Memory is expensive, and every character we could possibly ever want to use fits in eight bits, so of course strings are sequences of eight-bit characters.
A tree is the most obvious representation of a programming language within a compiler or interpreter, so of course a programming language which should allow manipulation of the language by mere users should use the textual form of its tree representation.
Programmers can make mistakes with complex language features so of course removing those features will prevent mistakes.
Sometimes writing fast programs requires low-level access to memory so of course you can write this new language just like you wrote its predecessor.
Portable programs can be useful so of course it's important that you never leave the comfortable confines of the virtual machine and standard library or image.
Beating Microsoft is essential to our success so of course we don't have time to think through the implications of our language's design.
Bad programs often have poor indentation so of course enforced indentation will make people write good programs.
Perl 1, 2, 3, and 4 were great replacements for awk, sed, and shell programs, so of course the everything-goes, loosey-goosey approach to strictness is the right default for Perl 5.
From this I conclude that language designers are as good at predicting the future as anyone else: not very.