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What held us back, technologically, for so long??

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posted on May, 31 2018 @ 09:05 AM
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I have not read entire thread just the OP so someone else has probably given the answer.
Communication.
The ability to share ideas faster and easier. You have an idea, share it with like minded people and your idea grows faster and farther than you alone could achieve.
It is about communication. As communication capabilities grow our technology grows, technology becomes better making communication faster and so on.
The spoken Word has a lot of power in and of itself.
edit on 31-5-2018 by Quadrivium because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 5 2018 @ 08:57 PM
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originally posted by: Semicollegiate
Anyone or any group of people with the means to restrict invention, have a plausible reason in atomic weapons to retard or abort new technology.

Also there is motivation to TPTB to keep things from changing and that includes invention and adaptation.

And a general tendency towards collectivism and centralization of power and authority takes away alot of the motivation from inventors, who face reduced return on their time or possibly jail time, and in the worst worst case assasination.

Didn't the rate of invention stop at about the Second World War and the detonation of atomic weapons? Nothing new but the LASER since then.



But: DNA tech, quantum anything, cryptocurrency, derivatives, electronic social networking, metamaterials, transhumanism, most plastics, all sorts of printing (3d, laser, thermal, transfer, inkjet & etc), holography, mega malls, atomic clocks, the hovercraft, helicopters, MEMS, Rock 'n Roll, Punk and New Wave, Ion Propulsion, Quartz Crystal oscillators, Anime... the list goes on...

The rate of change of knowledge is now increasing in a mathematical (not an additive or linear) progression. That is why there are books like Kurtzweils about the 'Informational Singularity' where it has been observed that the rate of change is trending upward, sharper and sharper, beyond the point where it will be humanly possible to keep up.

edit on 5/11/2018 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 05:28 PM
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Lots of good discussion in this thread. I think we've gone down two paths with this discussion:

1) What caused technology to increase tremendously starting somewhere in the 30-40s?
2) Why hadn't we accomplished more than what we had to that point?

Starting with question 2. IMO - nothing "stopped us" - we were moving along our technological arc just fine and making some legitimate advances prior to the 40s. However, I believe something "helped us". Organized religion played a role in hindering technological progress IMO (lets not confuse spirituality with organized religion) but I can't say that's "the thing" - people were still pretty interested in Christian religion as a major part of their life/society here in the USA into the 50s and early 60s (still the case in the in many parts of the country). I also find it a little off to talk about the speed of communication being "the thing"; the assumption is scientists from competing nations would share their ideas and be partners - which isn't always the case and particularly if it's of military interest. I buy life expectancy increasing being a positive for technological advancement but one could expect to live beyond their mid 30s before the 1940s came around. I completely agree with the compounding of existing technologies logic but to me the compounding doesn't explain giant leaps forward. So, it's not that we weren't advancing - it's that we get a little fuel added to our technological fire. Which leads me to question 1 posed above.

I belive we that we recovered non-terestrial technology which we gleaned some "help" from - even though whomever this technology belonged to probably wasn't intending to help us. I suspect the German's made contact with this first - then the USA. My hypothesis is that once we developed the A bomb and the H bomb, we caught the attention of some interstellar neighbors. Why? Because being able to harness huge amounts of energy makes you a potential player on the cosmic chessboard. It takes enormous amounts of energy to get into space, move around space, destroy huge swaths of physical matter, etc. So, once our neighbors picked up nuclear detonation/radiation we were suddenly of more interest (i'm sure many of you have read the many discussion about "UFOs" and our nuclear facilties). Some other-worldly folks came in for a look and ended up having some trouble - win for us. We then back engineered not only specific things but techniques, thought processes, material compositions - who knows what else. We probably still can't fully comprehend the technology but have chipped away at it and made some meaningful headway in the last 60 years.

Lastly, I think the comments about war being the innovative catalyst is largely correct. Our cavement brains are wired to assess things as a threat/non-threat. This means that we're naturally inclined to want to defend our territory. When our territory or friends are threatened (e.g. war) we can get pretty creative with our ideas. War requires transportation, communication, surveilance, ordinance, etc - all kinds of tech that also could have civilian applications if de-weaponized. So, yes, the war effort brought about the perceived need for many advancements - many of which have moved into the hands of civilians in different shapes/forms.

