Re: Rate of change (was Re: 'a process of non-thinking called faith')

From: micah glasser (
Date: Wed Feb 15 2006 - 22:17:15 MST

I have to agree with Kevin here. I grant you that 1934 to 1970 saw
monumental changes but 1970 to 2006 saw unprecedented changes. I say this as
an obsessive history buff who knows a great deal about the history of the
20th century. I wont even waste my time making the argument - I'm shocked
that any intelligent and educated person doesn't recognize the obvious
exponential advancement of technology. Put it this way - if a person from
1934 were to travel to 1970 they would probably experience far less future
shock then a person from 1970 travelling to 2006.

On 2/15/06, Kevin Osborne <> wrote:
> > Compare 1970 to 2006 - that's a 36-year timespan.
> > Then compare 1934 to 1970, or 1888 to 1934,
> > or 1852 to 1888, or 1816 to 1852, or 1780 to 1816,
> > or 1744 to 1780, or 1708 to 1744, or 1672 to 1708 -
> > I don't think that anyone with any knowledge of any
> > one of those time periods could say anything but
> > that the technological, epistemological, and cultural
> > change during them - in Western society - was
> > greater than during the period 1970-2006.
> not to disgaree outright, and without postulating any kind detailed
> analysis, but there does seem to have been a fair whack of
> 'technological, epistemological, and cultural change' in last 36
> years.
> To go on anecdotal terms for a third of that timespan, the 12 years up
> until now since I graduated high school have seen a fair few changes:
> The Internet, 94-2005. Not arpanet or bbs's, but
> usenet->www->im/p2p/web2.0. The current usage exceeds one billion
> citizens - i.e a 6th of world's population (from:
> another good page:
> From thousands to over a billion users in 12
> years is a fairly hefty technological+cultural shift, I would think.
> Microsoft, 94-2005. We went from a few PC's in some offices at the
> beginning of 94 to a PC on every desk in every office by the end of
> 05. from 3.1, to 95, to 98, and now XP. The addition of a personal
> computer to the effective intelligence of these users is a huge leap,
> especially for the solitaire|myspace|msoffice-level of user population
> who in previous eras had far less input into the realms of culture,
> media and technology. For more tech/culture love think of the
> cellphones, PDAs, laptops, digital cameras, 3D video cards, iPods of
> today vs. the end of 93...
> Science,Engineering,Nanotech, 94-2005. I'm not a super science geek,
> just a tech nerd, so I can't give an even near fair accout of this
> realm, but here's a few: X-Prize. Mars rovers. Carbon composite,
> Kevlar, Polymers. 45nm chip fab processes. Synthetics - drugs, sugar,
> textiles. Hubble, Cosmological imaging advances and theory changes.
> Climate modelling. Ever taller towers - Petronas, 101 etc. Huge
> infrastructure projects, especially in Asia. Buckytubes. The latest
> triumph sports bike. The stealth fighters/bombers.
> Medicine,Biotech 94-2005. Again, I'm far from an expert: Researchers
> capturing video from cat's brains. Human genome. Cloning. Biotech.
> Cancer cures. Brain imaging. Transplant advances. everything as
> keyhole surgery. RNA interference. Gene therapies. Quadraplegics
> controlling mice via in-brain chips. plastic surgery. drugs for
> everything - the brain enchancing drugs are a great example
> (,11381,1528069,00.html).
> Culture, 94-2005. I probably can't come even close to capturing this,
> but here goes. I'm a drum'n'bass nut. Do you guys have any idea of the
> number of techno genres? From garage to darkstep to happy hardcore to
> trance and dozens in between. Mashups. Raves. Ecstasy and marijuana
> use - the amount of young people off their face every weekend in
> western cities is truly staggering. Group teenage sex. Piercing,
> branding, implanting. Guerilla art (e.g. banksy). Blogging. Stay at
> home dads. Metrosexuals. Same sex marriage. Neoconservatism. Islamic
> fanaticism. Steroids. Reality TV. Celebrity porn (e.g. Pam,Paris)
> there's got to be a host more of these kinds of examples in all sorts
> of arenas, and not to say in any way that some of these things didn't
> exist prior to 94; but their manifestation now is a very different
> animal. The pace of change doesn't seem to be slowing down as much as
> going down different pathways. The lack of manned moon/space missions
> may annoy space opera aficionados (trekkies) but the fact is they're
> pointless in the short term and we should have always been sending
> machines. But when I think of the life, technology use and culture of
> a 13 year old girl in 70's versus one of today, I think maybe that her
> world has definitely moved forward, even in Captain Kirk is still as
> much a fanstasy now as he was then...

I swear upon the alter of God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny
over the mind of man. - Thomas Jefferson

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