Really productive ideas, like internal combustion and the assembly line, are hard to find… But the techno-hype that surrounds us has some real costs. It causes businesses to waste money; it causes politicians to seek high-tech fixes (give every child a laptop!) when they should be getting back to the basics (teach every child to read). The slightly depressing truth is that technology has been letting us down lately. Let’s face up to that truth, and get on with our lives.
That is Paul Krugman writing in Dec 1996.