Saturday, 6 March 2010

Prediction Fail

This NeXT Computer used by British scientist S...Image via Wikipedia
They say that hindsight is a wonderful thing. I bet that the author of an article that appeared in a 1995 issue of Newsweek wishes that he had had a little hindsight. Clifford Stoll penned the piece entitled "The Internet? Bah!" all about how the Internet would never catch on and replace things like books or that people would never make online purchases to any great degree.

It just goes to how you how very clever people can sometimes be quite stupid also. :-)

We're promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete[sic]. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn't—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

I don't think anyone ever suggested that stores would become obsolete, but how short sighted do you have to be to think that the technology would not improve.

Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them.

The phrase "A bad workman always blames his tools" springs to mind. I'm sure that search technology has made things easier these days but GIGO (Garbage in Garbage Out) will always apply.

You can read the full article here.
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