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Beware Pundits Bearing Eulogies for Tech

The Web Is Dead? So Is Everything Else. Wired's recent cover story proclaiming the death of the web has stirred up a tempest in the blogosphere, with many taking issue with co-author Chris Anderson's evidence and conclusions. BNET's Ben Popper laid out a strong case for the continued survival of the web, but is there a more general lesson to be learned from Andersen's rush to proclaim the decline of a popular technology?

Harry McCracken thinks so. On his blog Technologizer he explains this is far from the first time that reports of the demise of some technology (or company) have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, "once-vibrant technologies, products, and companies have been dropping like teenagers in a Freddy Krueger movie," according to McCraken, who offers plenty of examples:

And on, and on and on... What's the take away? Any sort of hysteria over new technology should be taken with a grain of salt. We're young so a particular bit of tech news may seem exceptionally grim, but it's likely the same arguments were made about earlier innovations. Also, pundits love to hear themselves talk (and isn't it great to see the permanent record produced by technology being used to prove just how wrong they often are.)

(Image of forlorn grave by h.koppdelaney, CC 2.0)

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