Saturday, May 06, 2006

Technological Slowdown?

We live in age of gadgetry. iPods, Digital Cameras, PDAs, flash storage and more. While this is impressive it’s all about miniaturisation and refinement of already existing technology. What’s happened to the progress of science? Think about it – when was the last truly earth shattering invention? You know, something that really changed life and aided humanity?

Cars while they’re more aerodynamic and efficient the principle is still basically the same as Henry Ford’s model T. Trains have remained unchanged since the steam to diesel revolution. Computer’s have been around since the 40s (in a very basic form) and while today’s PCs are amazingly powerful they are just refined and developed versions of technology that was created decades ago.

Has our capacity for invention disappeared? There’s been nothing new in the kitchen since the microwave. (The George Forman Grill isn’t that special!) Healthcare is still largely based on antibiotics developed in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. And long distance travel is still based on the Jumbo Jets that crept into service 30 odd years ago.

So where have all the inventions gone? Where are the flying cars and the robotic house cleaners? Why does it now, on average take longer to get to London that it did 30 years ago? Where are the amazing new health drugs and procedures? Why haven’t we gone back to the moon or beyond?

I genuinely believe our technological age isn’t as wonderful as we’re lead to believe. I love my iPod but it seems, that sadly, it’s the only invention that will define my generation.

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