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Underestimating the Future

Ray Bradbury once said, “I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.” Bradbury’s bent for creative destruction through literature gave the world not only a fun read but ideas for what the future should be.

Most detractors of ideas seem less interested in preventing a future than underestimating the capabilities of people. As proof, check out the blog Thought Mechanics offers some of history’s more egregious prognostications. Some favorites:

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.

Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.

Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.

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