[SIGCIS-Members] The Best Historical Comparisons

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 11:53:45 PST 2021


Another take on this topic is: what historical predictions have proved the most prophetic?

I'll bid this one: In 1959, Pierre de Latil suggested in Figaro Littéraire that the French National Library would one day fit into six square centimetres.

[The citation I have is Jacques Lethève, La profession de bibliothécaire est-elle menacée de disparaître?, Bulletin d’Informations de l’A.B.F., 79-83 (1960). The context is in https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~brian/rutherford8.html]

Regards
    Brian Carpenter

On 17-Dec-21 06:06, Evan Koblentz wrote:
>>>> " There used to be a standard illustration of the effects of Moore's 
Law, along the lines of "if mechanical engineering had progressed at the same rate a Rolls Royce would do 250K mph, 1M miles to the gallon, cost 2p and be a quarter of an inch long (these aren't the actual figures but you get the idea).
> 
> The second half of that infamous comparison goes, "But the car would crash twice and day and ask 'Are you sure?' before the airbags deploy."
> 
> I like to compare historic computing measurements in terms that modern users can understand, especially young people. I wrote an article in 2019 
for our university website, about the first computer we had here in 1962. 
It was an IBM 1620. With some technical assistance from CHM docent Carl Claunch, I did the math and explained to our college-aged readership: "For 
comparison, 8 kilobytes is 131 thousandths of a gigabyte, or two-tenths of a second of the CeeLo Green song 'Forget You'."
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