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September 18, 2011 / itsnobody

On the growth of technology (1961 vs. 2011)

So one day I was watching an old movie from the 1960s and I thought in my mind “how little has technology changed”.

Life expectancy in 1961 (in the US): 70
Life expectancy in 2011 (in the US): 78

Technology in 1961: radios, color TV,  stereo sound, cameras, elevators, refrigerators, freezers, light bulbs, fluorescent lights, air conditioners, gas/electric/steam cars, commercial jet airliners, washers, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, computers used at banks, computers with display screens, touchscreen video games with sound, skyscrapers, fast food restaurants, vending machines, amusement parks with roller coasters, movie theaters

Technology in 2011: faster computers, digital cameras, more memory, cell phones, GPS, human DNA mapped out, improved graphics

So what’s going on here? How can technology grow so slowly?

The life expectancy in the US has only grown by 8 years…DNA was discovered back in 1953, but for some reason they waited until October 1990 to start the Human Genome Project. Ethernet, desktop computers with keyboard-mouse based GUIs, microprocessors, and most algorithms used today were all well-developed in the 1970s. The technology for GPS and cell phones also existed in the 1970s or earlier. Transportation is nearly the same as it was back in 1961.

The technology we have today is like what you would expect in the 1980s not in the 2010s.

If you don’t use cell phones or computers or GPS then it would be nearly the same as living in the 1960s.

Imagining what things would be like in the 2010s for someone living back in the 1960s would be equivalent to imagining what things would be like in 2060s in modern times (a 50-year difference).

If in the year 2061 the life expectancy is 86 and technology is almost the same except that we have much faster computers I would be disappointed, wouldn’t you?

What a great disappointment the growth of technology has been.

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6 Comments

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  1. Patrick / Feb 5 2016 1:22 am

    Come meet my German family… Lol. We all live to be over a Hundred and I don’t really want toive that long and pretty. Much a was off Time. I am 50 yts d and look 30 for sure to everyone but I don’t like sugar, and crave my garden food but I have a weaknesses for an occasional steak and chicken breast. Love Oatmeal and stay a way from margarine’s and I LOVE MY vegetables. LOVE VINEGARS AND REEL CRANBERRY juice not that fake crap has keep me young with no wronged. Oatmeal is great for the Heart and Butter is better than Wax with salt margerine. Butter lubricates the joint I’d you stay active. Did have an accident from someone texting while driving so knock it of idiots you broke my neck and swerved into my lane with nowhere to go!!!! I had it fused but will never be 100% thanks to a teeny bopper that to have a fight with his girl friend while driving and texting got 6 months in jail and I got lifetime of pain. Knock of the texting!!! I refuse pain pills so acupuncture is a life saver.

  2. Clark / Jan 21 2015 12:35 pm

    ~1M B.C. men started carrying sticks.
    ~ 10k B.C. men started cultivating plants
    1859 Karl Marx wrote the liberal bible.
    ~ 1910 my farming relatives immigrated, got a car, got a radio, got electricity, got indoor plumbing, and got jobs.
    2020 we will erase family affiliation, sex orientation, and racial identity with genetic therapy.
    2025 me will start carrying sticks

    • itsnobody / Jan 25 2015 11:18 pm

      The change in technology relies on changes in physics and science….since there’s been few changes in physics that have real-world applications since in the late 1960s and early 1970s there’s been less advancements.

      It’s always been the atheist population blocking human progress and holding back science as I explained in my other articles.

      No greater threat has arisen to mankind than the atheist/agnostic/non-religious population.

      If it was up to atheists we’d just be living backwards with trees and grass, they hate science and technology and just view it as philosophical nonsense and a waste of time.

  3. Chris P / Feb 5 2012 9:21 pm

    Because there are physical limits to everything you clueless one. What is your occupation? What have you invented or developed? In 1970 a 50 lb disk drive held 5MB – today it holds 3 Terabytes and weighs under 2 lb..

    That is about a million to one improvement. I worked on that 5MB drive and I work with the 3 TB drives. I’m an atheist – show me something a Christian has produced with that range of progress in their lifetime.

    • itsnobody / Feb 8 2012 3:59 am

      I already mentioned faster computers and more memory as an advance. It’s just improvements in engineering (due mostly to free market competition).

      The Xerox Alto from 1973 had a keyboard, mouse, word processing, copy and paste, networking, printing, games, email, an Ethernet connection, a GUI, and more. Of course it had much less memory and much worse graphics than modern desktop computers but it’s from the 1970s.

      I don’t measure the change in technology by calculating memory improvements like you do but instead by imagining what things would be like if that innovation did not exist. In other words I measure the change in technology by the significance of the change.

      Take for instance SD vs HD. Someone can calculate the technical difference, but in reality if HD didn’t exist the world would be basically the same, people would just be watching lower quality video.

      Since you can accomplish a lot with relatively little memory having lots of memory isn’t necessarily significant.

      I am sure that in the year 2061 computers will much be faster and we will have much more memory…but is that all that you imagine being different?

      I remember imagining that by the year 2010 8-core and 16-core laptops would become common, but that didn’t happen.

      Hopefully by the year 2061 personal Exabyte and Zettabyte hard drives should be common.

  4. articles of technology / Oct 14 2011 5:28 pm

    It’s exhausting to seek out knowledgeable individuals on this subject, but you sound like you recognize what you’re speaking about! Thanks

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