ought to be enough for anybody

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pages: 350 words: 103,988

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, Deng Xiaoping, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, first-price auction, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, George Gilder, global village, Hernando de Soto, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job-hopping, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, lone genius, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, means of production, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, ought to be enough for anybody, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, proxy bid, purchasing power parity, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Stewart Brand, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, yield management

The folklore of the computer industry, for example, relates a host of wrong predictions from those best placed to know. In 1954, John von Neumann, the mathematical genius who helped invent the computer, said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” In 1977, Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp., said, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” In 1981, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is reported to have said, “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” Businesspeople are as prone to forecasting error as anyone else. In a market economy, though, many such forecasts, some right, some wrong, are being acted on simultaneously. Monopolizing economic decision-making in a planning agency, by contrast, means restricting the number of paths that get explored. A market economy works not because forecasts are usually correct but because the consequences of incorrect forecasts are held in check.

pages: 350 words: 98,077

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dark matter, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, ImageNet competition, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, performance metric, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Kurzweil cites numerous quotations from prominent people in history who completely underestimated the progress and impact of technology. Here are a few examples. IBM’s chairman, Thomas J. Watson, in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Digital Equipment Corporation’s cofounder Ken Olsen in 1977: “There’s no reason for individuals to have a computer in their home.” Bill Gates in 1981: “640,000 bytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody.”39 Hofstadter, having been stung by his own wrong predictions on computer chess, was hesitant to dismiss Kurzweil’s ideas out of hand, as crazy as they sounded. “Like Deep Blue’s defeat of Kasparov, it certainly gives one pause for thought.”40 Wagering on the Turing Test As a career choice, “futurist” is nice work if you can get it. You write books making predictions that can’t be evaluated for decades and whose ultimate validity won’t affect your reputation—or your book sales—in the here and now.

pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

—Popular Mechanics, 1949 “It would appear that we have reached the limits of what is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in five years.” —John von Neumann, 1949 “There’s no reason for individuals to have a computer in their home.” —Ken Olson, 1977 “640,000 bytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody.” —Bill Gates, 1981 “Long before the year 2000, the entire antiquated structure of college degrees, majors and credits will be a shambles.” —Alvin Toffler “The Internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996.” —Robert Metcalfe (inventor of Ethernet), who, in 1997, ate his words (literally) in front of an audience Now I get to toot my own horn, and can share with you those predictions of mine that worked out particularly well.

pages: 1,051 words: 334,334

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

centre right, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, ought to be enough for anybody, plutocrats, Plutocrats, random walk

Always baiting his master in hopes of getting a leather-keen stripe or two across those dusky Afro-Scandinavian buttocks, which combine the callipygian rondure observed among the races of the Dark Continent with the taut and noble musculature of sturdy Olaf, our blond Northern cousin. But this time Crutchfield only turns back to watching the distant mountains. Whappo sulks. His top hat reflects the coming holocaust. What the white man does not have to utter, however casually, is anything like "Toro Rojo's gonna be riding in tonight." Both pardners know about that. The wind, bringing them down that raw Injun smell, ought to be enough for anybody. Oh God it's gonna be a shootout and bloody as hell. The wind will be blowing so hard blood will glaze on the north sides of the trees. The redskin'll have a dog with him, the only Indian dog in these whole ashen plains—the cur will mix it up with little Whappo and end hung on the meathook of an open meat stall in the dirt plaza back in Los Madrés, eyes wide open, mangy coat still intact, black fleas hopping against the sunlit mortar and stone of the church wall across the square, blood darkened and crusting at the lesion in his neck where Whappo's teeth severed his jugular (and maybe some tendons, for the head dangles to one side).