The Long History of the Future by Nicole Kobie review — tech fails

Some technologies always seem to lie just over the horizon. Where, we ask, are our robot servants, jetpacks and flying cars? Closer to hand, where are the self-driving cars that don’t require a human driver, the VR headsets that don’t make you throw up and the AI that is actually intelligent?

Nicole Kobie is a UK-based technology journalist who specialises in skewering the pretensions of tech-bros and the hype of venture capitalists. As such, she is the right author for this entertaining and insightful history of futuristic technologies. Her book is full of the admirable feats of scientists and engineers “toiling against the gravity of failure”. The chief entertainment, though, is provided by the screw-ups.

Take the Convair 118, a 1940s car that could be

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