Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why bad predictions fail

Okay, we’ve all had our laugh at Clifford Stoll’s expense, heck the guy came out of the woodwork to admit what a bonehead he was when he made it. But people make terrible predictions all the time.

I never said,"640K of memory should be enough for anybody."No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time. I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that.

Look at Bill Gates. Great card player, can bluff with the best of them, but he’s made some howlers about the future of tech, and still makes them to this day,  yet people always forget or let him off the hook because … well, he’s Bill Gates. And then there’s Robert X. Cringely. His last year blogging for PBS, he made some spectacular whoppers, in fact, his last year was his worst year, yet. So, he’s pretty much laid off the predictions and concentrated on trying to make money from the interwebs, somehow. Slate.com covers the Clifford Stoll ballyhoo and delves deeper on why experts always go askew when trying to guess the future of tech. I blame Jules Verne, myself. Reading him as a kid, he made me believe one could build a rocketship in one’s backyard and blastoff to the moon. As it is, Jules Verne proved to be one of the true visionairies who got it right.