We live in a world in which technology has played a big part in how we live and at times keeping us alive. Here are ten reasons why technology has given us advantages people who have lived at other times were disadvantaged.
(1) We Live Longer. As I mentioned in my previous blog, three centuries ago, disease was possibly the main reason why people died. If it weren’t for modern medicine, many people who live to be adults would have died during childhood. In the future, medical technology will allow people to live for centuries.
(2) We Have Access To More Information. A millennium ago, it was possible to know almost everything a person needed to know. Today, thanks to the Internet, we have access to more information than the most educated people had access to 1,000 years ago. More information is being generated everyday than what the average person learned in a lifetime back then.
(3) Transportation. A millennium ago, a person might travel a shorter distance during their lifetime than a person can travel in a year. People worked sometimes within ten miles of where they lived while today it isn’t uncommon for a person to need to commute over 100 miles everyday. A businessman might spend a year traveling less miles than he travels by air and on the ground in a week.
(4) We Are Active Longer Each Day. Thanks to the electric light bulb, we don’t need to go to bed after the sun sets.
(5) Food Quality Is Better. Food poisoning was much more common a century ago than it is today. I know people don’t live preservatives in their foods. But thanks to them in many foods we eat, we don’t die from what we eat. Refrigeration has played a big part in food preservation and extended the shelf life of many things we eat and drink.
(6) Working Conditions Are Better. Labor saving devices help most people who work. When I was in college I used to mow yards mainly to earn enough money for school. Thanks to power mowers, I could sometimes mow three yards in a day. If I had to rely on the equipment available a century before, mowing one yard in a day would have been my limit.
(7) Communications. Before the telephone was invented, the telegraph was the fastest way to communicate with someone. But often you had to travel a long distance to reach a telegraph office. Thanks to phones and computers, more people can communicate with more people in a day than a person living a couple centuries communicated with in a week or two even if they were rapid writers that sent out letters on a regular basis.
(8) We Can Have More Friends. The Internet allows some people to make more friends in a year than they could have made in a lifetime a couple centuries ago. Once Experiencable Program Units are perfected, it will be possible for some married couples to have relationships that last for decades even though they will never physically meet. There will even be artificial means to have children. A person’s best friend might live 5,000 miles away and thanks to EPUs, they might experience each other more than they spend time with their next-door neighbors. I have no idea how many people believe they are my friend. I welcome them just the same.
(9) Homes. If you have seen Game of Thrones you might have noticed that most people wear a lot of clothes most of the time. That is because the homes and castles had to be heated by fireplaces. The walls of castles had to be thick to provide insulation from the cold. Homes were often drafty. Since fires were needed for cooking and to provide light, it was hot inside during the summer. Today we have better heating systems, air conditioning, and more efficient insulation in the walls of our homes. Many poor people live more comfortably than monarchs used to live 1,000 years ago.
(10) Quality Spare Time. A century ago, the average laborer spent most of the day working. Life was a bit boring because after 12 hours of work you went home, ate dinner, went to bed, got up in the morning, ate breakfast, and went to work. If you were lucky you might have a half hour to eat lunch. But your life revolved around work. Today, eight hour workdays are normal. But the extra time we have to spend doing things other than eating, sleeping, and working are spent doing things like reading, listening to things, watching TV, and being on the computer. I must have written at least 2,000 pages of material on the internet since I was first on it in 2006. A century ago, I would have been lucky to write one book that might have been published. Today I have four books in publication; all done in my spare time which might have not existed a century ago.
We are living so much better today thanks to technology than what our ancestors could have dreamed of living. Our descendants might wonder how we could have survived such “primitive” conditions as will their descendants wonder the same thing about them. There are many more advantages we have thanks to technology than the ten I listed. How we use those advantages will determine if we successfully benefit from them or if we are overcome by technolgy or worst yet, reject the change that technology brings. We must master technology or be subject to the consequences not adjusting to technicalogical change can inflict upon us.