Columns

Historian, Gurus Map Out Your Future

September 15, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
While many say the flip of the calendar from Dec. 1999 to Jan. 2000 is an arbitrary marking of time, it can’t go unnoticed. In this, our first stand-alone January issue, the feature on “New Century of Adhesives” acknowledges the new millennium by quizzing a select group of experts in the adhesives and sealants industry about its future.

But let’s hold a telescope up to post-modern time by checking out what a historian distanced from our industry has to say. Here are some predictions from W. Warren Wagar in the third edition of his “nonfictional fiction” book, A Short History of the Future, University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Without exception, our panel of experts agreed that the flourish of activity in mergers and acquisitions will continue. Wagar concurs, predicting that “by 2015 there will be a small cluster of 12 giants, with combined annual sales of nearly U.S. $20 trillion.” A hypothetical representative megacorp is “… the Japanese-American behemoth General Industries (GI) formed in 2011 as the result of the “supermerger” of three oil companies, two electronics companies and two automobile manufacturers.” In light of recent events, this even sounds plausible.

So, what will your workday be like? The trend toward a more automated workplace will continue into the next half of the new century, largely attributable to computer science. “Computers will write and send letters, advise government officials, manage air traffic, design weapons, plan advertising campaigns, conduct medical research. ….their usefulness multiplied many times over with the perfection of artificial intelligence…”

In the new century, our habits will probably be the same, including attending technical meetings. But, bad news, guys. At the annual banquet, you may not see any steak on the menu. How about a healthy serving of soy and farm-fresh mackerel?

Wagar says “. . . the public heeded the advice of physicians and cut its consumption of animal food throughout the developed world by 50 percent between 2005 and 2025. Even the world-famous American hamburger…found itself upstaged in the fast-food chains by the “earthburger,” a palatable concoction of lentils and tofu reinforced by vegetable adhesives that gave it the same texture and moisture as meat. . .”

And how did you get to the meeting? Wagar says that in the last age of capital, the most significant status symbol and index of personal wealth was the large private automobile. “The waste of resources defies calculation….As a result, public transportation atrophied, forcing more and more citizens to buy private vehicles.”

By mid-century, “personal vehicles were made available by transport cooperatives for rental, but the sale of anything larger than a battery-powered cart big enough to seat two persons was prohibited by law. Almost all travel, local or otherwise, took place on state-operated urban rail systems, supersonic magnetic floater trains, or air and spacecraft.

So, we have a good 50 years before we have to alter our experts’ predictions that the auto industry will be a burgeoning market for adhesives. And, I, for one, don’t plan to give up my wheelcs yet!

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine.

Recent Articles by Karen Kramer

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASI April 2014 Photo Gallery

Our April 2014 issue is now available!

Podcasts

ExxonMobil Tackifier Expansion

Dwight Tozer, vice president of ExxonMobil’s Adhesion Industry business, discusses the company’s latest tackifier expansion project with Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.

More Podcasts

Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine

ASI Sept 2014 cover

2014 September

Our September issue features articles focusing on high-tech applications and raw materials, as well as a preview of the ASC Fall Convention and Expo. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ADHESIVES STORE

handbook-sealant-tech.gif
Handbook of Sealant Technology

The Handbook of Sealant Technology provides an in-depth examination of sealants, reviewing their historical developments and fundamentals, adhesion theories and properties, and today’s wide range of applications.

More Products

ASI 2014 Buyers GuideASI's Buyers' Guide

Annual purchasing resource for equipment used in the manufacture/formulation of adhesives, sealants, pressure sensitives, tapes and labels and for application of finished adhesives. 

Clear Seas Research

With access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40px twitter_40  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40 google+ icon ASI 30px