Like the rest of us, I'm speculating here. This is a fascinating topic but I recall many years ago when I was in grade school a teacher explained to us how we got from point A to point B technologically - and the explanation didn't hold water for me (felt like one day we were figuring out how to create a bi-plane aircraft and the next minute we're going to the moon). I realize that's not how it played out but the sense that there's more to this story than human technological genius (though I'm a big fan of us humans doing great things!) just never left me - and actually only grew with more research as an adult.

Thanks for the good read, all.



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Exponential growth. We have progressed just as math would seem to predict.



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 06:26 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

God, or at least Mans preoccupation with organized religious practice would be the main contender.

Then there is war to consider, the resources and manpower expended on such petty squabbles throughout recorded history must be rather considerable, to say the least.



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut




So, what was it? Or conversely, what propelled us forward?



Well, if one considers the development of technology as western science has done as "progress". The word "progress" implies a goal to progress towards. Is "more" the goal?




Humans have been around for ages (3 million or more years according to current Science) and yet it is only in the last 100 or so years that we have progressed from horse & cart to the Internet & Space.

The start of the upward spike of the application of knowledge could have occurred anywhere, (ancient India, China, the Middle East or Greece), at any time but it seemed to come mainly from Europe and only a few decades ago.


One consideration is that people have been aware of the Nature Spirits, local gods and other Beings for a long time untill the comming of the monotheistic churches who did quite a remarkable job of suppressing and virtually killing off anyone who failed to confirm to monotheistic thought. A genocide so to speak.

This opened up, in a way, the emergence of the human centric scientific mind.




edit on 11-11-2018 by Whatsthisthen because: usual typos



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 07:10 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: chr0naut

Exponential growth. We have progressed just as math would seem to predict.


I agree, but only up to a point, because the growth in technological knowledge does not seem purely mathematical.

There have been spurts and doldrums, even while overall the accumulation has seemed to be accelerating. I see it as and ideological 'stock index' which is trending upwards, but has still had its 'busts' and 'booms'.

And the change seemed very rapid when it happened. We went from the 'Stanley Steamer' car, to the first man on the Moon, in 67 years.

edit on 11/11/2018 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

The common man was given more leisure.

In times past we were made into a low beast. Humanity was weakened.

In all the ages of all the princes and kings who had time and leisure to do so, none was able to change the human condition. None wanted to. They wanted immediate temporal power and nothing else.

It was the unification of man and the emancipation of the common person that unlocked the age of reason and progress that we now enjoy.

The technocrats and sophists of our age will argue differently. They are wrong and only argue in favor of their own merits in society exclusively.

It was the Teslas, not the Edisons that made the difference. The Newtons did much, but it was the Einsteins that brought the final push beyond the frontier.

Common stock AND our elite. That's the trick. We get along so poorly. That's the perpetual problem we face.

It's the irony of the Gods. It takes a village.

edit on 11 11 2018 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 07:25 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: chr0naut

Exponential growth. We have progressed just as math would seem to predict.



And the change seemed very rapid when it happened. We went from the 'Stanley Steamer' car, to the first man on the Moon, in 67 years.


Exactly. That is what doesn't make sense. You would have had to come up with a singular, huge technological leap forward to make this happen... yet none of us here can say "yeah - that's the thing that happened".

The angle this starts to speak to for me is "what were the HUGE things that took place in the early part of the 20th century?" And by huge, I mean huge even by today's standards. Flight is one thing, but the fact we could fly was huge - not the planes. Ships became way, way more robust - but not by today's standards.

Yet here we sit a generation later and nuclear weapons remain THE ultimate means of force (that we're aware of). Nothing has eclipsed it. We've harnesed that learning to power ships and cities. We have treaties to not proliferate their creation. We are scared to use nuclear technology as a power source (however, that's unfounded IMO). The US government shys away from utilizing it beyond "miliatary applications".

The more I think about it, the dawn of the "nuclear age" was the thing. And still is the thing. Ironically, we know little about the advancement of nuclear energy applications in the last 40 years - specifics are classified for the military and any time we hear about nuclear energy in the media it's negative.... makes me wonder why....

