Here we are on the cusp of 2012 wondering what will happen this year. My family gathers each year at Christmas and New Year to celebrate Christ's birth and celebrate family.
One of our traditions is to write a list of ten or so Predictions about the coming year. Then we gather around the table after dinner and read our predictions and count who has done the best job of seeing into the future. This year Grandma and eldest Daughter tied. If we were judged on prophesy the same way the Prophets of old were we would be facing the guillotine.
With elections coming up we had to choose a Republican and then choose the winner between him and Obama. We also have to predict the Bengals record and the DOW Jones Level. Below are some big predictions by famous people that were dead wrong. It shows you why the USSR was such a terrible economy: the Communist Party tried to predict what would be best to produce and they failed miserably. It is also why the people in DC who predicted that the public really needed gasoline made from corn cost us billions of dollars. And don't get me started on Solyndra.
"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.
"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
"Everything that can be invented has been invented,"-- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of
"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
"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.
And last but not least...
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
-- Ken Olson, president founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977