Is technological growth currently stagnating?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,292
Brassicaland
#1
The 20th century of the Gregorian calendar (note: I am addicted to usage of other calendars) includes some of the most innovative and life changing technological developments such as:
The Internet and computers
CRES (Corrosion resistant steel, or stainless steel; when I was on a scientific forum, some posters insist on CRES rather than stainless steel. I often carry a few CRES items, such as a pen, a nail clipper, a watch and a ring).
I have mostly CRES watches; the exception is a Swatch automatic and a Casio watch, which is my traveling watch.
Passenger aviation technology
Automobile development
Data storage technology
The list seems to be endless when it comes to 20th century technological innovations.
Then, we are in the early part of the 21st century, and some people lament about potential technological stagnation.
Is it far from the truth?
What are the latest technological innovations?
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#2
The advance in certain ttechnologies have slowed, that is true, but that is always the case.

For example, an incandescent light bub made today is not much more advanced than one made 60 years ago. When you compare a car made in 1915 to one made in 1965, there is a world of diference in performance, in terms of speed, comfort, braking. But there differences between a car from 1965 and 2015 is not nearly as great. A car from 1915 could not keep up on freeway speeds, while a '65 var would have no problem. And a propeller driven P51 is as fast as any propellor plane we make today. A knife today is not that much more advanced than a good knife made 200 years ago, but still, today's knife isn't as likely to rusts.

But in other technological areas, technology is still advancing at a great rate, especially electeonics.. A smart phone of today is so much more powerful than one built 10 years ago. Memory storage is so much greater today than a decade ago, LED lighting has advance from where it was just a few years ago, as has flat screen TV. Solar power is so much cheaper than it was a couple decades ago. Technology overall is still advancing.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
#3
If some technologies are not longer evolving that is not necessarily to be lamented.
It is at least imaginable there could be some "optimum or ideal performance" in many fields. And I also think a later era when technological advances are not longer so "self-evident" could come, but that we are not there yet except for some technologies.
A coming age when scientific advancements are not longer so fast or changes that much is also poissible, perhaps even probable. Not here and now, but what about later 21.th century?
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,336
appalacian Mtns
#4
I think smartphones are hitting stagnation. I still have my HTC one max from 2013 & Verizon IMO doesn't offer anything today too equal it, much less surpass it. I wish they did. Firearms technology has stagnated also. The current U.S. std issue is the M4 carbine, which is a carbine version of the M16 whose design dates from the late 1950s. There have been dozens of new whiz bang models designed, but when they enter testing against the M4 as a control device guess who always wins?
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,292
Brassicaland
#5
The advance in certain ttechnologies have slowed, that is true, but that is always the case.

For example, an incandescent light bub made today is not much more advanced than one made 60 years ago. When you compare a car made in 1915 to one made in 1965, there is a world of diference in performance, in terms of speed, comfort, braking. But there differences between a car from 1965 and 2015 is not nearly as great. A car from 1915 could not keep up on freeway speeds, while a '65 var would have no problem. And a propeller driven P51 is as fast as any propellor plane we make today. A knife today is not that much more advanced than a good knife made 200 years ago, but still, today's knife isn't as likely to rusts.

But in other technological areas, technology is still advancing at a great rate, especially electeonics.. A smart phone of today is so much more powerful than one built 10 years ago. Memory storage is so much greater today than a decade ago, LED lighting has advance from where it was just a few years ago, as has flat screen TV. Solar power is so much cheaper than it was a couple decades ago. Technology overall is still advancing.
The incandescent light bulb is largely replaced by spiral bulbs and today, LED bulbs.
Here we observe obsolete technologies.
A few years ago, cell phones take hours to recharge; now, they take 2 hours at most (15% is dangerously low).
Unless one is a video fanatic, it is very unlikely to have a current 2T hard drive filled.
 
Oct 2017
6
Germany
#7
Advances become more and more "specialized" (such as on the Nano level or such as CRISPR), not in form of Steam Engines, which kind of distorts our view, to believe there is a stagnation and because society is used to technocratic solutions.
However, we did not have a massive jump in the form of the discovery of fire or faraday induction/electricity. Perhaps the Internet qualifies as a major step.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
#8
Some earlier "steps" seems, from my point of vew, to have involved relatively few people and economic ressources.
I think of examples as the first telsecopes early 17.th century and then contemporary ones like Hubble and those in Chile and even more next generations. The difference in prize, labor etcetera is likely almost "astronomical". The same for development of new generations of electronic devices and gadgets ( the computer or telephone or tablet we use right now). Or microscopes centuries ago invented by craftsmen in the Netherlands to electronic microscopes or CERNs particke accellerators. Laboratories of past phycisistst and chemists to the Manhattan project and further military and civilian projects as a huge part of the budgets of the biggest powers recently.
Or the cost of past expiditions exploring the unknown compared to the extreme costs of space programs. The vosts for making"new steps" seens to have grown at a rate that may not continue in the future. At least in some gields of technology.
 
Jun 2015
5,620
UK
#9
I don't agree. ICT is radically different to even ten or twenty years ago. IPv6 is still not being rolled out, and we will see kitchen devices soon which are Internet-capable.

We have electric cars, and even solar-powered cars on the market.

I think technological progress is still rapid.
 

Jake10

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
11,960
Canada
#10
When you think about the advances in prosthetic limbs, robotics and weapons, I would not say technology is stagnating. Especially when you see things like this:
Still other virtual reality companies were showing off their partnerships with sex toy companies to create vibrators or penis pumps that link to VR material. “As the action ramps up so does the vibrations of the vibrator,” he said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/28/...latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront
 

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