Archive for March 8, 2010

Random Thoughts: 4

March 8, 2010 6 comments

The predictions of “brilliant”, “respectable” and “renowned” white men have a tendency to implode..

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

ya sure.. what are you reading this on? Apple II came out in 1977.

Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public … has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company …” — a U.S. District Attorney, prosecuting American inventor Lee DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company in 1913

How did that work out?

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. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

So we have no telecommunications satellites yet?

On appointment as Astronomer Royal, he reiterated his long-held view that “space travel is utter bilge“. Speaking to Time in 1956, Woolley noted “It’s utter bilge. I don’t think anybody will ever put up enough money to do such a thing . . . What good would it do us? If we spent the same amount of money on preparing first-class astronomical equipment we would learn much more about the universe . . . It is all rather rot”

Sure.. note the date. Sputnik 1957, Gagarin 1961, Armstrong 1969.

“The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.” Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) said this in 1933. The discoverer of the nucleus of the atom.

1938 – Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn, 1942 – First Nuclear Reactor, 1945 – First Fission Bomb

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft. 30 April 2007

So, how did that work out?

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.” – Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

Ah, another conservative dead white guy..

“The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote…. Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.” – physicist Albert. A. Michelson, 1894

Quantum Mechanics is a bitch..

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” – Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1911

WW1 and WW2 proved otherwise..

“Caterpillar landships (Tanks) are idiotic and useless. Those officers and men are wasting their time and are not pulling their proper weight in the war” – Fourth Lord of the British Admiralty, 1915, in regards to use of tanks in war.

Another crusty CONservative..

“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” – 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.

What can I say..

“Flying Machines Which Do Not Fly”. might be assumed that the flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to ten million years–provided, of course, that we can meanwhile eliminate such little drawbacks and embarrassments as the existing relation between weight and strength in organic materials…
The New York Times | October 9, 1903

1903 – Wright Brothers.. NYT screws up again!

More later..