rocket carBut do these notable illuminaries always have to talk with both feet in their mouth? I mean even I can do better than that, but what I see a hundred years from now is just a bunch of low-tech, skin-cancerous multi-cultural people scavenging for canned goods in the ruined wastelands of the post-post-post-industrial society. And who wants to hear that?

• “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” – Bill Gates, ’81

• “Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.” – Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1911.

• “But what… is it good for?” -Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

• “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1. 5 tons.” – Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949• “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” – Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

• “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

• “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

• “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, 1957

• “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the Board of IBM, 1943

• “Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” – 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.

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• “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, October 16, 1929.

• “The abdomen, the chest, & the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon”. – Sir John Eric Ericksen, appointed Surgeon Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

• “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

• “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

• “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876.

• “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

• “Whatever happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.” – Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, on December 4, 1941

• “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

• “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.” – Business Week, 1958

• An English astronomy professor said in the early 19th century that air travel at high speed would be impossible because passengers would suffocate.

• An official of the White Star Line, speaking of the firm’s newly built flagship, the Titanic, launched in 1912, declared that the ship was unsinkable.

• In 1939 The New York Times said the problem of TV was that people had to glue their eyes to a screen, and that the average American wouldn’t have time for it.

• King George II said in 1773 that the American colonies had little stomach for revolution.

• “Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility – a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.” – Lee de Forest, 1926, inventor of the cathode ray tube.

•”Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”. – Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

• “Prague doesn’t have room for another English language magazine” – Normandy Madden, April 1996