Fax machines, the Internet, and the Unpredictability of Life

A friend of mine recently posted this gem on Facebook:

“By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s” – Nobel Prize-winning Economist Paul Krugman, 1998.

Sitting here in 2013, this statement is obviously absurd.

If you’re interested in some statistics, check this out.

For fear of understatement, the Internet has had an incredible impact on the economy. Faxes had their day, and they still play a role in business. As an attorney, I use my fax machine daily to send correspondence and court documents to courts and other attorneys. I’ve not quite made the leap to doing everything electronically, and many attorneys and courts continue to use faxes as well. To contrast: I use the Internet almost constantly from the time I open up shop at 9:00 a.m. to the time I close at 5:00 a.m.

I don’t intend any comment on Paul Krugman as an economist, generally. My point here is to provide a humorous reminder of the unpredictability of life . . . not just the economy and technology, but everything. You may intend one thing for your day, and by the time a day’s over, you may look back and discover that at every point, your day deviated from the plan.

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