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Economist on Technology in 2008: Wow! That's just bad journalism.

The Economist has an oh-so-creatively titled article, "Technology in 2008." Marc Andreessen gently skewers the article (deservedly so) out here.

Its not just that its inaccurate; its naive and poorly researched.

I actually sympathize with the writer. His/her/their (name not on the article) brief was probably "Hey. It'll be 2008 soon and you should write about technology next year." and its clearly something that she/he doesn't have a strong opinion/handle on.

In b-school, a former journalist asked a professor who was making fun of an article, what he'd recommend journalists writing about a particular topic (in that case macroeconomics) do. The Professor replied, "Learn what they hell they're writing about!" Most authors decide what the article will be based on what they kind of know...and then look for data to fill the gaps, rather than just spend the time studying the field and then draw the conclusions that they need to.

The problem with a sloppy article like this? The standard one any such publication/company faces. Suddenly the Economist loses credibility with me. If they're getting article in a field that I kinda understand so wrong, but have the polish to make it seem credible, what about all the other stuff I've been reading there that I don't have as good a handle on?

Of course, I'm exaggerating here. I think the Economist is brilliant, but still it's fun to ring the alarm bells once in a while.:)

My favorite "prediction", is the cringe-inducing last one about Linux taking off (really, this is going to be the year, huh?:)) , which ends with "Linus Torvalds should be rightly proud. " Yikes!


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