The first question is one we’ve considered from various angles over the years on this blog. The second is, of course, timely – although the important emphasis here is on the ‘complete’. As we’ll see, they’re very, very connected!
Trying to pursue a socialist argument in a world largely sold on capitalism is always a struggle. You have to deal with every issue and answer every question in line with the rules of Monopoly, but you don’t want to play Monopoly: it’s a stupid game – there are far better ones – but no-one understands you – or wants to understand you – unless you do.
- Q: So, Jeremy, how will your policies ensure that the UK GDP continues to grow after Brexit?
- A: I don’t particularly care if it does. It’s a physical law that nothing can increase exponentially for ever: something goes ‘bang’ in the end. We need to look beyond economics for the real answers.
But, of course, if Jeremy says that, he gets carted off to a rest home. So, instead, he has to pretend that he’s interested in GDP, and that taxing Starbucks will help it. Well, it might or it might not – that’s close to irrelevant – but, already, we’re having to have the debate on their terms.
What’s your favourite terrible technological prediction? There are plenty to choose from, that’s for sure. The following is just a brief list of the most infamous computing-based futurology howlers (oldest to newest):
- “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”, Thomas Watson: IBM chairman (1943) (* or was it someone else?)
- “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons”, Popular Mechanics (1949)
- “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”, Prentice Hall: Business Books Editor (1957)
- “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”, Ken Olsen: DEC founder (1977)
- “640K ought to be enough for anybody”, Bill Gates (1981) (* or did he really?)
- “We will never make a 32-bit operating system”, Bill Gates (1989)
- “Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time”, Bill Gates (2004)
- “Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput”, Alan Sugar (2005)