Recently, I saw the following video on one of my friend’s personal blogs:
My first thoughts were of all of the 50’s sci-fi I’ve read. You know the type, people getting rockets equipped with super computers sporting “millions of vacuum tubes” and flying to Jupiter’s moons… in 1995. The vast bulk of the literature I’ve read far overestimated many types of technology such as space travel, while simultaneously underestimating the incredible computer technology that actually did become reality. So, I found myself immediately wondering what sorts of technological progress the video over-stated and what sorts it understated.
I mean, with several decades of incredible breakthroughs in computing, it’s really easy to over-estimate, right? Just as my great-grandmother, who grew-up in a time in which cars were unseen and then lived to see planes, and eventually space-faring rockets might have over-estimated future progress in transportation technology, isn’t it reasonable to consider that we might be over-estimating advances in information technology? Maybe, maybe not. Raymond Kurzweil, one of the leading authors on transhumanism and futurism makes a pretty good case that we have very good reasons to expect continued exponential growth in a wide variety of fields that hinge on information technologies.