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Subject: Being at the Top has its Privileges rss

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Andre
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https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2017/07/05/bill-gates-ma...

Gates made 15 predictions in 1999, when the web (for consumers at least) was in its infancy. It is scary how many of them have actually come to pass. I suspect that being wealthy, and having your pulse on the current state of tech, allows you, to some extent, to control where things go, and turn those predictions into reality. In short, money makes money.

I suspect Bezos, Musk, Buffet and other billionaires display the same prescience that Gates did, partially because they are controlling the game. Obviously, to their ultimate enrichment.

I marvel at the fact that my grandparents saw the following advances in their lifetime;

Mass use of the light bulb, if not invention of it.
Invention of radio.
Invention of air flight.
Invention of the television.
Invention and prevalence of the autombile.
Invention of the computer, and the world wide web.
Invention of the microwave oven.
Man on the Moon.

I am sure there are others I cannot think of at the moment, but considering how each of the above have affected the overall status of mankind, in just a century, one can only wonder what marvels await us, and if they will come at a faster rate, than my grandparents saw. But I suspect that billionaires can see them, before we do.
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Les Marshall
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Hasn't it always been so?

And yet people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs started from relatively modest beginnings. Though we have fallen as the model of social mobility, the US remains a place where hard work and ingenuity can propel one up the social ladder and those people who are hooked in tend to remain aware of the opportunities of change.

As a much.....much smaller example, my mother in law did very well for herself in the stock market. This was despite the fact that she had no professional career and no education beyond high school. She did hitch her wagon to a successful business man who in turn contributed to education.

Over the course of many years the opportunity existed to attend school functions at Cal Tech which included talks and seminars by various experts on emerging technologies. My mother in law listened and then did homework before investing very modest sums and managed to create a sizable portfolio.

Time, persistence and diligence can open a lot of doors and there is a LOT of information out there if you bother to seek it out.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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It's actually easy to overlook some earlier rapidly spreading technologies. The railways spread at what was probably a faster rate than the Internet.
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AT&T did pretty well in 1993 too.



But we can still all identify with Commander Sisko.

 
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Mac Mcleod
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Rulesjd wrote:
Hasn't it always been so?

And yet people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs started from relatively modest beginnings. Though we have fallen as the model of social mobility, the US remains a place where hard work and ingenuity can propel one up the social ladder and those people who are hooked in tend to remain aware of the opportunities of change.

As a much.....much smaller example, my mother in law did very well for herself in the stock market. This was despite the fact that she had no professional career and no education beyond high school. She did hitch her wagon to a successful business man who in turn contributed to education.

Over the course of many years the opportunity existed to attend school functions at Cal Tech which included talks and seminars by various experts on emerging technologies. My mother in law listened and then did homework before investing very modest sums and managed to create a sizable portfolio.

Time, persistence and diligence can open a lot of doors and there is a LOT of information out there if you bother to seek it out.


Bill gates was top 10%-- he dropped out of Harvard, for cripes sake.

Agree on jobs. Middle income all the way. His parents did build a middle income 3 bed room home just so he could be in a better school district tho. So he wasn't poor.

We have reached a point where half of your income/wealth is determined by the wealth/income of your parents. Many of the better jobs are "inherited" rather than won on merit (consider judges, lawyers, politicians, and actor dynasties). It is much harder than it was even 30 years ago to advance purely on merit. If history is a good guide, that's probably going to get worse, not better until something breaks.
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Walt
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abadolato01 wrote:
I am sure there are others I cannot think of at the moment, but considering how each of the above have affected the overall status of mankind, in just a century, one can only wonder what marvels await us, and if they will come at a faster rate, than my grandparents saw. But I suspect that billionaires can see them, before we do.

I think one of the most pervasive developments has been manufacturing automation, greatly increasing the affordability, complexity, and quality of almost everything.

A crystal radio of the 1910s had only about a dozen components, while a smartphone, counting the components on the chips, has billions.

It's perhaps easier to count things that haven't changed much, like plumbing. (Materials have changed, but the mechanical bits are pretty much the same.)
 
