I think the talk shows how much can change in 10 years.
What would a talk like that today look like? What field would it be about?
And also, while he was writing this, what theoretical research was crystalizing that shaped today?
There is a problem with academia - it often is used by the government to answer industries inability to invest for the long term, rather than fixing the economic/legal system so that it is incentivised to. All this life sciences research oriented towards medicine going on at universities should be privately funded. Same with the other current booms in accademia like renewables. That they are not shows that something is broken in our version of capitalism.
The point about project size is also still valid. There is no way a small research group at a university can "compete" against Rackspace or Amazon in cloud computing innovation.