If DDT were still in use, the Bald Eagle would be extinct, along with several other birds.
As I understand it, before DDT was banned in the U.S., it's main effect on bird reproduction was a result of its being sprayed outside in massive quantities to kill teh bugz. Today, the rest of the world (where it's not banned) has different protocols; turns out small amounts in a room, for example, keeps the room mosquito free. And no one thinks massive outdoor spraying makes sense anymore. Maybe a reaction of "let's use this tool more wisely" would've done just as well at preserving wild birds as the "it's evil, let's ban it" reaction did. And we'd have, y'know, a useful tool available too.
If the content industry can't make money from ads, we'll either go out of business or put our information behind a paywall.
Or it will be forced to innovate and create a system that hasn't existed before, to go with technologies and distribution methods that haven't existed before. A broken business model might destroy an industry, but only in the process of creating room for a new, more relevant model to rise from its ashes.
"The Internet is a big distraction," Mr. Bradbury barked from his perch in his house in Los Angeles, which is stuffed silly with enormous stuffed animals, videos, DVD's, wooden toys, photographs and books, with things like the National Medal of Arts sort of tossed on a table. "Yahoo called me eight weeks ago," he said, voice rising. "They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? 'To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.' " "It's distracting," he continued. "It's meaningless, it's not real. It's in the air somewhere." A Yahoo spokeswoman said it was impossible to verify Mr. Bradbury's account without more details.
At least he used the singular forms of Yahoo and Internet.
This reminds me of the introduction to Samuel R. Delany's The Motion of Light in Water, where he talks about his admittedly faulty memory colliding with a biographer's researched facts. He concludes a long explanation with "...the wrong sentence still feels to me righter than the right one."
No, this technology isn't appropriate for financial transactions. But anywhere that randomness could open the door to unexpected results that shed new light on something, I think this could be pretty exciting.
If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke