Tuesday, January 13, 2009

History and the quote

History tends to be fairly brutal to people who attempt to naysay the future.
Annie Proulx saying “Nobody is going to sit down and read a book on a twitchy little screen. Ever."
Well while the Kindle is not taken over the world it's definitely doing well, there's a large number of very popular, expensive journals and e-books available and the rest of us are pretty comfortable with that.
Here's another great one I came across today.
Haynes McMullen cautioned that: “It is unlikely that the typical university library staff of 2005 will employ any mechanical devices which are not already in
existence in 1955.” (Sapp, Gregg and Ron Gilmore (2002). A Brief History
of the Future of Academic Libraries: Predictions and Speculations from
the literature of the profession, 1975 to 2000 – part one, 1975 to
1989. Portal: Libraries and the Academy. 2(4). 553-576.

It's possible that I think this is funnier because of my line of work but the inability of people to dream big and then say what they refuse to dream big about is staggering. While technology blossomed with fervor during the ensuing years it's distinctly awkward to go down as the footnoted person who is condemning change. It's simply not bright. If anything, go the cautionary route and don't date yourself.

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