Every generation looks back on previous generations with some disdain (those darn people did all this) and also with some reverence (what would have life been like if we did not have…). Here in 2022, we certainly can do a lot of that. We have our share of problems, most certainly caused by previous generations and we have our share of luxuries also created by previous generations. We often look to the marvels of the previous century as we examine our lives. However, just like the early 1900s the people of the time did not realize that the work they were about would completely change the world for those living in the early 2000s. Here we are in the same predicament. What we not realize is the amazing things our generation is producing now that will impact the people in the 2100s.
I sat here and started thinking of all the things that have come out since 2000. That was 22 years ago for me. I am thinking about this because we were married in 1997, just three years before the fateful 2000. Everyone at that time was predicting technical Armageddon due to the “computer clock bug” where computing was not prepared for 00. Turns out this was a big non-issue and recovered pretty quickly with some clever software updates. Also gave us an excuse to kick those machines built in the 60s to the curb (finally). The advanced in personal wearable computing have been nuts. I see people today, riding around on electronic wheeled devices that have plenty of power to keep them going. Remember the Segway launched in 2001. I see cars, completely soundless roaming my neighborhood with people shaded in blue light from LCD screen. Remember the Toyota Prius came out in 2003. I see people running past me wearing shoes and other gadgets reporting data to them and their devices. Remember Adidas developed their microprocessor shoes in 2004, yes the shoes that can report to your applications on your running performance, shoe conditions, etc. I learn from and watch people talk about anything I am curious about on a streaming content, developed with nothing less than a webcam. Remember YouTube happened in 2005. I see people roaming around doing all sorts of things with a device in the palm of their hand. Remember Apple iPhone came out in 2007.
The list is quite incredible. I know my own family personal DNA history now because I can spit in a cup and have my DNA analyzed against a large accumulated database. Pathway Genomics release that mailable DNA testing kit in 2008. Even Google was not a public company until 2004. So “google it” did not become a thing until then. Heck, Google Maps was not launched until 2005, so we were all wandering around lost before then I guess. Bluetooth, FlashDrives, 3D printing, Amazon Kindle are all completely revolutionary in their own right. All of that happened in the last two decades. However, after going through that list, the real massive impacting things I have not even covered yet!
Mars Rover, multi-use rockets, telescopes in space, and large hadron colliders all surfaced since 2000. These all have the ability to massively transform society in the next 100 years. We can now edit DNA, we can teleport atom information from one atom to another atom with software, we can keep people alive with artificial hearts, lungs, and kidneys. We can communicate to human nerve endings to make artificial limbs work, transfer visual data to the blind and communicate touch and feel through artificial devices. Not to mention driverless cars.
Yeah, we live in transformative times – for sure.