Tuesday, March 9, 2010

All a Matter of Technology

I often feel overwhelmed by the great technological
achievements of our time. I love it all, but it makes me feel
so small. How can normal every day people create a machine
that will lift humans off the planet, bring them to the moon,
and bring them back again! Surely these people must be
exponentially smarter than myself!

I understand that this is a result of pooled knowledge, but
sheesh! As much as I think I know today, if I were to be
dropped off in the middle of a primitive society, could I be
expected to do anything for them to improve their life?

Wouldn't you think I should have a pretty good head start on
things, having lived in today's world, and getting some clue
about the way things work, even if I didn't invent anything? I
don't know that I could show them anything that would amaze

We are all used to seeing scientists in white lab coats standing
around huge and complicated machinery, conferring on how to fix
it, or make it work. Somehow, the computer does get created,
the satellite does lift off into space, and the space probe
actually travels to the outer reaches of our Solar System, and
then actually sends back close up photographs of Neptune!

I realize that each person plays a small part in the whole, from
the concept, invention, and creation of something, but I sure
find it hard to believe that I am just as human as these people
are. It only makes me think how great God must be, for what are
we, compared to Him?

Yet He has created beings with brains smart enough to
manipulate the physical world to such an extent that we can
dive to the deepest part of the ocean, travel to outer space,
and create fantastic cities, with all the logistics that go along
with them.

We always hear that anything is possible if we desire it
strongly enough. Looking around in today's world, I have to say
I agree with this statement. So how far, then, can modern
technology progress? Can there ever really be a limit to what
can be invented? How much more can we dream up?

I can remember reading somewhere about a move to close the US
Patent Office somewhere along the line of about a hundred years
ago because people thought that there was nothing left to
invent! But our only real limitations are the laws of physics.

Look how fast things change. The first PC I ever got in 1993
had a 250 Meg hard drive, and we thought that was HUGE.
Now look at these images, and really think about it.
My cell phone 'card' (they call it a card, I call it a chip) is
smaller than a dime...and it holds 4 times as much info as my
first computer did!

Even my 4 Gig camera card is not much bigger
than a dime:

The ingenuity of humans constantly surprises me, I believe that
there will always be something new and exciting conceived of and
developed. Is there anything that is actually impossible?

Imagine people chatting two hundred years ago, debating
the same thing. One person says, "Let's invent some way where I
can be here, and you can be on the complete opposite side of the
world, and yet we can still see and talk to each other in real

"Let's invent a flying machine that will carry two hundred
people at once from the West Coast to the East Coast in a couple
hours, and do it in complete comfort and calm."

"Let's invent a machine that can record and play back sounds and
moving pictures, do complex mathematical calculations, word
processing, play games, design and create virtually anything you
can imagine, communicate and share information with millions of
other machines around the entire planet, and oh, by the way,
let's make the machine smaller than a suitcase."

Is it really any more fantastic for us to sit around today, and
dream of artificial gills, re-generating lost body parts, or a
flying car?

Peace be with you.


  1. Wow...It's just amazing if you think about it all.
    My first computer had a audio-casette deck for memory. My first hard drive was 100 MB...
    You'd think they could come up with a suitable mass replacement for the internal combustion driven automobile. I'm sure they will, but we gotta suck all the oil up first, I guess...

  2. Yeah, it baffles me, too. Where does plastic come from? You can explain the chemicals that create it, but where do those chemicals come from? You can explain the molecular makeup of the chemicals, but where do those molecules come from? It just goes on and on and on until I'm exhausted from thinking about it...

  3. Hey Joe!
    yes its crazy how things change.
    I remember using Floppy discs in school and thought they were awesome!

  4. Joe...I thought about it and decided that if you were dropped off in some primitive culture you would teach them Philosophy. You are more of a thinker than you give yourself credit for I think. The first step in any creative process in my opinion is awareness. That my friend you have..

    Btw...your first computer was 128mb bigger than mine..lol

  5. I know.
    It's amazing.
    It still freaks me out sometimes.

    It's interesting to think about where technology will go in the future.

  6. I always think that it can't get any more technological than it already is, but damn! People keep inventing stuff that revolutionizes the world! Just USB keys are awesome, and now DVD, and iPods and i-everything...!

    I say flying cars is a matter of time!

  7. Thanks for your comments, guys. I was almost afraid that this was going to be a boring post!

  8. It really is an amazing thing! It is a positive thing! At the same time, people are losing their ability to live without all this technology, and I am not sure that is such a good thing!

    Great post Joe.

  9. OK, here goes Mr. Conspiracy theorist. I do agree with you, technology is endless and eternal and has come a LONG way, BUT. I think certain technologies are being suppressed by certain huge corporations. For instance, the internal combustion engine has been around for over 70 years with hardly any technological improvements. I owned a 1972 Ford 3/4 ton pickup that got 18-19 mpg! Today I own a 2004 3/4 Ford pickup that gets 11-14 mpg. So you could say we are going backward instead of forward! Just imagine if someone invented a magnetic or hydrogen or steam engine (and they have, by the way) that would not use OIL to run them. This would make HUGE changes in the oil industry, bankrupting some. So I bet my life, these companies have suppressed this technology so much it is amaze us if we knew. If this tech advanced at the same rate computers are, we would be flying around in magnetic or anti-gravity machines by now. The oil industry is the biggest, most powerful industry in the world today and they're not going to release that power to anyone.

  10. I tend to agree with you, Desert. But part of me thinks the oil companies would also embrace any new energy technology and market that as well, unless it is not quite ready yet. But I have to believe that there lots of new stuff available that is not being released to us because of them...