Monday, July 4, 2016
100 years of little progress
Let's go back a 100 years: a time of railroads, cars, electric lights, telephones, airplanes, and mass communication. Now compare it to today: a time of railroads, cars, electric lights, telephones, airplanes, and mass communication.
So now we have computers -big deal. Have they really contributed much to our day to day quality of life?
I'm old enough to remember life without personal computers, never mind cell phones. Back then one of my great pleasures was having a good cup of coffee and reading the morning paper. Now I have that coffee, turn on the computer and connect to the Internet. There's a lot more information available on the Internet, but somehow it doesn't quite capture the pleasure of a good newspaper. You could say I could always go back to reading the newspaper in the morning, but there aren't a lot of good ones left.
Medicine has made a lot of progress but there are huge numbers of people who can't afford even the equivalent of 100 year old medicine. There have been times in my own life where I was one of those people.
We didn't have a zillion games to play on our iphones. Instead, we did things like play cards or board games with real human beings -face to face. We've lost that human connection.
I'm not saying that things were better, just that we have not come as far as we think. 100 years ago the world was in the middle of WWI, a truly horrific time. As bad as it was, at least there wasn't the threat of atomic bombs ending all life on the planet.