Could You Have Predicted A Google In 1990?

Mandelbrot p1130861Image via WikipediaOr a Facebook in 2000? I think not.

Predicting the far future is not hard, it is impossible. Or at least it is impossible according to the fractals theory by one of my favorite thinkers Mandelbrot who died a few months ago.

Fractals: Mandelbrot
Fractals And FoodSpotting

I like Eric Schmidt, but nobody has the crystal ball to see the technology scene as it might stand 50 years from now. Even broad generalizations are hard to make. Specifics are outright impossible.
Telegraph: Google's Eric Schmidt predicts the future of computing - and he plans to be involved: When he looks ahead a decade or more, Schmidt knows that he is standing on the cusp of the next big shift in technological innovation. Google is a search company. Facebook is a social media company. But Schmidt uses the word “social” more often in his discussion with journalists than “search”. Search, he says, is becoming social. ....... On Tuesday, the company announced it had teamed up with some of the world’s leading art galleries, including Tate Britain in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and digitally catalogued their collections. Using Street View technology to take images of the pictures which are more detailed than when seen with the naked eye, people will now be able to take virtual tours of the galleries from their living rooms. ....... Facebook is not a competitor because the more people use Facebook the more they use Google. “That is a net positive.” ....... “You need never be lonely, you need never be bored. It is a remarkable change that has not been led by and is not just for the Western elites – it is all-pervasive with a declining cost. ...... we have made a material change in the lives of literally billions of people ...... The convergence of search, location and social is the next big narrative ...... A reasonable expectation in 50 years is that computers will do things that they do really well, and humans will do what we do really well. ...... the stupid stuff that we have to do, like remembering things, they can do, and the things that we are really good at – like judgment – they don’t really need to do ....... when you go back and you look at things 15 years or 10 years ago ..... “We couldn’t do the maps. We couldn’t do the searches. We couldn’t physically do it. You couldn’t get enough hardware. You couldn’t get enough power, whereas now it is trivial ...... There was only one company that saw that a decade before anybody else and that company is Apple. If you look even through the Nineties – Sun, Microsoft, Novell, Cisco – they were fundamentally infrastructure companies based around corporations. That is where the money was. There was almost no consumer use with the exception of Apple in people’s daily lives. ...... says he will be around at the top of Google for some time yet, still taking on his role as “adult supervisor” of the hyper- product-focused Larry Page
It is like when people become ministers in Nepal, it is never the case that a scientist became Science And Technology minister. But the dude has to pontificate on the topic. Some dude who has never kicked a ball becomes Sports minister, and he gives speeches on the topic. Reporters expect Schmidt to talk about what will happen 50 years from now. They are being unfair to the guy.
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