The single stupidest quote in the history of information technology

A reporter just sent me an embargoed press release from IBM which includes the oft-used quote:

By 2010, the codified information base of the world is expected to double every 11 hours.

(Other versions refer to "human knowledge" as being what will double.)

I've been seeing that piece of idiocy for years, and I'm fed up.  Any non-moron with at least an eighth-grade education should be able to quickly see why it is wrong.  Indeed, it turns out that well under one years' doubling of ANYTHING at that rate would consume all the atoms in the known universe, of which there are only 10^137 or so.

I imagine that what really happened is that one year somebody said "By 2010 or so, the annual increase in human knowledge will be 1500x the sum total of knowledge today", by some metric.  OK, maybe that's defensible or even correct.  But it is no excuse for the nonsensical distortion of the idea that has long been making the rounds.


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