Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Technology's Infancy

I was reading Popular Science the other day as David was getting his hair cut, and had a realization: we are technology's infants. Several hundred years from now, humans will study us in elementary school like we learned about heiroglyphs and covered wagons. They'll laugh at how primitive we were with our gigantic laptop computers and gas guzzling automobiles. Maybe they'll find "artifacts" - the gigantic McDonald's "M", maybe an Iphone with a cracked face. There is so much that awaits humankind, if we make it through our early struggles of famine, war, competition.

Researchers are already developing new ways to travel, from airplanes shaped like gigantic triangles that hold hundreds of people, to personal vehicles that can both drive and fly. By 2050, they want to develop a spacecraft type airplane that can transport 50 people from Australia to New York in 90 minutes, by going into orbit at 14,000 miles per hour. I read about trains that would run on magnets alone at hundreds of miles per hour. I think about how old I'll be in 2050 - will I ever be able to experience the wonder of staring at Earth from space? I think space travel will become routine over the years, and we'll continue to explore further and further out in our solar system.

Sometimes I feel a tinge of sadness that I won't be able to see human's development with technology, and civilization itself. In the multi-billion year life of the Earth, we are only a blip in her history, and we've already managed to do more damage than any other species. I do hope the human race survives its infancy, and achieves it's full potential. I think this is why I love sci-fi so much - I can pretend I'm part of the future, that I can somehow get a vision of what it will be like.


Paula said...

Yeah, kind of like people 100 years ago could not imagine some of what we have now. When I started my business, there was no internet. I have always imagined archaeologists of the future sifting through our stuff, trying to surmise what existence would have been like. Technology is such a double edged sword. You can use it for good or use it for destructive persons. Let's hope the good keeps evolving and the mass destruction kept at bay. Sometimes along with enjoying technology, I think of how far it takes us from the simple. Imagine checking OUT of technology altogether for awhile, no phone, no computer, just on a beach somewhere or communing with nature, real face-to-face conversation, music by the fire.....haha. I think we need to balance technology with the original simple human needs.

Paula said...

Yikes, I said destructive persons instead of purposes.