Monday, May 30, 2016
Alvin Toffler back in 1970 wrote the book Future Shock claiming that human beings were not genetically capable of processing changes at a rapid pace. He claimed that changes must come slow for humans to be able to adapt, and therefore the future would not greatly differ from the past in any one lifetime.
This seemed to make sense at the time because it had taken decades for a transition from radio to television, and from black and white television to color television;
from telephone operators to dial phones…
And then along came computers and disproved his entire premise.
In 1960 I was introduced to computers in the Navy and they were analog – wheels, diodes and punch cards
In 1964 the Navy bought aviation navigators in VP-26 anti-submarine squadron hand held calculators for $300. They were about the size of a small book and could add, subtract, multiply and divide.
Prior to that navigators and technicians used slide rulers.
In 1985 I was introduced to the Apple-2e computer. It ran 48k of memory and could read six-inch floppy disk.
In 1988 I bought an apple 2c with a smoking 500k memory that could read three-inch hard disk. For $550
In 1995 I bought a Dell computer with 250 megabytes of memory for almost a thousand dollars.
I just bought my wife an HP laptop with one trilobite of memory for $350.
Since 1985 we have gone to computer regulated cars, cell phones with more power and more features every year, the internet, GPS, driverless cars, DNA, cloning, satellite television, portable computers that can talk with you, intergalactic space probes and a technology that seems to be advancing in gargantuan steps almost monthly.
Where in 1947 we were talking about the Bell-X-1 rocket ship breaking the sound barrier,
today we have space probes traveling to other universes.
Some of us older people do have trouble keeping up; but to young people this is conventional.
I have seen more changes in my lifetime than people in a hundred generations prior to me experienced.
We tend to forget this is an amazing time.