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Rulesjd wrote:
And yet people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs started from relatively modest beginnings. Though we have fallen as the model of social mobility, the US remains a place where hard work and ingenuity can propel one up the social ladder and those people who are hooked in tend to remain aware of the opportunities of change.


Jobs, maybe (although the primary reason for his early wealth and success was because of his willingness to repeatedly take advantage of Steve Wozniak), but Bill Gates' father was a prominent Seattle lawyer and his maternal grandfather was a bank president; he could afford to drop out of university and tinker in his garage

there are a lot less social ladder success stories than you think
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James King
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Bill Gates cannot hold an analog candle next to the prognostic prowess of the legendary Criswell


Oh, please! Bill Gates cannot hold an analog candle next to the prognostic prowess of the legendary Criswell. You remember him, of course, from Edward D. Wood's classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space".







The following videos summarize Criswell's lasting legacy beyond "Plan 9 From Outer Space"....










Amazingly enough, Criswell and actress Mae West were best friends. She later recorded the following song in tribute to the great Criswell's prognostic prowess.






And in case you have any doubts about Criswell's prognostic prowess outside of his appearances in Edward D. Wood's films, I present to you the following 1970 LP record recording of Criswell entitled ....






Finally, in the immortal words of the legendary Criswell....





 
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Leland Pike
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Dearlove wrote:
It's actually easy to overlook some earlier rapidly spreading technologies. The railways spread at what was probably a faster rate than the Internet.

Was unable to find a link, but US News & World Report published an article at the end of 1999 that made the case that the truly earth-shaking technological adaptations happened the first half of the twentieth century and that we haven't done much besides expand on those advances since then.

They pointed out that if you made a time machine and took someone from year 1900 forward half a century, that person might well suffer a very discombobulating attack of future shock. It would actually be very hard to adjust.

On the other hand, if you moved someone forward fifty years from 1950 (or probably even to the present) they would certainly be very impressed, but there would be almost no technology they would not recognize, and none they could not cope with.

They had phones in 1950, and they had radios and walkie-talkies. They would get cell phones. They had computers, and the whole country (virtually the whole world, in fact) was wired together. They would not be surprised by the internet. (Probably sorely disappointed with what we are doing with it, though...)

What's around today that wasn't anticipated or even already being developed in the mid 1900s? But compare that to how much happened between the age of horse-and-buggy and jetliners!
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lelandpike wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
It's actually easy to overlook some earlier rapidly spreading technologies. The railways spread at what was probably a faster rate than the Internet.

Was unable to find a link, but US News & World Report published an article at the end of 1999 that made the case that the truly earth-shaking technological adaptations happened the first half of the twentieth century and that we haven't done much besides expand on those advances since then.

They pointed out that if you made a time machine and took someone from year 1900 forward half a century, that person might well suffer a very discombobulating attack of future shock. It would actually be very hard to adjust.

On the other hand, if you moved someone forward fifty years from 1950 (or probably even to the present) they would certainly be very impressed, but there would be almost no technology they would not recognize, and none they could not cope with.

They had phones in 1950, and they had radios and walkie-talkies. They would get cell phones. They had computers, and the whole country (virtually the whole world, in fact) was wired together. They would not be surprised by the internet. (Probably sorely disappointed with what we are doing with it, though...)

What's around today that wasn't anticipated or even already being developed in the mid 1900s? But compare that to how much happened between the age of horse-and-buggy and jetliners!

Isaac Asimov wrote a similar essay back in the 60s or 70s. He went further back though. Not sure where he started. Telegraph for sure was in and railroads.

His thesis was that science and technology do not do the impossible.

Instead they find a "crank" in the "wall that separates the known from the unknown". And keeps scratching at that crack until we can wiggle through and find a way to do what seemed impossible just a few years ago.

He seemed to think that we had run out of cracks that lead to wondrous things.

He also said that what had been accomplished so far really could not be improved that much. For example, if you can phone someone on the other side of the world and talk with a half second delay, would you really notice that the delay if it was reduced to just a tenth of a second. He also predicted that supersonic jets would not be a commercial success. He thought that the time saving was not worth the increased energy usage.

