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IMO this mentality is usually due to the fact that the authors are far abstracted from the realms of innovation within science, business and general subcultures of society. All sorts of amazing things are being thought of, written about, developed and researched, but are out of sight of the main stream New York Times journalism.
Perhaps there will eventually be an Interweb-Amish, who pick a random point in time to 'let go' of progressing.
I cannot live without teh interwebz. Thomas Jefferson [sic]
Google Pokemon ROMs...
Download Pokemon Gold...
I'll be back in 20 hours...
But Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of sorts. It has a whopping 10 year history, and is full of errors, and rewrites so frequent and unverified that on any two given days, you can read completely different fictional entries on the same page.
Wikipedia is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.
However they regularly talk about genetic mutation and manipulation, which as a Geneticist, I can tell you is far from 'fringe' science. It always depresses me when in the opening credits they have words like 'psychokinesis' and 'precognition' next to 'genetic mutation.' I'm sure the physicists probably feel the same when they talk about 'nanotechnology' etc. Despite being a fan, it troubles me when they drag in real science into the mix.