This thread isn't about nuclear energy or weapons - I'm just saying that once we had nukes, we relatively quickly had a whole bunch of stuff that we didn't have before.



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 07:34 PM
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originally posted by: EnigmaChaser

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: chr0naut

Exponential growth. We have progressed just as math would seem to predict.



And the change seemed very rapid when it happened. We went from the 'Stanley Steamer' car, to the first man on the Moon, in 67 years.


Exactly. That is what doesn't make sense. You would have had to come up with a singular, huge technological leap forward to make this happen... yet none of us here can say "yeah - that's the thing that happened".

The angle this starts to speak to for me is "what were the HUGE things that took place in the early part of the 20th century?" And by huge, I mean huge even by today's standards. Flight is one thing, but the fact we could fly was huge - not the planes. Ships became way, way more robust - but not by today's standards.

Yet here we sit a generation later and nuclear weapons remain THE ultimate means of force (that we're aware of). Nothing has eclipsed it. We've harnesed that learning to power ships and cities. We have treaties to not proliferate their creation. We are scared to use nuclear technology as a power source (however, that's unfounded IMO). The US government shys away from utilizing it beyond "miliatary applications".

The more I think about it, the dawn of the "nuclear age" was the thing. And still is the thing. Ironically, we know little about the advancement of nuclear energy applications in the last 40 years - specifics are classified for the military and any time we hear about nuclear energy in the media it's negative.... makes me wonder why....

This thread isn't about nuclear energy or weapons - I'm just saying that once we had nukes, we relatively quickly had a whole bunch of stuff that we didn't have before.

Firstly, there are more powerful weapons than nukes but the technological trend is probably more fine control now than raw 'smashy'. In truth, you are just as dead from being hit by a big rock as you are from being incinerated by a 'nuke. The need to compete in killing power was left behind long ago.

Nukes have only really been used in anger twice and the non lethal uses are also few and far between. I think that as a technological tool, it is only part of a set of technologies. On it's own, it hasn't really been that big a thing.



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 08:08 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: EnigmaChaser

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: chr0naut

Exponential growth. We have progressed just as math would seem to predict.



And the change seemed very rapid when it happened. We went from the 'Stanley Steamer' car, to the first man on the Moon, in 67 years.


Exactly. That is what doesn't make sense. You would have had to come up with a singular, huge technological leap forward to make this happen... yet none of us here can say "yeah - that's the thing that happened".

The angle this starts to speak to for me is "what were the HUGE things that took place in the early part of the 20th century?" And by huge, I mean huge even by today's standards. Flight is one thing, but the fact we could fly was huge - not the planes. Ships became way, way more robust - but not by today's standards.

Yet here we sit a generation later and nuclear weapons remain THE ultimate means of force (that we're aware of). Nothing has eclipsed it. We've harnesed that learning to power ships and cities. We have treaties to not proliferate their creation. We are scared to use nuclear technology as a power source (however, that's unfounded IMO). The US government shys away from utilizing it beyond "miliatary applications".

The more I think about it, the dawn of the "nuclear age" was the thing. And still is the thing. Ironically, we know little about the advancement of nuclear energy applications in the last 40 years - specifics are classified for the military and any time we hear about nuclear energy in the media it's negative.... makes me wonder why....

This thread isn't about nuclear energy or weapons - I'm just saying that once we had nukes, we relatively quickly had a whole bunch of stuff that we didn't have before.

Firstly, there are more powerful weapons than nukes but the technological trend is probably more fine control now than raw 'smashy'. In truth, you are just as dead from being hit by a big rock as you are from being incinerated by a 'nuke. The need to compete in killing power was left behind long ago.

Nukes have only really been used in anger twice and the non lethal uses are also few and far between. I think that as a technological tool, it is only part of a set of technologies. On it's own, it hasn't really been that big a thing.


What are those weapons you speak of that are more powerful than a modern nuclear device? Yes, biological or chemical weapons could cause more casualties. I'm speaking from a destructive/energy standpoint. I might be very ignorant here but if I am please tell me what I should be researching that publically exists.

