Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Lifestyle / News

Previous generations would be in awe of our technology

By Ian Morrison | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-11 07:20
Share - WeChat

The convenience we enjoy in today's society is something that has never failed to astound me.

The quantum leaps in technological progress over the past century are unmatched in the vast span of human civilization.

I use the century as my measure, as that is the period of time I can most easily relate to, given that my grandparents began their lives just over 100 years ago in the early 1920s, and the experiences of their lives were related to me by them as I was growing up.

Ian Morrison

If their parents, who were born in the Victorian era, had been told what remarkable advances would occur during the lives of their children, they would have dismissed the predictions as, at best, science fiction, and at worst, the ravings of a madman.

For them, the cinema and electricity were remarkable achievements of the age. And sadly, many technological "achievements" in the field of engineering were deployed in this era in the slaughter of World War I.

Today's breakthroughs in artificial intelligence would be totally beyond their comprehension. When my grandparents were little children, the "household name" of the BBC didn't even exist, with the iconic British Broadcasting Corporation being established in 1927 in an era when radio was considered to be a "breakthrough" and television was only in the public discourse as something that people could possibly experience in the future. In fact, the first reference to "television" by the BBC was a radio drama play broadcast from its Glasgow studios on May 8, 1925, which was set in the year 4000 AD. So the "possibility" of television was certainly seen as a prospect in the very distant future in those days and was definitely in the realms of science fiction.

My grandparents' lives spanned an era in which radio was a "new "thing, all the way to the advent of the internet. I don't think any other generation will experience such transformations and changes on such a profound scale.

Even how I am writing this very story would have seemed like science fiction to the people of the 1920s, with no paper, no pen, no ink and no typewriter, just words appearing on a screen.

The reason I want to refer to something which we consider "everyday" and "mundane" is that it really only seems like that to us. To previous generations, what we consider "normal" would be truly remarkable. So you should take this into account the next time you order food delivery or watch a video on a device in the palm of your hand. Even in my youth in the 1970s and '80s, this would have been unimaginable.

Consider how lucky we are to have all this convenience and please do not take it for granted.

Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349