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Examples of everyday technology initially developed for war purposes

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posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 03:01 AM
In an earlier post entitled
Bush:The nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would "startle" most Americans

Originally posted by skippytjc
Whats this? I have no idea what he is talking about, but my interest is certainly peaked. Lies and propaganda? Or is there really something there we arent aware of yet?

MILWAUKEE - Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would "startle" most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.

I responded by saying in part that...

Originally posted by Chezz
Whatever these "breakthroughs" are, it almost certainly has something to do with war in some way, shape, form, or manner. I've heard it said, that FOR THE MOST PART, the government is generally 10 to 20 years ahead of society as far as technology goes.

When the technology "trickles down" to society, alot of times the military has had it for 10+ years. This has been true as far as advancements in communication: cellphones, computers: the internet, transportation:the jeep, medicine: blood transfusions, etc. That doesn't mean EVERY piece of new technology developed is for the war machine, but alot of it is.

Assuming that's true, maybe the reason Americans will be "startled" by these "breakthroughs" is because the technology will be used for war. Otherwise, why can't he tell us what it is? Things that make you go HMMM.

Does anyone know of any other examples of everyday technology that was initially developed for war purposes? I know there's alot, but I don't want to be accused of citing a paticular piece of technology and then have someone come back with some sort of proof that it was developed for another purpose.

I would bet though, that if we got a halfway decent list of examples going, quite a few people would be surprised to find out just how much stuff we take for granted today was originally developed by the government for the military AND how long the military had the technology before it trickled down to society.
Also, how would anyone google that? I'm not sure of how to start to go about trying to find info on the subject

posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 03:13 AM
-radar (WWII to detect enemy planes)
-internet (US military wanted to design a survivable network, so even if several computers were taken out, the network would still work)
-nuclear physics (the A-bomb)
-some of the earliest computers were used as encoding machines, like Enigma in WWII, but I'm not sure if the computer fits as 'initially developed for war', but it definitely saw early use in war
-satellites (spying, communications, intelligence)
-GPS (global positioning system) developed by US military

Those came to mind in maybe 5 minutes or so. There's probably dozens more.

posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 06:05 AM
Interesting topic. I would hardly call Radar or Nuclear physics everyday technology though!

Often public science development is approximately parallel with that of the military yet because the military have such an immense budget compared to the small amount of money science research gets its no suprise that they utilise this science first. For example GPS is a very simple system that just uses triangulation of radio waves yet the military is the only entity that had the funds, ability and facilities to put a suitable number of satallites into orbit to make the system work. Similarly in the field of medicine developments are made because of neccessity.

Another addition to the list is plastic surgery which was developed to help soldiers with horrific burns in WWII although I spose this might now class as everyday tech either.

posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 10:08 AM
I disagree, Radar and and Nuclear Physics are everyday technology.

Radar is used all the time in ATC centes at airports and is a very important device. Nuclear power is very useful too, and a lot of homes are powered by this method.

Fireworks come from war - not everyday stuff, but quite common anyway.

posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 11:23 AM
Interesting...I had no idea that plastic surgery was initially developed for war, but it makes total sense. Perhaps this thread should be rephrased to say "Examples of commonly known/used technology developed for war", instead of everyday technology.

For example, sonar was initially developed for war, but today any chartered fishing boat probably has some form of sonar to help catch fish even though that's not what it was initially designed for. Sonar to help catch fish is probably not an example of everyday technology since most people probably don't own or charter a boat on a regular basis, but it would be an example of commonly known/used technology.

I appreciate the posts. Keep them coming.

posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 11:25 AM
computers also probably were meant for the military first. people specualte, military techolgy in terms of computers is way ahead of anything in public sector.

also probably loads of torture devices, that came out to public sector. you can now buy directed energy weapons on the internet, also.

[edit on 2-6-2006 by andy1033]

posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 11:36 AM
I would say that ALL of the civilian technology in the past 50 years or so is a spinoff of military R&D projects.

Yes, nuclear power is already a noticeable fraction of what we use (to the poster above). In addition, many smoke detectors use low intensity radioactive sources. The PET tomography in hospitals is another example.

Invention of the transistor happened in the civilian sector, but mass production of quality transistors was perfected mainly for military use.

Computers were badly needed for calculations related to nuclear weaponry, and thus they enjoyed explosive growth.

Flat panel displays were once a critically important component of the then modern aircraft control panels. Now they are commonplace. HUD is another example - some cars have HUDs now. Infrared vision is also installed on some versions of Cadillac.

Prosthetics and painkillers are a sad topic but I think there is little argument there...

I'd say it takes about 30 years to fully trickle.

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