Walter Russell Mead–Technology, Time and Space

On this first Sunday of 2013…we think it’s worth remembering where we are and where we’ve come from….

The fact that traveling from New York to California is now over a hundred times faster than it was 150 years ago is worth reflecting on. Between the invention of the wheel and that of the wheelbarrow, thousands of years passed; but between da Vinci’s drawings of flying machines and the Wright brothers’ first flight, only four centuries had gone by.

It’s in the nature of technological progress to accelerate, and the rate of acceleration has picked up in recent centuries. In 1900, automobiles weren’t yet being mass-produced, nor had the Wright brothers achieved flight yet. The century wasn’t seven decades in when car ownership reached a quarter-billion people worldwide, and men were traveling safely to and from the moon.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Science & Technology