Yesterday’s Futures: The Limits of Our Vision

Demonstration of a telephone exchange at the Post Office Research Station

In 1969, the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill, U.K., produced a video titled “Telecommunications services for the 1990s.” Predictably, it extrapolates from the reality (no distortion here) of the telephone network of the 1960s. Only the transmission is digital; the rest of the future is mostly analog (e.g., digital-to-analog picture/document scanning) and device-challenged (pager instead of a mobile phone).

 

Twenty years later, Tim Berners-Lee invented the Word Wide Web on top of a global public network, the Internet, launched in 1969. Yet, IBM published (internally) a report in 1989 and AT&T produced a video in 1993 that, just like the 1969 Post Office video envisioned great “information services” delivered by a powerful global multimedia private telephone/computer network.

To quote myself: “Many predictions are what the forecasters want the future to be or simply an extension of what they are familiar and comfortable with.”

 

Advertisements

About GilPress

I launched the Big Data conversation; writing, research, marketing services; http://whatsthebigdata.com/ & https://infostory.com/
This entry was posted in Futures, Predictions, World Wide Web, Yesterday's Futures. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s