Of course there is AI which threatens to shock a human time traveler who goes forward to 2200 and finds that humans are extinct and AIs rule the world. Sort of like Planet of the Apes only different.
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Back to the Past's Visions of the Future


lelandpike wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
It's actually easy to overlook some earlier rapidly spreading technologies. The railways spread at what was probably a faster rate than the Internet.

Was unable to find a link, but US News & World Report published an article at the end of 1999 that made the case that the truly earth-shaking technological adaptations happened the first half of the twentieth century and that we haven't done much besides expand on those advances since then.

They pointed out that if you made a time machine and took someone from year 1900 forward half a century, that person might well suffer a very discombobulating attack of future shock. It would actually be very hard to adjust.

On the other hand, if you moved someone forward fifty years from 1950 (or probably even to the present) they would certainly be very impressed, but there would be almost no technology they would not recognize, and none they could not cope with.

They had phones in 1950, and they had radios and walkie-talkies. They would get cell phones. They had computers, and the whole country (virtually the whole world, in fact) was wired together. They would not be surprised by the internet. (Probably sorely disappointed with what we are doing with it, though...)

What's around today that wasn't anticipated or even already being developed in the mid 1900s? But compare that to how much happened between the age of horse-and-buggy and jetliners!

That question and others are answered by the following videos depicting past and present visions of the future.

I recommend you consider first checking out the 1930 film "Just Imagine!" which was just as ahead of its time in its satiric depiction of the future as the classic "The Shape Of Things To Come".




































































































 
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Christopher Dearlove
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lelandpike wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
It's actually easy to overlook some earlier rapidly spreading technologies. The railways spread at what was probably a faster rate than the Internet.

Was unable to find a link, but US News & World Report published an article at the end of 1999 that made the case that the truly earth-shaking technological adaptations happened the first half of the twentieth century and that we haven't done much besides expand on those advances since then.

They pointed out that if you made a time machine and took someone from year 1900 forward half a century, that person might well suffer a very discombobulating attack of future shock. It would actually be very hard to adjust.

On the other hand, if you moved someone forward fifty years from 1950 (or probably even to the present) they would certainly be very impressed, but there would be almost no technology they would not recognize, and none they could not cope with.

They had phones in 1950, and they had radios and walkie-talkies. They would get cell phones. They had computers, and the whole country (virtually the whole world, in fact) was wired together. They would not be surprised by the internet. (Probably sorely disappointed with what we are doing with it, though...)

What's around today that wasn't anticipated or even already being developed in the mid 1900s? But compare that to how much happened between the age of horse-and-buggy and jetliners!


I think goes too far the other way. In 1950 there were very few computers, they were massive, primitive by even a few years' time comparison, and hadn't even reached the level of penetration where businesses had them for business purposes.

Compare that to the pocket supercomputer with access to all the world's information (unforeseen except by a very, very few visionaries in 1950) that I'm typing this on, and that's future shock. It would be not be hard to teach a 1950 person to use a smartphone, but in large part that's down to that design for mass use is part of the advances since then. But in part that's because modern technology is magic, most people just use it and haven't a clue how it works. That's how the 1950s person would handle it. If you to want to see awe (hypothetically) take an expert from 1950, show him an iPhone and provide him technical details (speed, capacity, screen resolution, how big the Internet is, etc. etc.) He'd be gobsmacked (don't forget Moore's Law was not yet a thing).
 
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Many of these predictions are like prophecies - there are lots of them and most go wrong. The mobile communicator (normally seen as Buck Rogers wrist phone) was oft predicted … but not that it would lead to a third of a cities population walking around with the gadget to their ear.
Portable text messaging was barely considered before a clever engineer added it to the spec for mobile phones. Then it was ignored for a couple of years and then suddenly became viral.

