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Check out this Newsweek article from 23 years ago predicting the Internet would be a passing fad

By James Lu - on 26 Feb 2018, 2:34pm

Check out this Newsweek article from 23 years ago predicting the Internet would be a passing fad

23 year ago today, Newsweek published an article explaining why they thought Internet would just be a passing fad. 

Writer Clifford Stoll (pictured above) called the Internet "a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading." To be fair, that's probably still true today, but he also said that e-commerce was sure to fail:

"How come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn't—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople. What's missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact."

Stoll also thought that electronic publishing was doomed:

How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure.

Obviously, it's easy to laugh at Stoll's shortsightedness now. His mistake was failing to predict the improvements in technology that would make the Internet a better experience for all. Although, if you look back at websites from 1995, it's easy to see why Stoll was so skeptical:

Source: Newsweek

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