|Image From: http://bit.ly/MrEGLd|
"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances."
-- Dr. Lee DeForest, "Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television."
"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives."
- - Admiral William Leahy , US Atomic Bomb Project
"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."
-- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
-- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
"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
"But what is it good for?"
-- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
-- Bill Gates, 1981
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.
"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.
"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible,"
-- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper,"
--Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."
"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make,"
-- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,"
-- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible,"
-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment.
The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this,"
- - Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.
"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.
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
-- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University , 1929.
"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value,"
-- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre , France .
"Everything that can be invented has been invented,"
-- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.
"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required."
-- Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University
"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by itself."
-- the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox.
"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."
-- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse , 1872
"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon,"
-- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
-- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
Clearly a lot of these supposedly gifted / successful people were completely mistaken about what the future held in store for society!
Naysayers and noisy pessimistic pundits are everywhere trying to talk other people out of their dreams.
In recent history someone like Bob Lutz, who once dismissed hybrid vehicles as useless, has now become the cheerleader and spokesperson for the Chevy Volt range extended electric vehicle.
The encouraging part about all of this is that people can move forward when they are willing to admit when they are wrong about something.
Everyone takes in bad information and makes flawed choices and no one is perfect. We have all fallen short of the Glory of God.
People do have the choice to overcome the misinformation they are given. A lot of children grow up believing this or that is not possible because their parents told them so, only to find out that human innovation is unlimited and that we have the choice to do anything we set our minds on.
Tenacious driven people like Dr. Jonas Salk went against the mainstream misconceptions, fear, uncertainty and doubt. He had a vision and knew that it was possible to develop a vaccine for polio. His motif was to solve a problem and help other people; and in this he greatly succeeded. When asked about making a profit from the vaccine, he said something to the effect of "That would be like trying to patent the sun"
Visionaries are out there, few and far between unfortunately. People in the past said that commercial aviation would never become a reality. Other people in the past told Galileo Galilei that his telescopic observations of celestial phenomenon were heretical and contrary to the then held truth "that the earth was the center of the universe" : and suggested that he was an agent of failure trying to teach others than the Sun is the center of our solar system, condemning him to house arrest. Broken backward failure ideas, thoughts and behaviors are not new. Toxic broken thinking has been holding people back for all of human history.
There is room for improvements in every sector and every facet of society. Human innovation is far more abundant than the finite crude oil in earths crust.
We have what we need to overcome the problems that we are collectively facing as a people. To solve joint replacement surgery. To solve macular degeneration. To colonize the moon. To create sustainable abundant energy generation technology for adding value to materials, transporting people and goods, heating and cooling our structures, ect.
Thorium fueled nuclear reactors that recycle their fuel rods for example are a vastly underdeveloped energy technology. Public fear of the word nuclear, and the general publics lack of understanding of nuclear physics causes fear, uncertainty and doubt that affects pubic policy, which then inhibits scientific progress. No new reactors have been built in the USA with modern technology because of this fear, uncertainty and doubt: not because of a technical problem. Nuclear energy is far more abundant, far safer and far cleaner than coal power!
Something as simple as getting tire makers to only produce low rolling resistance tires could transform the transportation sector by saving vehicle operators and our economy billions. Low rolling resistance tire compounds have been commercially available for decades, but the compounds only made it into commercially produced tires recently, and only some tires are LRR. LRR tires improve fuel economy by 2 to 4%. Over the life of a vehicle, the use of LRR tires constitutes a substantial fuel savings. As fuel and oil prives continue to climb, technology like LRR times becomes increasingly more cost efficient.
One of the philosophical problems here is that we need to get people thinking outside of the this month and this year time window. If we can get people to preform simple long term cost calculations, more consumers would choose fuel efficient cars, tires, energy efficient windows, lights, buildings, ect.
People need to understand the issues in order to make informed choices. It is the lack of understanding and pervasiveness of broken incorrect closed minded world-views that are holding a lot of people back from enjoying life more completely.