Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 17:48 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 17:48 | SYDNEY

The past is a foreign country


Sam Roggeveen


11 February 2011 10:29

A couple of footnotes to last week's Friday Funny, in which we all laughed in a slightly smug and superior way at the ignorance of those US Today Show hosts, circa 1994, who had no idea what this thing called 'the internet' was.

The first bit of follow-up is that the guy who originally posted that footage on YouTube was an NBC employee, and he was fired for doing so.

Second, just to show that cluelessness about new technology is not confined to airheaded TV hosts, take a look at this newly unearthed footage (h/t Browser) of Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an early TV appearance. It's not clear where he is being filmed, but he seems genuinely amazed that his image can be seen in far away New York. Can you imagine what young Steve Jobs would have made of Skype'

Moral of the story: (1) Hindsight bias is extremely powerful, but what looks obvious and even pre-ordained now was a mystery to those living through it; and (2) try not to succumb to complacency about the technical marvels that surround us — a sense of wonder and even occasional bafflement will serve you better.