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Hmmmm. This is a useful soundbite

Over at the Paleo-Future blog they are quoting a “February 27, 1995 Newsweek article stating that this whole Internet thing is a bunch of hype. Author Clifford Stoll proclaims, “no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.” You can read the piece in its entirety here. Excerpts appear below.”
“Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly [on the Internet]. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.”
“. . . Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.”
“These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training. Sure, kids love videogames–but think of your own experience: can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past?”
“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. 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.”
You’ll recognize Stoll as te Silicon Snake Oil guy. I guess he enters the Nicholson Baker Hall of Fame (They can use the warehouses left over when he sold all those print newspaprs he was preserving.
Gee, I write a lot. I suppose it can come back to haunt me too. I see so many denial predictions lately as the web hits the middle of the adoption curve and starts to stress out the people at the end of the rainbow.

Posted on: March 31, 2008, 1:33 pm Category: Uncategorized

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