Skip to main content

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!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Everyone's struggle is real... at the very least to them

A couple of weeks ago, while in line waiting to pick up some food I'd just ordered, I overheard two conversations - I don't make a habit of this, but it's hard to not hear things when you leave your phone behind. :-/
My first reactions as I heard both of these conversations was annoyance at the protagonist in one and admiration for the other. Both conversations stayed with me for a while, but it took me some time to realize that was unfair on my part to be annoyed at the person that I was annoyed at.

So about these conversations:
The first was between someone working there and a friend. She was sympathizing with her friend who'd be starting a new job leaving this place. "Oh, it's minimum wage again?", she said with concern in her voice. "Yes, but it's fine", said her friend. The job was closer to where she lived so she thought she'd make about the same and she might get home a little earlier to her daughter some evenings though the hours…