Ignorant lay people are simply not qualified to question the wisdom of the experts.
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
“But what … is it good for?”
Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
Western Union internal memo, 1876.