2012 December 24

Generational Tech


Baby Aidan on the computer

One of Aidan’s most-loved pastimes is pounding on the computer keys! He’s an Internet baby, no doubt about it.

I’m fascinated by technology, which means I’m lucky to be alive in the 21st century. Regardless of necessity’s role, invention begets invention. Technological developments build upon previous discoveries, so the more inventions exist, the more will be created. Technology increases exponentially.

For the first millenia of modern humanity, major new inventions were pretty rare. Life changed very little across the chiliads. But recent generations have seen numerous technological milestones. For no good reason, I thought I’d jot down what strike me as the most important inventions recent generations were the first to grow up with. Feel free to suggest others in the comments.

Note: By «recent generations», I mean my great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, self/spouse, and children. Basically, all the generations of my family I’ve actually known. (Two of my great-grandmothers lived to about 100, so I actually knew them pretty well.)

Great-Grandparents (born c. 1890)

  • Automobiles
  • Airplanes

Grandparents (born c. 1915)

  • Talking pictures
  • Nuclear weapons

Parents (born c. 1945)

  • Television
  • Space travel

Self / Spouse (born c. 1970)

  • Personal computing
  • World Wide Web

Children (born c. 2000)

  • Mobile computing

Other pages of interest

What Have I Got in My Pocket?