Examples abound, and the one that comes to hand is a recent article by Bob Brockie in his "Wold of Science" column (Dom Post, Monday 25 Feb).
I'm not sure who said it; Bob or the "top American economist Professor Robert Gordon" whose book about three great revolutions argues that the third, around computers, was not a big deal, only bringing faster communications and more entertainment apparently. Well, that line of thought adds further evidence to my opinion of economists. Here's the clincher though:
"The computer revolution forced millions of secretaries and typists out of their jobs and benefited only the very rich"Really? I think that particular economist doesn't quite understand how pervasive computer technology is. It is no surprise the theme of his book was heading towards a conclusion that science is just about done, with no more major improvements of the scale of the first two revolutions possible. He apparently then gets political: "we must learn to live in a non-growth, stagnant world where only the rich will flourish."
On the matter of predicting that science is done - I'm betting he is wrong.
On the matter of politics - a great example of the thinking that is part of the problem.