I agree that you're just as dead by being hit by a rock. I think your comment misses a key component - they "why" behind the reason we don't have to compete for destructive power. We don't have to compete because the world's super powers all have nukes... which means that nukes gave everyone enough destructive force. That wasn't the case in the 40s. So my point here isn't about nuclear destructive force or one-upsmanship. It's about the fact that multiple parties having nuclear weapons created a certain amount of stability. Global destruction capability had been reached - no need to press further from a weapons perspective.

In regards to usage - the "why" here is also important. "Why" haven't we used them more? Because we've signed treaties to stop their proliferation/don't deploy them because they possess the power to destroy the entirety of our speciies. Twice was enough. Modern nukes could possibly do even more damage. I'm not sure why you're conflating the number of times something was deployed with it's power. But, we as a human race have detonated north of 2000 nuclear devices via testing - so plenty of nukes have been let off of it to be a thing.

In regards to use cases, I again fail to understand your interest in quantity. Nuclear energy via modern generation reactors could solve an enormous number of our global energy problems. Like could get us off heating oil, coal, hydro, wind, etc. BUT, we won't build any more of them. Why? I don't know but it's a question I've asked myself a number of times. Said differently, if I told you that a compound called "Beenana" has two uses: Could outgun a nuclear weapon in warfare and could cure cancer - and thats ALL it can do - would it matter how many other applications it has? Not from my standpoint - it would have provided two gigantic uses. We're not talking about the invention of the paper towel here.

WHY MY COMMENTS ARE NOT THREAD DRIFT:

The point of the discussion was "what changed". Well, we have an energy source that allows ship to stay submerged/at sea nearly indefinitely, can blow the entirety of Earth into tiny pieces multiple times over and can power cities/countries indefinitely as well. We go to great lengths to ensure countries certain countries don't obtain nulcear capability. We have sensors in NYC to detect suit case nukes. It's the one thing I can think of that changed the game a generation ago and is still a game changer today - which is why I tend to believe that the nukes have something to do with the uptick in our technological advancement as a species.



posted on Nov, 11 2018 @ 09:26 PM
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originally posted by: EnigmaChaser

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: EnigmaChaser

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: chr0naut

Exponential growth. We have progressed just as math would seem to predict.



And the change seemed very rapid when it happened. We went from the 'Stanley Steamer' car, to the first man on the Moon, in 67 years.


Exactly. That is what doesn't make sense. You would have had to come up with a singular, huge technological leap forward to make this happen... yet none of us here can say "yeah - that's the thing that happened".

The angle this starts to speak to for me is "what were the HUGE things that took place in the early part of the 20th century?" And by huge, I mean huge even by today's standards. Flight is one thing, but the fact we could fly was huge - not the planes. Ships became way, way more robust - but not by today's standards.

Yet here we sit a generation later and nuclear weapons remain THE ultimate means of force (that we're aware of). Nothing has eclipsed it. We've harnesed that learning to power ships and cities. We have treaties to not proliferate their creation. We are scared to use nuclear technology as a power source (however, that's unfounded IMO). The US government shys away from utilizing it beyond "miliatary applications".

The more I think about it, the dawn of the "nuclear age" was the thing. And still is the thing. Ironically, we know little about the advancement of nuclear energy applications in the last 40 years - specifics are classified for the military and any time we hear about nuclear energy in the media it's negative.... makes me wonder why....

This thread isn't about nuclear energy or weapons - I'm just saying that once we had nukes, we relatively quickly had a whole bunch of stuff that we didn't have before.

Firstly, there are more powerful weapons than nukes but the technological trend is probably more fine control now than raw 'smashy'. In truth, you are just as dead from being hit by a big rock as you are from being incinerated by a 'nuke. The need to compete in killing power was left behind long ago.

Nukes have only really been used in anger twice and the non lethal uses are also few and far between. I think that as a technological tool, it is only part of a set of technologies. On it's own, it hasn't really been that big a thing.


What are those weapons you speak of that are more powerful than a modern nuclear device? Yes, biological or chemical weapons could cause more casualties. I'm speaking from a destructive/energy standpoint. I might be very ignorant here but if I am please tell me what I should be researching that publically exists.

