Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Clifford Stoll

Before you watch this video, read below:

Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So 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.

This was an excerpt from an article written by Stoll in 1995 for Newsweek. The TED video above was recorded on 2006 (11 years later!). When I first read his article, I was thrown off by his short-sightedness and un-open attitude towards the internet. But, after watching the TED presentation above, I have to admit his pattern of thinking is not only unique but really really really fun. Skim over his article from Newsweek here and then watch the TED presentation above. It's about 17 mins (which is an eternity in internet time), so try and watch it for about 5 minutes to get the feel of it then skip around.

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