One may also think about how much belief in the possibility of antibiotics there was before the 1920s (say)

Some early quotes about the telephone and technology:
Quote:

The telephone is so named by its inventor A.G. Bell. He believes that one day they will be installed in every residence and place of business. Bell's profession is that of a voice teacher. Yet he claims to have discovered an instrument of great practical value in communication which has been overlooked by thousands of workers who have spent years in the field. Bell's proposals to place his instrument in almost every home and business place is fantastic. The central exchange alone would represent a huge outlay in real estate and buildings, to say nothing of the electrical equipment. In conclusion, the committee feels that it must advise against any investments in Bell's scheme. We do not doubt that it will find users in special circumstances, but any development of the kind and scale which Bell so fondly imagines is utterly out of the question.
From the minutes of the 1876 meeting in which Western Union considered an offer by Bell in which offered all rights to the telephone for sale to Western Union for a mere $100,000. Quoted on page 76 of the book The Telephone and Its Several Inventors by Lewis Coe (1995).

"My department is in possession of knowledge of the details of [the telephone], and the possible use of the telephone is limited."

When news of Alexander Graham Bell's invention reached the United Kingdom, the engineer-in-chief of the British Post Office failed to be impressed. "The Americans," he said loftily, "have need of the telephone—but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys..."

In contrast to the British engineer, the mayor of a certain American town was wildly enthusiastic. He thought that the telephone was a marvellous device and ventured this stunning prediction:
"I can see the time," he said solemnly, "when every city will have one."

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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andyholt wrote:
Many of these predictions are like prophecies - there are lots of them and most go wrong. The mobile communicator (normally seen as Buck Rogers wrist phone) was oft predicted … but not that it would lead to a third of a cities population walking around with the gadget to their ear.
Portable text messaging was barely considered before a clever engineer added it to the spec for mobile phones. Then it was ignored for a couple of years and then suddenly became viral.

One may also think about how much belief in the possibility of antibiotics there was before the 1920s (say)

Some early quotes about the telephone and technology:
Quote:

The telephone is so named by its inventor A.G. Bell. He believes that one day they will be installed in every residence and place of business. Bell's profession is that of a voice teacher. Yet he claims to have discovered an instrument of great practical value in communication which has been overlooked by thousands of workers who have spent years in the field. Bell's proposals to place his instrument in almost every home and business place is fantastic. The central exchange alone would represent a huge outlay in real estate and buildings, to say nothing of the electrical equipment. In conclusion, the committee feels that it must advise against any investments in Bell's scheme. We do not doubt that it will find users in special circumstances, but any development of the kind and scale which Bell so fondly imagines is utterly out of the question.
From the minutes of the 1876 meeting in which Western Union considered an offer by Bell in which offered all rights to the telephone for sale to Western Union for a mere $100,000. Quoted on page 76 of the book The Telephone and Its Several Inventors by Lewis Coe (1995).

"My department is in possession of knowledge of the details of [the telephone], and the possible use of the telephone is limited."

When news of Alexander Graham Bell's invention reached the United Kingdom, the engineer-in-chief of the British Post Office failed to be impressed. "The Americans," he said loftily, "have need of the telephone—but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys..."

In contrast to the British engineer, the mayor of a certain American town was wildly enthusiastic. He thought that the telephone was a marvellous device and ventured this stunning prediction:
"I can see the time," he said solemnly, "when every city will have one."

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943


In 1800 people married people from less than 3 miles. Most people had never been 20 miles from their birthplace. In 1851 6 million people went to the great exhibition. (1/3 of the entire population).
The nineteenth century is the period of greatest change in the UK.
 
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Dearlove wrote:
...But in part that's because modern technology is magic, most people just use it and haven't a clue how it works.


I once had a person come up to me at a party in the mid 2000's, and we had the following exchange:

Him: You work in computers, right?
Me: Sort of.
Him: How does the Internet work?
(There was a brief pause while I pondered my response)
Me: You don't want to know.
Him: No, I do. Is it, like, how phones work?
Me: It's quite complicated.
Him: Can't be that complicated. You just, you know, connect to the Internet and then it dials up the website...right.
Me: Yes. Yes, that's it exactly. Ah, I see my wife needs a drink, would you excuse me...



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DavidDearlove wrote:

In 1800 people married people from less than 3 miles. Most people had never been 20 miles from their birthplace. In 1851 6 million people went to the great exhibition. (1/3 of the entire population).
The nineteenth century is the period of greatest change in the UK.


