Thursday, June 9, 2016
now and then
Although I didn't take this picture the lady slippers are in bloom in our favorite park again. I didn't know they were a kind of orchid until today. Aren't they pretty?
I've also been thinking about the future and how the ideas of experts have often been wrong:
'I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.'
~ Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and inventor of Ethernet, writing in 1995. In 1999, addressing the Sixth International WWW Conference, Metcalfe put a copy of his infamous column into a blender, pureed it, and drank it.
'There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States.'
~ T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission commissioner in 1961. Needless to say, Mr. Craven is no longer the commissioner of the FCC.
'I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.'
~ Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943. Of course, Watson was referring to room-size mega-machines filled with vacuum tubes. But still..
'The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.'
~ Sir William Preece, chief engineer, British Post Office in 1876. Messenger boys?
'This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.'
~ Western Union internal memo in 1876. Western Union sent its last telegram in 2006.
'Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.'
~ Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox in 1946. He was right. Now we've moved on to aluminum and plastic televisions.
I kind of like this girl's idea about the future of robots. Only time will tell if she has the right idea:
'It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.'
~ Yogi Berra