Advancing Technology At An Unknown Speed

On page 85 of The Information by James Gleick, a book is spoken of that forever changed mathematics. Being referred to as “an electric flashlight sent to a lightless world. . .” one was left to wonder why nobody thought of the process sooner (Gleick 85). It is intriguing to wonder why technological/mathematical advancements happen at certain times. Is it out of necessity? Most likely not, due to the fact that we would be living perfectly fine without a good amount of the technology that we are lucky enough to have. The advancements sometimes seem to be driven by the human need for our endeavours to be easier or faster. In some cases, these advancements help us to diminish possible errors while attempting to make new advancements. Henry Briggs wondered why once the thought process or technology was discovered it seemed so obvious to us. Why didn’t someone simply think to invent things sooner? Most likely because certain technology needs other technology in order to help it progress, but are we truly advancing as fast as we can? When a man landed on the moon it wasn’t necessarily due to our longing for technological advancement, we did it in order to flaunt our advantages to other countries. In an ideal world, advancement would be made for the sake of advancing, having the ability to help people when they need it whether it be academically, mentally, medically and so on. All in all, it doesn’t matter too much what the purpose of the advancement is, as long as the result is put to good use. 

Thinking about the unrealized potential of our technology is almost frustrating. There is no way to guarantee that we are doing the best with what we have in regards to our society and culture. One of the only ways to promote using our resources to their full potential is by spreading awareness of the technology we have and the good that we can do with it. Classes on using technology are important, but I almost wonder if there needs to be more of an emphasis put on the thought process of what needs to be invented. How long have we been searching for a cure for cancer amongst other horrible illnesses and have come away empty handed? There must be a better way for developing our technology apart from things being accidentally discovered or advancements being made to spite other countries. It is likely that this would involve prioritizing certain sciences and thoughts that are often overlooked. It is even possible that the sciences we need haven’t even fully developed yet.

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