We're back to your brother's comment about railways (really about the Steam Engine as that was the enabling technology for the railway)

How would Napoleon have done if he'd had railway technology 50 years early? I'm not sure that the acw is totally an example.
 
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wrote:

How would Napoleon have done if he'd had railway technology 50 years early? I'm not sure that the acw is totally an example.


He would have built a giant water slide
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A Major Social Change That Came About Because Of A Miracle Drug

Before the introduction of Penicillin in 1942 to fight infection, death from disease had been a more prevalent every-day fact of life. The quality of life across the world was poor and humans had a considerably shorter lifespan than they do today. Before the discovery of Penicillin, medicine was not very reliable for curing diseases or infections.

Bacterial infections ranked as a leading cause of death. These infections spread easily and diseases such as pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and scarlet fever as well as wounds and childbirth infections killed thousands every year. Surgical infections were also a major killer, and doctors had no protection from any of these infections.

Before penicillin, there were multiple antibiotics that could help some diseases, but not completely. Those antibiotics could clear some of the bacteria from the body, but they could not clear the disease from you. A lot more people became seriously ill or died when they were infected by bacteria. Most of the time, they would have to hope that the natural defense of their immune system would be able to fight and defeat the infection. Many people in the late 1800s-1920s even died from the common cold.

Naturally, the death rate was somewhat higher back then, too, so much so that it inspired the science of Eugenics whose original main aim had been to make the human body heartier and more able to withstand and fend off disease.

The discovery of Penicillin changed the lives of people forever, because it provided a cure for many deadly infections, and its discovery led to the discovery of many other antibiotics, such as Streptomycin, which are used to treat every-day infections for countless ailments, saving and improving lives throughout the world.

So, I would think that those people who were in their 30s and 40s (nearing their mid-life years) when Penicillin was introduced in the early 1940s probably witnessed the most dramatic change of all in seeing ill people survive diseases and illnesses that had prior killed their late acquaintances, friends, and relatives.


 
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We are fascinated by the obvious glitter of some inventions, but it's easy to misjudge the impact of technological advances. For instance, I've seen quite a few sociologists make the case that one of the most life-altering inventions of the industrial era has been the automatic washing machine, that we take for granted and don't see as "technological progress" to the level of railway or radio, but had a crucial impact in how time was spent in families around the globe.
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

Before the introduction of Penicillin in 1942 to fight infection, death from disease had been a more prevalent every-day fact of life. The quality of life across the world was poor and humans had a considerably shorter lifespan than they do today. Before the discovery of Penicillin, medicine was not very reliable for curing diseases or infections.

Bacterial infections ranked as a leading cause of death. These infections spread easily and diseases such as pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and scarlet fever as well as wounds and childbirth infections killed thousands every year. Surgical infections were also a major killer, and doctors had no protection from any of these infections.

Before penicillin, there were multiple antibiotics that could help some diseases, but not completely. Those antibiotics could clear some of the bacteria from the body, but they could not clear the disease from you. A lot more people became seriously ill or died when they were infected by bacteria. Most of the time, they would have to hope that the natural defense of their immune system would be able to fight and defeat the infection. Many people in the late 1800s-1920s even died from the common cold.

Naturally, the death rate was somewhat higher back then, too, so much so that it inspired the science of Eugenics whose original main aim had been to make the human body heartier and more able to withstand and fend off disease.

The discovery of Penicillin changed the lives of people forever, because it provided a cure for many deadly infections, and its discovery led to the discovery of many other antibiotics, such as Streptomycin, which are used to treat every-day infections for countless ailments, saving and improving lives throughout the world.

So, I would think that those people who were in their 30s and 40s (nearing their mid-life years) when Penicillin was introduced in the early 1940s probably witnessed the most dramatic change of all in seeing ill people survive diseases and illnesses that had prior killed their late acquaintances, friends, and relatives.



