Thinking about the future

The late, great Kurt Vonnegut

Several discussions today have reminded me of the great quotes from Alan Kay and Samuel Goldwyn about making predictions.

Alan Kay (inventor of the term ‘object-orientated programming’):

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Samuel Goldwin (who also coined “a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it isn’t written on”)

Never make predictions, especially about the future.

And a few more I’ve found since in trying to remember those ones:

  • “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” Bill Gates in 1981 (potentially apocryphal)

  • “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”  Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

  • “History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.” and “She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing.” Kurt Vonnegut

  • “I never predict anything and I never will.” Paul Gascoigne

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Comments

  1. Bonnie MacBird says:

    This is not a photograph of Alan Kay.

  2. That’s because it’s photograph of Kurt Vonnegut (Jr)

Trackbacks

  1. […] this point, I should of course wheel out all of the great reasons one should not make predictions (especially about the future). Or perhaps I should recall the fictional Magrethea in HitchHikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, a […]

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