Appreciation of our technological achievements

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Tobes, Apr 23, 2010.

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  1. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    This is a thread to discuss the greatness of whatever technological achievements you can think of. Technology can encompass any tool or invention, from the computer you are using to the chair you are sitting on. There are obviously millions of pieces of technology, and probably all of them have improved society in one way or another. List some that you think are great, or that you are appreciative to have in your day to day life.

    These are a few I have thought about:

    Language- Probably the simplest of tools, but also quite complicated in it's variations and complexities. Us humans, we can convey almost every thought and feeling with our words, have amazing conversations, and teach others with it. Society is built around it.

    Books - An extension of communication. these collections of words can record history, tell stories, and, like speech, teach many subjects. Once made, it can last centuries, without changing it's content (decay aside).

    We have talented authors, intelligent wordsmiths and knowledgeable historians. Aside from anecdotal evidence, it is thanks to books that we know what happened thousands of years ago, even if the info does get a little skewed in the process. It's a shame that books are a dying art form.

    Recordings - With movies, television episodes and documentaries, we can get a visual glimpse into what life was like years, or decades ago. With most musical recordings, we can hear pieces of music as if it had been made yesterday. While books describe the past, with recordings we can actually see or hear it, even if it is in limited segments.

    Weapons - While a more violent and damaging piece of technology, weapons have been consistently improving for more than 50 thousand years. We can kill someone (or something) quickly and painlessly, or slowly and painfully, depending on the weapon used, and how you use it.

    Sure weapons are essentially a bad thing, but when you think about it, humans probably wouldn't have survived without them (at least early on in the life of the species). Even nukes, while devastating, can actually end a war, which could have dragged on a lot longer without it and produced more loss of life than the immediate nuclear attack. Lets hope we don't have to use them.

    Appliances - Boil water, cook food, refrigerate what we eat and drink, all sorts of stuff. Appliances make our lives safer and easier, and they are all affordable (at least for those of us in 1st world countries). Think of how many have been invented or improved upon in the last 50 years. Imagine how many more there will be in the next 50, or even 20.

    Electricity - Aside from food, clothing and housing, electricity is the most important tool in our lives. It lights our homes, cooks our food and powers our towns and cities. It has saved millions of lives, and prolonged our lifespan. While we need computers, servers and internet connections to use this forum, electricity is the backbone that keeps it alive, along with the backbone of all other electrical items.

    The Internet - This is the obvious one. This tool has revolutionized the world within decades of its invention. We can talk to people all over the world, learn a vast amount of information, and view a seemingly endless amount of entertainment. It is growing in size every minute, improving every day, and is being incorporated into more and more things.

    Imagine the day that our televisions have an internet connection, and we have the ability to watch television networks from other countries, or choose from a backlog of most television shows made in recent history. Or buy a CD or MP3 player that we can add music to on the fly. For a price, we would have more entertainment available to us than we have time to view it.

    And the best things about technology? It improves over time, widens in availability, and lowers in cost. And there is more being invented every day. In 20 years, most technology (especially electrical) will be far better than what we have today. Internet connections that could download movies in seconds, devices that run on less amounts of electricity (or different forms of power altogether), news'papers' that deliver up to the minute news. Imagine the stuff we will have available to us, on top of what we have already.

    So, what other forms (or pieces) of technology do you appreciate? And feel free to expand on the ones I have already mentioned, if you wish.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  2. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    Technology has greatly changed society. Now we are able to produce more than we need. So a question arises on how it should be distributed. IMO much of the 20th century was adjusting to this new Human achievement. Its an ongoing process. I think that with the capability to produce in excess of what we need should result in more of an equitable rise in the standard of living. I certainly believe that every American citizen should be guaranteed the right to food and a decent place to live, the opportunity to work for a good and sustaining wage, good schools, a good infrastructure, and healthcare. There is more than enough to go around, thanks to technology. But when obscene profits are the only motive, then suppressing wages and outsourcing results in an excess supply and not enough demand to keep the machine going. So then everyone must live on credit to make up for the shortfalls and capital must seek new markets to sell their goods. Sadly, I think we are headed in the wrong direction as far as overcoming these negative aspects.

    We have the technology to solve the pollution and global warming problems without decreasing our standard of living. Technology gives us much more time to create and pursue endeavors rather than just seeking sustenance. Previously through Human history, this was a luxury only afforded to the wealthy. Thus, I believe Humanity will progress much faster than in the past if we can overcome these outdated tendencies of excessive greed, intolerance, war making etc. If we don't overcome these negatives, then technology could lead to the end of us. For the first time we have the ability to make the Earth uninhabitable for Humanity. We also have the ability to advance virtually limitlessly. So what path will we choose?

    Great Thread
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  3. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    I think you pretty much covered it, other than cars and other new modes of transport. Gotta love technlogy. :thumbup:
  4. lost81

    lost81 Staff Alumni

  5. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Freezers. Ice cream available year round. Wooo!
  6. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    Satellite technology ; Television, radio, gps, defence, all those pretty pictures of the universe we get to see...

    Forgot about telecommunication and weather satellites
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2010
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Excellent threat. We often take for granted these necessities and niceties of life, many of which have only been around for a fraction of human existence. We're truly among the lucky few of humanity to benefit from such a luxury this technology provides.
  8. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I think it's a shame that, like you said Zurkhado, technology can be taken for granted. Only recently have I been able to sit and marvel at all the stuff we have available to us. The stuff I own is enough to keep me satisfied and entertained all day, every day.

    And another form of technology I hadn't touched on is business technology. As long as I have the cash, I can go downtown and choose from a wide variety of foods, clothing and electrical equipment. Or I can put my money in a bank, be pretty sure that it's safe, and even accumulate interest. If I don't touch it, I will actually end up with more than what I put in!

    It's weird how a new form of technology can come along, and you can wonder how you lived without it (if it's important). Like the internet. It has only been widespread for under 20 years, but now many people and businesses rely on it. We have actually witnessed a revolution, and like all revolutions, it is continuing to grow. I can learn something new and amazing every day, with a few clicks of a mouse.

    I wonder what I'll learn today.
  9. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I don't think people appreciate functioning toilets and plumbing and toilet paper enough.
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