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Amazingly wrong prediction of the internet from 1995

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by s land balla, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. s land balla

    s land balla Contributing Member

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    Published in Newsweek Magazine, February 26, 1995:


    After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

    Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in 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.

    Consider today's online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. 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. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

    What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is tht the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading. 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—one's a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn't work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, "Too many connections, try again later."

    Won't the Internet be useful in governing? Internet addicts clamor for government reports. But when Andy Spano ran for county executive in Westchester County, N.Y., he put every press release and position paper onto a bulletin board. In that affluent county, with plenty of computer companies, how many voters logged in? Fewer than 30. Not a good omen.

    Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We're told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software.Who needs teachers when you've got computer-aided education? Bah. 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? I'll bet you remember the two or three great teachers who made a difference in your life.

    Then there's cyberbusiness. 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.

    What's missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee. No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who'd prefer cybersex to the real thing? While the Internet beckons brightly, seductively flashing an icon of knowledge-as-power, this nonplace lures us to surrender our time on earth. A poor substitute it is, this virtual reality where frustration is legion and where—in the holy names of Education and Progress—important aspects of human interactions are relentlessly devalued.
     
  2. Francis3422

    Francis3422 Member

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    Yea.... Everything that was doubted has pretty much come to fruition.

    p*rn!
     
  3. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    I can't imagine how awesome teh pr0n will be 20 years down the line. Sometimes I wish I was born later so I can witness this greatness while still on my fapping prime.
     
  4. K-Low_4_Prez

    K-Low_4_Prez Member

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    This guy just had no imagination... did he think computers were always going to be as much of a pain as they were in 95?

    One thing I think the internet has changed is people imaginations... people don't really think anything is impossible, if you can think it, it can happen.
     
  5. rudan

    rudan Member

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    Theres going to be lot more gay p*rn 20 years from now. I dont know if that will benifit you in your fapping, but thats how the world is going :p
     
  6. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    To be fair it took several years.
     
  7. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    Yeah, but anyone who uses the arguments that computers are too big to take to the beach or that screens are too hard on the eyes to read books clearly hadn't been paying attention to the evolution of computers up to that point. It was silly to think those would continue to be issues over time.

    And the idea that the internet was some great cacophony of unedited ideas is still true, but there are enough controlled areas of the web that information can still be transferred. To think we wouldn't be able to control portions of that data was pretty narrow-minded as well.
     
  8. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JUs7iG1mNjI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>)
     
  9. htwnbandit

    htwnbandit Member

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    LOL That was hilarious. Needed that bad after the loss tonight.
     
  10. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Damn in a way it funny but also a sad indicator of our drive to disconnect from each other. He's right about that but he's also wrong about it connecting each other from long distances.
     
  11. Dei

    Dei Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Houstunna

    Houstunna The Most Unbiased Fan
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    Article was written within 1 week of Drexler to Houston.
     
  13. Two Sandwiches

    Two Sandwiches Contributing Member

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    Just searched for "Battle of Trafalgar", and found the date within 8.2 seconds.
     
  14. conquistador#11

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    watch "the net" with sandra bullock (1995)
    or episode, "2shy" with Mulder and scully. (1995)It feels so long ago but not really.

    always fun looking back. Good for nostalgic reasons.
     
  15. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    So completely wrong, it almost looks intentional.

    I don't see how you get more than we have now. But, I suppose I might be as myopic as the Newsweek writer.
     
  16. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I mean, computers used to take up whole rooms, with their own temperature control system. By the time this guy wrote this drivel, they'd shrunk down to something one person could pick up and carry (albeit awkwardly compared to today). And he didn't think they could get any smaller? Really?

    Seriously though, this quote is almost sig-worthy:
    I'll just leave this here.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WrjwaqZfjIY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>)
     
  17. superfob

    superfob Mommy WOW! I'm a Big Kid now.

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    Where are my damn flying cars!
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    The failure of the guy was thinking the technology would be fixed but also discounted how little human contact is important regarding things like purchasing airline tickets or reading news.

    He is right though about a few things. So much of the info on the internet is unfiltered and the idea that everyone has an equal voice has led to the persistence and the creation of new crackpot ideas and misinformation. He is also right that streaming or recording media over the internet doesn't replace a live concert. While the market for recorded music has taken a huge hit from the internet the market for live shows has probably increased.

    Finally in regard to cybersex with all due respect to the connoisseurs of pron here I would still take the real deal over watching pron on the internet.
     
  19. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Mankind will travel to other galaxies before the flying car is reality.
     
  20. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    The flying car always seemed like a bad idea to me. It would be cool if only I and a very few people had them but once they got widespread they would be a problem.

    Imagine traffic jams in 3 dimensions and FUI or Texting while Flying.
     

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