Why is it?
Why does it seem, to me at least, that in the last 50-60 years we have made some major steps forward in technology?
Lets just say the world is 5,000 years old. Seems like no real major advancements till like the 1950-60's forward....why it that?
Even seems like in the last 10 years we seem to be on warp drive with all sorts of new things we have now.
and our economy is fucked.
time to go back to hunter/gatherers :)
Technology is not to blame solely for the economy.
Our world has become globally connected and integrated. Everything is inter-dependent which is why when one economy crashes, all follow suit.
Jobs from America got outsourced to India. Then, they got transferred from India to the Phillipines. Next, they are now going to China. Indian companies are now themselves outsourcing jobs to Poland and Eastern Bloc developing countries. This is the nature of the world. Things don't stay constant. Very soon, I believe (and this is just one theory of many which I have read) the world will have to have a global economy as the interdependence between countries continues to increase.
The reason for the economy crashing (although it hasn't exactly :crashed" and I doubt it will) is because of unregulated false money being created - money which doesn't really exist. This is a large problem.
But to Joker: yes, the world is changing with the coming of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800-1850, a lot of things came into play and the world has come to where it is today. Technology will only get better and better and more and more advanced.
this can be an intense subject. I believe our technology is outpacing our moral/ethical responsibility. Take cloning for example. Scientists continue in the race to clone more animals, and soon someone will at least attempt to clone humans. I believe we have not fully discussed the moral issue behind cloning. Or how about gene therapy? What are the moral implications of choosing a child's hair color, eye color, height, or even more dangerous, their personality traits? aggression may be genetically chosen by unethical countries for military purposes...may be far fetched, but I believe we continue to progress technologically without taking the moral issues into consideration, adequately.
I believe stem cell research could be a wonderful new subject if exploited correctly.
I understand the issue of analyzing issues like stem cell research on a moral basis...however, I feel it is too primitive to not do something because of religious reasons. I am a very spiritual person but I am not at all religious (though, I am by birth or rather by baptism half Greek Orthodox Christian and half Hindu) so I find the whole aspect of referring to religion and letting some book command my actions very barbaric. This is the 21'st century. It's time to use moral grounds to determine actions and decisions - not religious grounds.
This is just my opinion.
that's all well and good.
but why just in the last 60 years have we made these gains.....and not before?
is what i think joker is getting at :)
There appeared to be a freedom to explore in all types of different fields: art, business, industry, etc etc....
I guess the last 60 years have lead to so much change because more and more people are asking "Why" and more and more people are willing to go against the grain and do something out of the box.
Plus: if you want to really get ahead in the world you must be able to do something unusual - something only you can do.
This added global competition - and I am not referring to nation vs. nation but more so person vs. person on a global level, this competition is happening because so many people are on this planet now. I believe population growth plays a big role in this.
damn, anuj... you are throwin down some impressive stuff in this thread. very cool, man.
War is also a big contributor to technology, and there have been quite a few in the past century. Tons of military technology is modified for civilian use.
the following is copied from:
a lot of interesting stuff there!
20th Century technology developed rapidly. Communication technology, transportation technology, broad teaching and implementation of Scientific method, and increased research spending all contributed to the advancement of modern science and technology. Due to the scientific gains directly tied to military research and development, technologies including electronic computing might have developed as rapidly as they did in part due to war. Radio, radar, and early sound recording were key technologies which paved the way for the telephone, fax machine, and magnetic storage of data. Energy and engine technology improvements were also vast, including nuclear power, developed after the Manhattan project. Transport by rocketry: most work occurred in the U.S. (Goddard), Russia (Tsiolkovsky) and Germany (Oberth). Making use of computers and advanced research labs, modern scientists have Recombinant DNA.
The National Academy of Engineering, by expert vote, established the following ranking of the most important technological developments of the 20th century :
4. Water supply and Distribution
6. Radio and Television
7. Mechanised agriculture
10. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
15. Household appliances
16. Health Technologies
17. Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies
18. Laser and Fiber Optics
19. Nuclear technologies
20. Materials science
 21st century
Main article: 2000s in science and technology
Despite the fact we have just entered into the 21st century, technology is being developed even more rapidly, marked progress in almost all fields of science and technology has led to massive improvements to the technology we currently possess, the rate of development in computers being only one example at which the speed of progress continues forward, leading to the speculation of a technological singularity occurring within this century. After the physical barriers of the integrated circuit are reached, quantum computers might be introduced. This could pave the way to the simulation of biological brains and/or the storage thereof.
Current ongoing developments include research into nanotechnology, bioengineering, nuclear fusion (see ITER and DEMO), advanced materials (e.g., enhanced armor), alternative fuel technologies (e.g., fuel cells, plugin hybrid cars), the scramjet (along with railguns and high-energy beams for military uses), superconductivity, the memristor and a plethora of other fields.
In electronics, researchers are trying to improve the efficiencies of LEDs and solar cells.
The understanding of particle physics is also expected to expand through particle accelerator projects, such as the LHC - the largest science project in the world  and neutrino detectors such as the ANTARES. Theoretical physics currently investigates quantum gravity proposals such as M-theory, superstring theory, and loop quantum gravity.
Spacecraft designs are also being developed, i.a. under the Project Constellation (see Orion and Ares V). The James Webb Space Telescope will try to identify early galaxies as well as the exact location of the Solar System within our galaxy, using the infrared spectrum. The finished International Space Station will provide an intermediate platform for space missions and zero gravity experiments. Despite challenges and criticism, the NASA and ESA plan a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s
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