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The myth of "accelerating technology"


Why do so many people believe that technological progress is happening ever faster today? In fact, it isn’t. It has slowed down long ago. No life-changing technological breakthrough was made after 2000 AD.

Electricity, the light bulb, telegraphy and photography were all invented in the 1880s.
Radio was invented in 1895, television in 1927 and the electric computer in 1941.
In 1904 the Wright brothers did the first motorized flight in human history, ten years later planes were used en masse in World War I and less than 30 years later the Nazis send the first object into outer space in 1942.
The space race lasted for twelve years, in which we came from the first satellite, to the first animal and human in space to the first man on the moon.

Many “futurists” seem to have read to much science-fiction. That makes sense, since many science fiction comicbooks from the 30s or 40s imagined the year 2001 totally futuristic with spaceships, robots and flying cars. Well, that wasn’t too far-fetched from their perspective…

Surely though, that doesn’t say anything about the future. Just because technological inventions where more plentiful in the past doesn’t mean that progress can’t be going to take off again now. :wink:

Artikel des Tages
(Tim Groß) #2

Transhuman achievment of the year. ffs. Most people here don’t even seem to have read the article on transhumanism at Wikipedia.

"Der Genetiker und Wissenschaftsautor Steve Jones argumentiert, dass die Menschheit die Technologie nicht hat und nie haben wird, die die Befürworter des Transhumanismus suchen. Jones behauptet, dass Technologien wie die Gentechnik nie so leistungsfähig sein werden, wie allgemein angenommen wird.

In seinem Buch Futurehype: Die Tyrannei der Prophezeiung zählt der Soziologe Max Dublin viele fehlgeschlagene Vorhersagen des vergangenen technologischen Fortschritts auf und postuliert, dass moderne futuristische Vorhersagen ähnlich ungenau ausfallen werden."

@begeistert i do also see relations to some dogmas of the myth of knowledge. And then authorities of course.

And on top of all that you can put my postulate.
:thinking: click

Bei der Menge an Dingen, die heute schon möglich ist, ist die nächste große transhumane Chance ein Schritt wie in dem Film transcendence. Ein Rückzug mit einer Handvoll Leuten. ( Wer den Film kennt weiß, dass ich aber meine Bedenken habe werde, den Fortschritt mit dem Rest der Menschheit zu teilen.)
Ich gebe euch gerne 5 BGE Konzepte (oder sonst was), die alles toppen, was ihr dazu auftreiben könnt. Ich mache hier gerne den Flaschengeist. Wir müssen dafür aber einen vernünftigen Deal aushandeln.



Its true, that ideas like Web 2.0 and Industry 4.0 arent exactly based on an existing technology yet. However, its too easy to say its just a hoax.

One interesting thing is that companys will have to exchange data to a pretty big extent, even though they distrust each other, as they are in competition. That forces them to invest huge sums of money into their IT-Security.

Also all these firms are trying to define technology standards that are used in this industrial web-network. Because whoever defines a standard will have some sort of monopoly.
Also there is a fight going on between traditional industry and internet giants. Both try to subordinate each other to their needs as a lengthened workbench.

So in fact there is something happening, but it might be something else what is connected with industrial 4.0 at first glance.


It’s impossible to extrapolate the future from today. People didn’t imagine the internet and many experts claimed nobody would need a computer at home or after the internet’s invention, that it would never become commonplace, now see where we’re now. Meanwhile, I don’t own a flying car and space travel has gone worrible wrong after the moon landings.

And don’t forget, many people laugh about science-fiction and “futurism”…
“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” ~ Carl Sagan
Surely, that means that being laughed at has nothing to do with one’s real capabilities. One may be a genius or a clown, or both… :wink:

“Web 2.0” is a blurry catch-word from the 2000s and what it means has been realized since at least 2010 when social media became commonplace. “Industry 4.0” has nothing new since work got automated since the Industrial Revolution.

(Tim Groß) #5

Impossible is a big word. Donot use big words.