. Maybe the way we interact has changed but at least we’re getting our information faster and more often. I love nothing more than having the ability to find information on basically any subject I want and be able to do that in any location. Mobile phones have the ability to create an even smarter and well-informed generation, I think Einstein was referring more to technological advances that stop us from needing to do anything ourselves and we become a technologically regressed society who doesn’t know how to do anything. Thankfully with my phone and the internet I can learn any number of life skills within minutes and apply them to real life.


  7. In theory I agree with you. Yet look at what’s going on politically. Look at the stuff that is passing for “creativity.” I see a generation of young people who don’t know how to reason, can’t connect two ideas without a flow chart, won’t research anything and can’t think independently. They get their information by punching a query into a search engine (or from the telly) and have no curiosity to go beyond the first page of Googled results. It’s hard not to feel that the whole concept of human intelligence is in need of realignment. I’m sure inherent intelligence remains, but it’s moribund. We have a population of drones. Mobile communication technology is history-altering. There’s no going back. Technology will continue. It isn’t life. It isn’t reason. INFORMATION IS NOT KNOWLEDGE. Until it’s synthesized and connected using reason, it’s just statistics, facts, intellectual dead ends. Rapid information access and communication across distances is a tool, but it’s not an end. More like a start. I look at the sea of dazed, blank faces around me. These are the folks who will run the future. Yikes.


  8. Almost certainly not said by Einstein. No mention of this quote anywhere until very recently, no hits in Google Books, no versions of it offering an actual source. Doesn’t seem to have been misattributed, but actually just made up.


  9. Wait, “proof” that Einstein DIDN’T say this? Is *anyone* familiar with the phrase “you cannot prove a negative”?

    I’m tired of junk quotes. Oh, and I’m particularly fed up with this “thinkexist” site because it appears that pretty much anyone can upload quotes to it with no backup and they’ll be published. A quote that James Carville supposedly made was being repeated in forums all over the country right before the just-passed election, and the quote appeared at “thinkexist.” The trouble is, Carville never said or wrote anything of the sort. In fact, when it was brought to his attention, he contacted the site and asked that it be removed. They have not complied.

    “Answerbag” is no better; it’s a bunch of random yahoos opining amongst themselves. It’s hardly possible to be LESS “authoritative” than that. But, again, you cannot prove a negative. Maybe Einstein once whispered these exact words while standing alone in his bathroom… but we’ll never know. Not a single thing presented here provides any proof that Einstein is the source of this quote. If “Spike” found attribution of this quote at Snopes, he should post the link. I suspect what he saw was something on a Snopes message board, and those are NOT vetted by the people running Snopes.


  10. I’ve been googling a bunch and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that he ever said it. Just a bunch of people on the internet claiming to each other that he did. It seems about as likely to be a real quotation as Lincoln’s famous one about the veracity of quotations one finds on the Internet.


  11. It is HUMOR. It doesn’t MATTER. If I was publishing a research paper, I’d double and triple check sources, but the damned think is a JOKE. It makes a point, but if the quote were (and probably is) “Unknown” the point is equally valid. It DOESN’T MATTER. Lighten up.


  12. Pingback: The man who saw the future … WARNING: May contain humor and other inaccuracies! May cause laughter or other unwanted side effects! | In and About the News |

  13. Pingback: Warning Label Added « Serendipity

  14. What I said was that there was no evidence that attributed that quote to Einstein…this is clearly something that people want to have attributed to a person of such a high reputation because the commentary is so obviously on point to any thinking person…it should be viewed as an ‘interesting’ commentary of our society and whether Einstein actually said it or not, it does not really matter from my perspective. As I said earlier, he probably may have ‘thought’ it but no evidence that he uttered the quote…wish Spike (me) was smart enought to come up with the quote myself. In fact, if no one is willing to step up and claim it as their own, I will officially claim ownership to it within 24 hours…(just kidding folks…)


  15. There are many people with no sense of humor and apparently a lot of them read my blog. It’s what’s wrong with the world .If we remembered to laugh, we could skip a lot of angst.

    I kept getting emails complaining I failed to do my research properly and I’m thinking “they must be kidding,” but they weren’t … so I gave them a warning label to calm their concerns. Maybe that will shut them up. Folks need to *chill *– we have an overwrought nation!

    On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM, Serendipity


  16. I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to cause a fight. I only commented about the veracity of the quote because there seemed to be a genuine interest and I thought Teepee had specifically asked for proof.


  17. The problem is that there are so many false Einstein quotes on the internet used to push agendas and this appears to be the same – pushing the agenda that smart phones and modern social communication is a bad thing. While the humour is obvious, so is the message, and making a point and a joke are not mutually exclusive.


  18. I’m a big believer in research, checking and double-checking sources. I also learned, over a lifetime of doing it for a living, that not everything is equally important. I spent decades documenting and verifying, but we all need to lighten up. It’s been a rough period for America. We need to remember that not everything is life and death. Laughter is good.

    As far as trying to prove that technology is “bad” … far be it from me to be so hypocritical. I love my electronic goodies. BUT too many people, especially young people, confuse the means and the end. They substitute electronic communication for relationships. I watch my granddaughter and her friends sitting next to each other on the sofa texting. How do you learn to have relationships if you can’t have a conversation? If you use computers to think for you, you never learn to think… especially considering that computers can’t think at all …. they are just processors. Anyone can collect information by the bushel, but most people can’t connect two related ideas without a flow chart and maybe, not even then.

    When we actually have to warn people not to text while driving, something is seriously wrong.

    We are forgetting how to think.Hell, we aren’t bothering TO think. Information is not knowledge. It takes human minds to turn information into concepts and ideas. Information is not communication. Nor is information knowledge. You can provide all the information in the world, but if you don’t disseminate it in a form that others can understand, it’s just noise. We collect information at the speed of light. The dumbing down of society is not *because *of the tools, it’s because we’ve forgotten they ARE tools.

    We have fantastic resources and waste them on drivel. Modern tools are amazing, but they have not improved our ability to communicate, relate, think, or create. Without a human context, they will remain toys, silly playthings on which we waste our time and resources.

    And THAT is the message beneath the humor. NOT that the tools are bad, but that we are misusing them.


  19. Pingback: Have a laugh … on me! « Serendipity

  20. I laughed. I have to tell you that my hubby & I were up in Silicon Valley a couple years back and this is what it was like. We live in a small town where people sit and talk for hours over a cup of coffee, a slow moving tourist town, and this was a shock to the system. Tech has it’s place for sure but not to substitute relationships. I loved all your disclaimers. Paulette


  21. Thank you 🙂 I got tired of people fact-checking a joke. Jeez. I think my generation and apparently yours has a grip on the role technology should play in our lives. My granddaughter’s generation does not. They are so used to it, dependent on it, I’m not sure they understand intimacy. II suppose they’ll find the way, as every generation does, but I often wonder how.


  22. Pingback: Daily Prompt: The Stat Connection – How to make friends and influence people | SERENDIPITY

  23. Pingback: Daily Prompt: If you feel successful, you are. | SERENDIPITY

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