"The World in the Year 2058"

By Anonymous; translated by Patrick Casiano

A Glimpse into the Future

How will our lives look like in the middle of the 21st century? What are the ups and downs of the technological development and which unforeseen features might the iPhone version 99.0 have? The digital food which we will upload wirelessly to our stomach will come at a price of 50 Yuan per serving and will consist of Chinese food only.

Humans have always liked to delve into speculations about the future and to share their forecasts with their fellow men. Since the earliest times various religious traditions have made predictions about the future – either for the present world or for the afterlife. Sometimes this appears in the form of a grandiose prophecy, affecting the entire world, and at times only as an inconspicuous interpretation of a dream of a common individual.

Politicians followed suit with predictions of varying degrees of accuracy. And also popular culture also has its fair share. Contemplating about the future appears to be ingrained in human nature.

What follows is a translation of a short anonymous piece titled “די וועלט אין 100 יאר ארום” (“The World in 100 Years”) published in the newspaper לעצטע נייעס, on January 10th, 1958 on page 6. I came across this curiosity by accident while working on a research project about the history of German-Israeli relations and had to share it with my fellow Yiddish enthusiasts.

In 2018 we are already 60 percent through the period in question. It is a fitting opportunity to recapitulate what has already come true, what is yet to be awaited and what even today sounds odd and fanciful to us.

—Patrick Casiano

For as little as the cost of a loaf of Jewish rye...