The Value of *selective* Listening

I have recently come across this eye opening post. I mean, it probably was eye opening back when it was written in 1995, heck, I bet most Newsweek readers back then yelled something like “I knew it, that Internet thing is bullcrap!”.

This article, astonishingly titled Why the internet will fail, runs down through the many reasons why Internet would be something we would all get over soon really quickly, like we did with Tamagotchis (thankfully).

Now, this is not your run of the mill ignorant news reporter who talks about things s/he doesn’t understand, this was written by Clifford Stoll, an astronomer and technology writer, working out of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Yet, he can be quoted saying

Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

This author was an authority, someone that we could think that knows much more than we do, so if we disagree with his view we might want to review our opinion.

And this is something that I have seen over and over again, the number of specialists, analysts, etcists, that express an opinion on their field and its completely wrong, completely off base. Of course, we are all humans, we tend to make mistakes, so don’t take this as being judgmental, I’m just saying, we should listen, but we should selectively listen and always make up our own mind and not act on other’s opinions but our own.