Over the last century there has been exponential growth in technology. How able are we to predict the future of technology and what are the social effects of increased technology usage?
Technology and Transition
History and future trends:
The best summary of the history of information technologies is a graph that shows the calculations per second per $1,000 from 1900 to today. (Try googling calculations per second per $1,000) What we see when we look at these figures is exponential growth.
Up take of the printing press took hundreds of years; uptake of the radio and TV took decades; uptake of the computer and mobile phones took years. The kitsch and yet astonishing comparison that is usually trotted out in conversations like this is that there is over 100 times more computing power in our smart phone than there was in the Apollo Space Program.
Each time we reach the capacity of one technology, a new one appears that takes the technology to the next level. Vacuum tubes were replaced by transistors, which were replaced by chips, which will probably be replaced by 3 dimensional self-organising molecular circuits or perhaps even quantum computers. Continue reading