Nineteenth century anaesthesia, germ theory of disease and antiseptic surgery actually made more difference. child bed fever was almost eliminated and abdominal surgery such as appendectomies became routine.
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DavidDearlove wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

Before the introduction of Penicillin in 1942 to fight infection, death from disease had been a more prevalent every-day fact of life. The quality of life across the world was poor and humans had a considerably shorter lifespan than they do today. Before the discovery of Penicillin, medicine was not very reliable for curing diseases or infections.

Bacterial infections ranked as a leading cause of death. These infections spread easily and diseases such as pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and scarlet fever as well as wounds and childbirth infections killed thousands every year. Surgical infections were also a major killer, and doctors had no protection from any of these infections.

Before penicillin, there were multiple antibiotics that could help some diseases, but not completely. Those antibiotics could clear some of the bacteria from the body, but they could not clear the disease from you. A lot more people became seriously ill or died when they were infected by bacteria. Most of the time, they would have to hope that the natural defense of their immune system would be able to fight and defeat the infection. Many people in the late 1800s-1920s even died from the common cold.

Naturally, the death rate was somewhat higher back then, too, so much so that it inspired the science of Eugenics whose original main aim had been to make the human body heartier and more able to withstand and fend off disease.

The discovery of Penicillin changed the lives of people forever, because it provided a cure for many deadly infections, and its discovery led to the discovery of many other antibiotics, such as Streptomycin, which are used to treat every-day infections for countless ailments, saving and improving lives throughout the world.

So, I would think that those people who were in their 30s and 40s (nearing their mid-life years) when Penicillin was introduced in the early 1940s probably witnessed the most dramatic change of all in seeing ill people survive diseases and illnesses that had prior killed their late acquaintances, friends, and relatives.

Nineteenth century anaesthesia, germ theory of disease and antiseptic surgery actually made more difference. child bed fever was almost eliminated and abdominal surgery such as appendectomies became routine.

By the same token, though, those Americans who were in their 30s and 40s when Penicillin would have had a much profounder perspective from having lived through the first 30 or 40 years of their lives when Penicillin didn't exist versus the final 30 or more years of their lives after Penicillin had been introduced. They would have had a more insightful perspective on the impact that Penicillin made to the world at large.

 
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lelandpike wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
It's actually easy to overlook some earlier rapidly spreading technologies. The railways spread at what was probably a faster rate than the Internet.

Was unable to find a link, but US News & World Report published an article at the end of 1999 that made the case that the truly earth-shaking technological adaptations happened the first half of the twentieth century and that we haven't done much besides expand on those advances since then.

They pointed out that if you made a time machine and took someone from year 1900 forward half a century, that person might well suffer a very discombobulating attack of future shock. It would actually be very hard to adjust.

On the other hand, if you moved someone forward fifty years from 1950 (or probably even to the present) they would certainly be very impressed, but there would be almost no technology they would not recognize, and none they could not cope with.

They had phones in 1950, and they had radios and walkie-talkies. They would get cell phones. They had computers, and the whole country (virtually the whole world, in fact) was wired together. They would not be surprised by the internet. (Probably sorely disappointed with what we are doing with it, though...)

What's around today that wasn't anticipated or even already being developed in the mid 1900s? But compare that to how much happened between the age of horse-and-buggy and jetliners!


There's plenty of good counters to the argument: Our productivity might not have changed a whole lot, but that doesn't make our existing advancements weak: It can just mean that they are the kind that take longer to be put to bear, because to really get a lot out of it, changes have to be pretty fundamental.

Take electricity. Today we might think that going from the first electric generators to changing how the world lived and made things happened in an instant, but it didn't. For example, early attempts at electrifying factories involved trying to just replace gigantic steam engines with gigantic generators that drove all the machines the exact same way. That didn't make a difference. To make electricity work, you have to rethink the factory, and then the way you do everything changes.

The first increases in productivity given to us by computers were just plain replacements of existing processes: So close, in fact, that you can often see the paper forms that were replaced if you squint just a little. Anyone that has looked at health billing or medical records sees that it's all an old school nightmare that hasn't been rethought in decades. When instead of just taking an existing system and replacing pieces with computers, we design companies around what computers can do, we get bigger gains, and most of the world hasn't done that.

