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You're definitely wrong about phones. In 2002-5, Palm was shipping a variety of Treos, which even at the time were clear early-adopter smartphones. Plenty of other companies were investigating the market and shipping early experiments.

The IBM quote has no apparent basis in fact: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Watson#Famous_attrib...

And you're entirely wrong about 1990. Plenty of people thought there would be a global network. The WELL started in 1985, and plenty in that community had good notions about the future. The initial work on the Internet goes back to the 1970s, and many there too understood where it was going:

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Wizards-Stay-Up-Late/dp/0684832...

So if you're going to use the past to predict the future, please at least use some actual past, rather than one you make up to justify your notions.




> So if you're going to use the past to predict the future, please at least use some actual past, rather than one you make up to justify your notions.

I always wonder if people predicting the future also thought that the internet would be so casually rude.


You're amply correct on all points, and GP wrong.

I'd point to Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey for numerous aspects of technology, including talking computer interfaces, tablet computers, and voice communications.

Vannevar Bush, in the 1940s, and H.G. Wells, in the 1930s, were proposing systems markedly similar to contemporary Internet-based systems.

Arthur Clarke's Imperial Earth (1975) featured an all-in-one, solid-state, "Minisec", indistinguishable from a contemporary smartphone: pocket computer, communicator, video and audio recording device (along with ubiquitous appearances of people who were recording their entire lives with them, much to the annoyance of those about them).

Also a run-in with a global surveillance secretariat, of sorts.

There's "Ender's Game", the original novella (1977), which featured a Usenet (or Reddit)-like online communications forum ... used to manipulate global political discourse.

The one element missing from most early formulations of a universal global computer network were the commercialisation and advertising-oriented nature of these, as their primary means of monetisation and economic support.




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