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The Famous on Technology

What’s in a name? To be sure, Shakespeare did not have technology in mind when he asked that unforgettable question. The fact is, when it comes to the role of technology in life, names—even those of the famous and infamous—don’t mean much. Unless, of course, they happen to be the likes of Jobs or Gates.

We all have opinions, but widespread name recognition tends to weight unnaturally the opinions of those who have it, deservedly or not. At any rate, hearing the famous hold forth about technology is sometimes provocative, often surprising and always entertaining.

Can you guess the celebrity speaker of each of the following quotes? Make your selections from the list that follows each quotation. Then, check your answers against the master list at the end.

1. “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

  • Albert Einstein 
  • Billy Joel 
  • Gandhi 
  • Steve Jobs

2. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

  • David Copperfield 
  • Woodrow Wilson 
  • Arthur C. Clarke 
  • Ray Bradbury

3. “Men have become the tools of their tools.”

  • Harry Truman 
  • Fats Domino 
  • Ernest Hemingway 
  • Henry David Thoreau

4. “If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”

  • Omar N. Bradley 
  • Neil Diamond 
  • Jimmy Carter 
  • Dwight Eisenhower

5. “The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.”

  • Bill Gates 
  • Edward R. Murrow 
  • Ralph Nader 
  • Dan Rather

6. “Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo.”

  • Al Jolson 
  • Mary Pickford 
  • Gloria Swanson 
  • Charlie Chaplin

7. “Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”

  • George Lucas 
  • Tom Hanks 
  • Steven Spielberg 
  • Steve Jobs

8. “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that get 1,000 MPG.”

  • Bill Clinton 
  • Eric Schmidt 
  • Tom Peters 
  • Bill Gates

9. “If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.”

  • Lyndon B. Johnson 
  • John Kennedy 
  • Ray Bradbury 
  • Carl Sagan

10. “Despite all our gains in technology, product innovation and world markets, most people are not thriving in the organizations they work for.”

  • Tom Peters 
  • Steve Jobs 
  • Bill Gates 
  • Stephen Covey

11. “It’s hard to pay attention these days because of multiple effects of the information technology nowadays. You tend to develop a faster, speedier mind, but I don’t think it’s necessarily broader or smarter.”

  • Walter Cronkite 
  • Robert Redford 
  • Oprah 
  • Marlo Thomas

12. “I don’t mean to brag, but I’m so fast with technology. People all think it all seems too much, but we’ll get used to it. I’m sure it all seemed too much when we were learning to walk.”

  • Barbara Walters 
  • Diane Sawyer 
  • Yoko Ono 
  • Katy Perry

13. “We’re in a new world. We’re in a world in which the possibility of terrorism, married up with technology, could make us very, very sorry that we didn’t act.”

  • Condoleezza Rice 
  • Barack Obama 
  • Hillary Clinton 
  • LaBron James

14. “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

  • Marlin Monroe 
  • Frankie Avalon 
  • Pablo Picasso 
  • George Bush

15. “I really think that technology has the greatest potential to accelerate happiness of most things in the world. The companies that will ultimately do well are the companies that chase happiness. If you find a way to help people find love, or health or friendship, the dollar will chase that.” 

  • Ashton Kutcher 
  • Michael Jackson 
  • Elizabeth Taylor 
  • Beyonce

And the answer are … .

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Arthur C. Clarke
  3. Henry David Thoreau
  4. Omar N. Bradley
  5. Edward R. Murrow
  6. Mary Pickford
  7. Steven Spielberg
  8. Bill Gates
  9. Lyndon B. Johnson
  10. Stephen Covey
  11. Robert Redford
  12. Yoko Ono
  13. Condoleeza Rice
  14. Pablo Picasso
  15. Ashton Kutcher

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