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While Clifford Stoll has some useful points, in particular, "What's missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact." the majority of his essay is already starting to feel dated.

There is a fairly well known maxim (thank you google: http://longnow.org/seminars/02008/jan/11/embracing-uncertain...), that in the short term, we tend to overestimate and in the long term, underestimate.

Saffo, also has another great quote, "Rule: Cherish failure. Preferably other people’s. We fail our way into the future. Silicon Valley is brilliant at this. Since new technologies take 20 years to have an overnight success, for an easy win look for a field that has been failing for 20 years and build on that."

Regarding books - Already eBooks are starting to have an impact, I'm a pretty steady reader, and the groaning bookshelves and boxes (and boxes, and boxes) of books that I used to go through have given away to my Kindle (and iPhone Kindle).

Teaching is starting to undergo a revolution with sites like http://khanacademy.org.

I haven't purchased a physical newspaper in 2+ years - and I'm a newspaper Junkie.

Classifieds? I can't even tell you if my local newspapers have had them for the last I don't know _how_ long - who _doesn't_ use craigslist.

I could go on and on, but the interesting thing is, we're just _starting_ in on the Internet technology curve. The tools and systems we use today are going to look ludicrous twenty to thirty years from now.

I'll let Saffo have the last word:

"Rule: Assume you are wrong. And forecast often."




Speaking of teaching revolution, there is something I'd have thought so blindingly useful and I still haven't been able to find: a site which would teach you basic English, no matter what language you came from.

It could easily be used by 4 billion people... eventually everybody _has_ to get online, and the value of the web is 1/100 without being able to read English. And yet my mother is still paying through her nose to take slow correspondence lessons, while I cringe every time I want to send her a link and can't.

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