I agree that you're just as dead by being hit by a rock. I think your comment misses a key component - they "why" behind the reason we don't have to compete for destructive power. We don't have to compete because the world's super powers all have nukes... which means that nukes gave everyone enough destructive force. That wasn't the case in the 40s. So my point here isn't about nuclear destructive force or one-upsmanship. It's about the fact that multiple parties having nuclear weapons created a certain amount of stability. Global destruction capability had been reached - no need to press further from a weapons perspective.

In regards to usage - the "why" here is also important. "Why" haven't we used them more? Because we've signed treaties to stop their proliferation/don't deploy them because they possess the power to destroy the entirety of our speciies. Twice was enough. Modern nukes could possibly do even more damage. I'm not sure why you're conflating the number of times something was deployed with it's power. But, we as a human race have detonated north of 2000 nuclear devices via testing - so plenty of nukes have been let off of it to be a thing.

In regards to use cases, I again fail to understand your interest in quantity. Nuclear energy via modern generation reactors could solve an enormous number of our global energy problems. Like could get us off heating oil, coal, hydro, wind, etc. BUT, we won't build any more of them. Why? I don't know but it's a question I've asked myself a number of times. Said differently, if I told you that a compound called "Beenana" has two uses: Could outgun a nuclear weapon in warfare and could cure cancer - and thats ALL it can do - would it matter how many other applications it has? Not from my standpoint - it would have provided two gigantic uses. We're not talking about the invention of the paper towel here.

WHY MY COMMENTS ARE NOT THREAD DRIFT:

The point of the discussion was "what changed". Well, we have an energy source that allows ship to stay submerged/at sea nearly indefinitely, can blow the entirety of Earth into tiny pieces multiple times over and can power cities/countries indefinitely as well. We go to great lengths to ensure countries certain countries don't obtain nulcear capability. We have sensors in NYC to detect suit case nukes. It's the one thing I can think of that changed the game a generation ago and is still a game changer today - which is why I tend to believe that the nukes have something to do with the uptick in our technological advancement as a species.


I obviously can't talk about those weapons but they do exist (at least in theory - I hope...).

I agree that atomic theory has had major impacts on science. The issue is, has it had that much of an effect on technological progress?

Due to the 'forbiddenness' of nuclear technology, it doesn't and will probably never have a significant representation in day to day technology.

I mean, do we go and buy a nuclear power cell to charge our car & home? They do exist but they aren't going to happen. Even relatively safe Thorium Salt reactors, which could be a large fridge-sized consumer item if there was a will for it, are not likely to ever see daylight except in some 'big energy' power station.

I also think it comes to the fore far too late. The change, whatever it was initiated by, began before the Second World War.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut

What we have done in the past 67 years makes that 67 year period look literally dull.

Its all about exponential growth. Yes, there may be stops/starts along the way. A volcano blowing up and setting us back a few generations, etc. But for the most part the curve has been steady and predictable.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 07:57 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

It would be somewhat advantageous if that curve went straight up all the same and allowed us to colonize and industrialize our own low Earth orbit.

Fact is after that Humanities exponential growth would be pretty much guaranteed, natural disasters being somewhat mitigated via the near vacuum of space.

Don't stop us blowing one another to bits all the same, but it might be nice not to have all our eggs in the one basket for the first time in recorded history.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

"Humanity" as a greater organism is stupid as all holy hell. Within our ranks we have some really smart people. But on the whole, humanity is hopelessly morose and will spend their time waiting on more capable individuals to create things that they can then be trained to use.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 08:31 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

We certainly like to consume and move along to our next target without care or thought as to what happens next.

Fact is we live in the moment, down to our extremely short existence, design flaws, limited perspective, and penchant for our own self-destruction never mind our complete and utter refusal to learn from our past historical mistakes from one generation to the next.

Then again, apparently, we are also the pinnacle of an apex predator, top of the food chain, and the only animal on Earth with the intelligence and accompanying apposable appendages to get the job done.

Not sure what that job is all the same, life is complicated enough. LoL


edit on 12-11-2018 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)




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