> What I do see is that programs crash due to null pointer exceptions all the time.
What do you think those programs would do there were no null pointers?
There are various possibilities: throw an 'invalid type' error instead, enter an infinite loop, produce an incorrect answer, kill your cat....
One cannot know for sure, but I am certain that simply disallowing NULL pointers will not make incorrect programs correct except in a tiny minority of cases (if at all).
The thing that would have made the talk much more interested would be a description of what could have been done at the time which could have made a difference.... but I don't think there is anything.