A Computerized Smoke Machine

from the it's-all-smoke-and-mirrors dept

By this point, it’s getting a little boring to read yet another article about “why we were all fooled by the dot com age”. This latest one, though, from the Washington Post has a slightly different suggestion. Robert Cohen believes that people went along with this whole “new economy” thing because we didn’t understand how computers work. His theory is that people became used to a beige box sitting on their desks, which did amazing things, but which they had no idea how it actually worked. It just magically did what it did. So, when the people who built those computers came along and said that everyone else didn’t understand how the economy worked either, they bought it. Afterall, those people made the beige boxes that did such amazing things with no clear reason either. This seems like a little bit of a stretch. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that people were complaining that technology is held back because too many people were focused on figuring out exactly how it worked. It was the whole “if the internet were a movie theater, we’d all be sitting around watching the projector instead of the movie” argument. The simple truth is that people are willing to suspend all sorts of disbelief when they think they can make lots and lots of money. That’s the bubble, plain and simple.

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