But the generalised nature of some scenarios — like a pop star dying of a drug overdose or the spread of virtual reality — lend themselves to ‘accurate’ forecasts

What are some instances that the future was predicted?

Reading the ridiculous biblical mumbo-jumbo of the previous answers, I’m not sure I should bother responding to your question. However, the more I think about it, the more intrigued I am by what I perceive as the answer. The way I see it, there are no real predictors of the future.

To start off with, the bible didn’t predict anything. The responses that cite it as including predictions that are fulfilled are based on personal interpretations (that many people interpret differently) or quoted passages that were very likely written after the events they “predicted” took place.

Nostradamus’ predictions are very interesting but also open to interpretation and frequently disputed. This is the same for any other oracle or prophet. What they say is vague and open to interpretation. People hear what they want to hear and many believe the future is foretold. Few remember that a lot of the people relying on the information didn’t get what they expected.

Likewise comments and speculation of individuals should not be considered predictions. JFK said we would go the moon but he also funded the program. The Simpsons aired an episode where Donald Trump was president as a joke. Many politicians say they will win the election and a good number of them are correct (somebody has to win). These are not predictions of the future. They are planning, sarcasm or optimism.

Many people believe that authors and TV shows have predicted the future. Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Star Trek and many other have been credited with coming up with inventions years, even centuries, before they became a reality. Jules Verne wrote about submarines and rockets to the moon that were very accurate when compared to the actual inventions. Verne knew that people were really working on these things and put them in his stories in a manner that made sense to him. In the case of the submarine, Leonardo Da Vinci actually drew a design for one. Arthur C. Clark did the same with satellites. In some cases these descriptions of futuristic devices are not actually predictors but ended up serving as models. Some aspects of the first submarines were actually made to match Verne’s description. The first nuclear powered submarine was actually named Nautilus after Verne’s machine. Scientists today are working on a wide range of new technologies that were inspired by Star Trek, which they loved as kids. In the course of human history, almost every idea has eventually becomes reality. Good science fiction uses these ideas to entertain us in a manner that is believable and possible. There are many more good science fiction stories that did not become reality than those that did. Some of these may still become reality. Once again, this is not a prediction of the future.