Therefore, it's pretty likely that the innovations that we've had in the last couple of decades just haven't been applied to many industries, and we are about to see changes that we haven't seen in a century.
 
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David Dearlove
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:
DavidDearlove wrote:
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

Before the introduction of Penicillin in 1942 to fight infection, death from disease had been a more prevalent every-day fact of life. The quality of life across the world was poor and humans had a considerably shorter lifespan than they do today. Before the discovery of Penicillin, medicine was not very reliable for curing diseases or infections.

Bacterial infections ranked as a leading cause of death. These infections spread easily and diseases such as pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and scarlet fever as well as wounds and childbirth infections killed thousands every year. Surgical infections were also a major killer, and doctors had no protection from any of these infections.

Before penicillin, there were multiple antibiotics that could help some diseases, but not completely. Those antibiotics could clear some of the bacteria from the body, but they could not clear the disease from you. A lot more people became seriously ill or died when they were infected by bacteria. Most of the time, they would have to hope that the natural defense of their immune system would be able to fight and defeat the infection. Many people in the late 1800s-1920s even died from the common cold.

Naturally, the death rate was somewhat higher back then, too, so much so that it inspired the science of Eugenics whose original main aim had been to make the human body heartier and more able to withstand and fend off disease.

The discovery of Penicillin changed the lives of people forever, because it provided a cure for many deadly infections, and its discovery led to the discovery of many other antibiotics, such as Streptomycin, which are used to treat every-day infections for countless ailments, saving and improving lives throughout the world.

So, I would think that those people who were in their 30s and 40s (nearing their mid-life years) when Penicillin was introduced in the early 1940s probably witnessed the most dramatic change of all in seeing ill people survive diseases and illnesses that had prior killed their late acquaintances, friends, and relatives.

Nineteenth century anaesthesia, germ theory of disease and antiseptic surgery actually made more difference. child bed fever was almost eliminated and abdominal surgery such as appendectomies became routine.

By the same token, though, those Americans who were in their 30s and 40s when Penicillin would have had a much profounder perspective from having lived through the first 30 or 40 years of their lives when Penicillin didn't exist versus the final 30 or more years of their lives after Penicillin had been introduced. They would have had a more insightful perspective on the impact that Penicillin made to the world at large.


This makes no sense. Why wouldn't this apply to anything.
 
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Khalid Shabazz
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Kurt Vonnegut's first novel Player Piano from 1952 is pretty predictive on technology, not necessarily the details of it (the computers are still running on vacuum tubes), but its social implications.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:

Before the introduction of Penicillin in 1942 to fight infection, death from disease had been a more prevalent every-day fact of life. The quality of life across the world was poor and humans had a considerably shorter lifespan than they do today. Before the discovery of Penicillin, medicine was not very reliable for curing diseases or infections.

Bacterial infections ranked as a leading cause of death. These infections spread easily and diseases such as pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and scarlet fever as well as wounds and childbirth infections killed thousands every year. Surgical infections were also a major killer, and doctors had no protection from any of these infections.

Before penicillin, there were multiple antibiotics that could help some diseases, but not completely. Those antibiotics could clear some of the bacteria from the body, but they could not clear the disease from you. A lot more people became seriously ill or died when they were infected by bacteria. Most of the time, they would have to hope that the natural defense of their immune system would be able to fight and defeat the infection. Many people in the late 1800s-1920s even died from the common cold.

Naturally, the death rate was somewhat higher back then, too, so much so that it inspired the science of Eugenics whose original main aim had been to make the human body heartier and more able to withstand and fend off disease.

The discovery of Penicillin changed the lives of people forever, because it provided a cure for many deadly infections, and its discovery led to the discovery of many other antibiotics, such as Streptomycin, which are used to treat every-day infections for countless ailments, saving and improving lives throughout the world.

So, I would think that those people who were in their 30s and 40s (nearing their mid-life years) when Penicillin was introduced in the early 1940s probably witnessed the most dramatic change of all in seeing ill people survive diseases and illnesses that had prior killed their late acquaintances, friends, and relatives.


Antibiotics were important. As were vaccines. But the single biggest improvement was in sanitation.
 
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