Living on the Future Edge

By Jukes, Ian; McCain, Ted | Technology & Learning, January 1999 | Go to article overview

Living on the Future Edge


Jukes, Ian, McCain, Ted, Technology & Learning


As we speed toward the new millennium, one thing is absolutely certain. The technology that students have access to within a few short years will be radically different and more powerful than anything we know today. And it will challenge us all to redo our mindset or be left behind.

It's fascinating (and anxiety-provoking) to try to imagine what the world of technology will be like in the year 2010, when many of today's elementary school students will be heading out into the work force. A look back at the past few decades makes it clear that not only is technology constantly changing and improving, it is doing so at an ever-accelerating rate. In fact, things are changing so quickly that it's almost impossible to keep up with all of the developments--and even harder to grasp their significance. The mind simply can't keep up.

This phenomenon is not new to the digital age.

What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?

* The Quarterly Review, England (1825)

This `telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value.

* Western Union internal memo (1876)

The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad, a passing fancy.

* President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford's lawyer (1903)

While television may be theoretically feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.

* American radio pioneer Lee DeForest (1926)

There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.

* Albert Einstein (1932)

These quotes show the degree to which, historically, mindset tends to lag behind technology. As you can see, even the brightest minds can have trouble grasping the significance of a new development when it first arrives on the scene. Clearly, the challenges involved in technology's evolution have more to do with headware than hardware.

If you don't believe us, take a look at the quotes below regarding computers--many of them from leaders who had much to gain from the success of these same electronic devices.

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

* Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM (1943)

Computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh perhaps 1.5 tons.

* Popular Mechanics (1949)

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.

* Ken Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (1977)

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 (late 1970s)

I see no advantage to the graphical user interface.

* Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft (1984)

Change is the law of life ... those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.

* John F. Kennedy

If I hadn't believed it ... I wouldn't have seen it.

* Buckminster Fuller

This epoch will pass--indeed, it is already passing. We are beginning to grasp that although power can be contained in a boiler, mastery exists only in the brain: in other words, that it is ideas, not locomotives, that move the world. To harness locomotives to the ideas is good; but do not let us mistake the horse for the rider.

* Victor Hugo, Les Miserables (1862)

As we consider the incredible development of technology and the challenges it places on our mind, let's consider three central trends.

Moore's Law

One of the most powerful trends is known as Moore's Law. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Living on the Future Edge
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.