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David Bowie's 1999 prediction of the internet is eerily accurate

David Bowie's 1999 prediction of the internet is eerily accurate

He was always way ahead of the curve.

David Bowie truly was way ahead of the curve when it came to everything from music and fashion to social issues and, it turns out, technology.

Back in 1999, when the World Wide Web was still an emerging phenomenon, the late singer-songwriter made a prediction about what the internet would be and it's eerily accurate.

Though it may be hard to remember a time when the internet didn't infiltrate every moment of our waking lives, believe it or not, back in the late 90s there were a lot of people who believed it was nothing more than a stupid fad.

But not Bowie – he had the foresight to know it was set to shape our world in unimaginable ways.

This was something the music legend spoke about in a throwback interview with Jeremy Paxman for BBC Newsnight.

There are plenty of moments from the interview that are worth a mention, including his excellent analysis of how diluted the music industry had become at that point.

But the segment that is shared the most is the one you see above in which Bowie – real name David Robert Jones – turns the conversation to the topic of the internet.

Paxman quickly shuts down his ideas, saying: "You don't think that some of the claims being made for it are hugely exaggerated? When the telephone was invented people made amazing claims."

But Bowie interjected to point out one of these 'exaggerated' claims – that the US President at the time suggested one day everyone in America would have a telephone in their house.

The 'Ziggy Stardust' singer went on: "I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable.

"I think we're actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying."

When Paxman retorted that the internet's 'just a tool', he replied: "No it's not. No, it's an alien life form."

An icon.
Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Again the reporter clapped back, clearly just seeing the World Wide Web in its most basic form – as a delivery system.

However, Bowie saw the bigger picture, adding: "I'm talking about the context and the actual state of content is going to be so different to anything that we can envisage at the moment."

And what a surprise, he was absolutely right – the internet has literally changed a majority of the world in the way it operates and communicates.

Bowie truly was a hero in every way, shape and form – gone but not forgotten.

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Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Music, Technology, BBC