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December 28th, 2006
7. Carr vs. Kurzweil. What could be more paradoxical than the fact that the two most influential IT books of the past few years have been Nicholas Carr's Does IT Matter? and Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity Is Near, which rejects Carr's message by predicting a dazzling future stemming from the growing intersection between IT, nanotechnology and biotechnology? One thing for sure is that they can't both be right.
Or can they? A philosopher might argue that paradoxes often result from the collision between traditional and emerging worlds, where what is true in the former can be false in the latter, and vice versa. This appears to describe today's IT environment, where the old world of complex, expensive, private enterprise infrastructure led by technicians is being challenged by a new world of standardized, inexpensive public infrastructure led by applications. During such shifts, things can easily be both true and false at the same time.
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