Friday December 19, 2003

100 Years of Technology

[This question comes courtesy of The Listening Post, a blog meme inspired by scifi & fantasy.]

This week's question was inspired by something many of us dread — a fatal hard disk crash and the loss of most of the data thereon. Ouch!

How dependent are you on technology? If all of the technology invented in the past 100 years disappeared tomorrow, how would you react? What do you think your life would be like without technology?

I am very dependent on technology. Professionally, I am a programmer, webspinner, and technical writer. Much of what I do every day wouldn't exist without technology created in the past 40 years, let alone the past century!

In my day-to-day activities I use (and depend upon) not only my computer but Caller ID, ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), timed and metered traffic lights, the 911 emergency system, satellite weather forecasting, and the wide-spread availability of electricity. Without much thinking about them, I use Velcro, Post-It notes, rollerball pens, an ergonomic desk chair, home refrigeration, forced-air household heating, ice cubes, dimmer switches, and atomic clocks. I expect to be able to buy tomatoes and many other fruits and vegetables in December. I depend upon my home telephone as well as my cellular phone connecting me whenever and wherever I desire. I depend upon advances in pharmaceutical technology to discover new drugs and bring them to market, affordably and in sufficient quantity.

100 years is a long time. In 1903 we had telephones - but not to the extent we have them today. Wireless, but no radio. No television. No "talking pictures" (certainly no "home movies or DVD). No Interstate highway system. I had a flu shot this year as I have had one most years; the Great Influenza Epidemic was in 1918 (only 85 years ago).

At least, if all the technology of the past 100 years suddenly disappeared tomorrow, I would still be able to see... to some extent. Eyeglasses, even bifocals, were available more than 100 years ago. Optical lenses are one of the the most important inventions for my life.

100 Years of Technology ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 19 Dec, 10:40 Pacific | «e»