The rate of technological development
By Jeffrey Colin Edwards
If we look over the last century and examine the rate of technological growth. We can forgive ourselves for feeling a little proud about how quickly things have moved forward compared to the previous centuries. Flying at speed. Moving underwater stealthily. Travelling in space to name a fraction of what the human race has achieved in such a short span of time.
The big question though, is could we have progressed any faster and further in that space of time? The answer to that question is a big resounding YES!
Since we have been civilised enough to be able to maintain a system of currency, we have had to rely on that very method of exchange, and commerce has taken full advantage of this situation. In fact, commerce has become so powerful that it actually controls the rate at which we progress.
There are currently three levels of technology in existence.
1) Commercial Technology.
This is the technology we use in everyday life. Covering all manner of toys, tools and useful objects. However, the level at which commercial technology is at. Is higher than that used in commercially available products. Now we could argue that the technology they hold back, is not fully tested, and therefore not completely safe. This might be true in very small percentages. The major reason for holding back is good old money. It's all about making as much money out of a particular product before they move on to the next one. How many times have you seen products advertised as cutting edge at cut price? Only to find that they are outdated months later. Hard selling of latest technology at low prices is a key indicator that commerce is about to release a technologically superior product. So perhaps you can now see the control. What would happen to our technology if this didn't happen?
2) Military Technology.
This is more advanced than commercial technology. There's a lot of military technology we know about, and a lot we don't know about. Governments will hold back the release of this technology into the commercial arena, because it can give them a tactical advantage in a military sense. The components used in military hardware will generally have a longer life than those used in commercial products. I remember having a component catalogue in the 1980's. I could buy standard or military components. Standard were guaranteed for 1 year. Military for 5 years. They are generally more expensive. Commerce avoids using these products. The excuse is cost but it's more likely to be because they want to sell you products at regular intervals. Having a product that lasted for a long time would be counter productive to them.
3) Experimental Technology.
This area is way ahead of commercial technology, but is closely watched by the military. There are developments currently in progress which are things that you possibly, couldn't even comprehend, or didn't even think was in the realm of possibility. The deepest and most secret of these are run by government bodies, and some of them, apparently, don't exist. Again, this is for tactical reasons. If you could see what they were cooking up you would be amazed in one sense, and possibly frightened out of your skin.
So there we have it. After taking all these points into consideration, it's quite obvious to see that progress is thwarted by these processes. Well, let's see what the next few decades bring. Don't worry though. Most of it is already here.
About the Author
Jeffrey Edwards co-runs http://www.hammocksurvivalguide.com/ . Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine, newsletter or website as long as the article's content is not modified and all links are included.
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