Technological advances pave the way for the rest of society
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 00:09
Technological developments are one of the most beneficial advances for society.
The year 1957 brought the world one of the most luxurious cars in history: the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. The "ultraluxury" four-door hardtop featured a unique body style, brushed stainless steel roof, quad headlights a year before most Detroit cars had them, power everything, the first memory seats ever, suicide rear doors and the revolutionary air suspension system.
All of this cost an astronomical $13,074 (enough to buy a new home at the time).
In an era where people were enamored by technological glitz, the Brougham was an absolute halo car. "The Cadillac of Cadillacs."
Fifty-four years after the Brougham, I was astonished when a Lexus ad played on a website I frequent.
The ad described a camera built into the dashboard that could read your facial expressions and determine if you were distracted or not. If it senses that you aren't focusing on the road and there's an object ahead, it will chime with a warning light, and if you don't react, it will gently apply the brakes.
Then the system will alter the steering ratio and allow the driver to steer around the object more easily.
I shouted a profanity-riddled statement at the end of the ad because, being a tech-geek, a system so sophisticated excited me.
Technological developments are quickly becoming more powerful and more dumbfounding.
Moore's law is a theoretical trend governing computer hardware that states "the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles about every two years."
Basically, it details an exponential growth of processing speed, memory capacity and sensors. As computers progressed from the massive house-sized instruments of the 1950s, the technology became smaller until our Lexus system was compact enough to fit in the car.
In recent years we've seen Smart Grids intelligently regulate household electricity use, the cell phone compact and give us a much wider variety of options than 10 years ago and viable home-theater 3D systems emerge. Skype has given us the ability to communicate via video with people hundreds of thousands miles away.
While some of these advancements have become so commonplace that we don't think anything of it, take a step back and appreciate the sheer wonder of it.
When technological developments are made, they positively affect all other aspects of society.
We have been provided environmental, communicative and entertainment advances that people not so long ago wouldn't even dream of. But the future is even more promising.
If the ballooning of technological development as a whole in the last century is any indication, then the 21st century is as shining as a 1957 Cadillac showroom.
Andrew is a sophomore majoring in journalism. He enjoys exploring the concepts of cynicism and optimism side by side. He is also a big fan of new wave/synthpop music.