The End of Invention?

Discussion in 'The Future' started by Juiceman3000, May 8, 2004.

  1. Juiceman3000

    Juiceman3000 Banned

    Consider the dramatic life-changing inventions and discoveries over the last 200 years.

    There was a time when you could not get through one single year without someone, somewhere discovering a brand new element, chemical or law of physics.

    Heck, planets were being discovered and every month someone discovered a moon or galaxy it seemed!

    Then the inventions derived from this were life-changing.
    Just think of the amazement and REAL WORLD changes the day people started implementing lightbulbs.
    It literally changed the way people slept, ate and even learned.

    The car. Simply amazing. My Grandfather was one of the first people in his town to own a car! He compared it to someone pulling into your neighbourhood in a jet-engined aircraft. People would come out to get rides and experience 40+ miles an hour!
    (remember.. that speed was literally an unknown physical sensation to a lot of them!)

    Trains, cars and especially planes dramatically changed their worlds. My Grandfather was able to have a relationship (and marry) a girl from over 5 hours away!!!)

    Consider the astonishing changes between 1920 to 30. 30's to 40'. 40s to 70's and so on.

    The atomic bomb. It actually changed the entire perception of war, peace and our world. People actually woke up with an entirely new way of thinking and living.

    The Telephone literally changed people lives. Good Gad - you could SPEAK to anyone in the world just by pressing some buttons!

    Television and radio literally changed the way people conducted daily activities and understood the world around them.

    Medicine was finding ways to actually CURE diseases. Not just treat them but actually eliminate them.
    This changed people lives in real signifigant ways.

    People landed on the MOON! It didnt really 'do' anything but can you imagine the signifigant change in our perceptions that had.
    Our entire concept of where we stood in the Universe 'changed' in people minds.


    NOW:

    Im asking this question. What and where have these things gone?

    Honestly, in the last 20 years. Since 1984 have their been any real life-changing discoveries?

    Whens the last time an entirely new concept came about to actually change and effect daily lives?

    New Elements?
    New Chemicals?

    New forms of travel?

    Do things really even 'look' different?

    Sure they put OLD style molded body panels on cars but is there any real signifigant difference between an 84 Jeep and a 2004 Jeep?

    Ok, now heres two changes: Now anyone can have a cellphone. That is good because before it was only Army field Units or very rich Saudi billionaires.

    The rest of us had to pull over and use a payphone!

    The internet: You used to have to be CIA, otherwise you had to use a telephone and speak your words.

    Otherwise Im kinda stumped.

    Space shuttles are disintegrating.
    The fasted jets (concorde) are now being shelved.

    Cars still get the same gas mileage for fucks sake and just as many people die in car accidents as ever - wasnt that supposed to be changed with technology and 'the future' !?

    Im looking for NEW innovations that are actually changing and improving peoples real daily lives?

    Note: I dont consider a 90gig harddrive to be a 'life changing' innovation OR a 'new' invention.
    Im looking for something that actualy changes the way we do things or the direction we are going?
     
  2. Graham

    Graham Member

    There have been big medical and techonological steps. As well as the advansement of preexisting tech. However i understand what you mean about the lack of new inventions, i guess most stuff was invented to make our lives easyer and most of the ideas are now taken.
     
  3. *Anne85*

    *Anne85* Member

    yeah, i agree, all the good stuff has been invented already
     
  4. Aditi

    Aditi Member

    Brilliant post.
    The other day my cousin in law school was telling lawyer jokes and we were saying the last thing we need are more lawyers. I was saying how there were too many of everything and what I really wanted were more INVENTORS! My sentiments exactly - we need some friggin society altering inventions. Not shit like yet amother new pharmie drug for penis malfunction or a holographic television image.
    I was watching Brave New World on sci-fi channel the other day. One of the conditioned members of society was saying how he thought that science was the everything that their "perfect" civilization was based on. The head in command guy says, no that technology for the purposes of the most efficient and sucessful society according to the agenda is actually the driving force there.
    It's quite obvious. Calling all inventors with huge amounts of capital . . . .
    Ahh 1984 indeed.
    Is there hope? Of course I like to pretend/intend that there is. :)
     
  5. ImmortalDissident

    ImmortalDissident Senior Member

    Being from the home of Boeing, I must say that while new forms of transportation are not being made (though they could be, confidentially), there are some incredibly mind-blowing projects in the making. As far as inventions like dish washers, the printing press, etc... I haven't really witnessed anything. We get a lousy microwave bacon cooker and a pot with a strainer as a lid (awesome!). In chemistry though, with the elements, I don't know if you study chemistry or anything but there are holes on the periodic table waiting to be filled and i'm sure hundreds of chemists are looking for those as we speak. And you can't forget about the new planet that has just been discovered, or the white nova that keeps time better than anything we've ever found.

    There are things... it just takes time for them to develop.

    Ever seen the movie The Hudsucker Proxy? I never liked hula hoops as much.
     
  6. the newest invention should be highered collective consciousness then maybe we can learn to float through space and let go...or walk on water, or help plants grow with our minds...or, well, who knows.
     
  7. Flowerian

    Flowerian Senior Member

    I think the real big inventions haven't been made yet. Think of fusion (fission? don't know in english ;)) technology, of the current research on antigravitation or something like this. And don't forget, the nature of things which have not been invented yet is that they are not known ;)
     
  8. Aditi

    Aditi Member

    Yeah, I was watching Elegant Universe, and was fascinated with these competing teams of physicists that send atoms through underground tubes at light speed to crash with other ones, hoping to witness/find evidence of sparticles, crazy gravity fields and all. This was quite exciting stuff to see. Basically looking for physical evidence to go with the mathmatics of string theory. Very cool stuff. These scientists are committed and hell bent on proving/looking for something that may not even be there. Out on a limb -- I lvoe it.
     
  9. Shakra

    Shakra Member

    Well as regards modes of transport, since the engines that power cars, trains, planes etc currently rely on fossil fuels which are fast running out, then I am not sure there can be any more inventions there. Sure they can try to improve upon models of existing engines, to make them run cleaner, and go further on less fuel, which they are already doing but until they crack a new power source then I don’t think we will see any fantastic new advances in travel anytime soon.



    They have however developed working engines that run on hydrogen fuel cells, at present these are very expensive and bulky, and until they figure out a way to make them more compact, efficient and cheaper then I guess we all have to wait for the next big thing as regards transportation.



    I would rather they spent all their resources on finding a new, safer, cleaner, renewable power source for now, be it fusion or photoelectric conversion. I hope they crack something soon.



    Also I think the lack of research and thus invention may also be due to funding. I don’t know what it’s like in other countries but in the UK there is very little money that goes into research.



    Still there are huge advancements going on in genetics the practical applications of which are simply mind boggling and terrifying.



    Another spooky thought are nano-bots. Imagine millions of tiny machines that could manipulate matter at the atomic level. They could literally build you anything you wanted. More chilling though is the thought that these machines would also be small enough to slip into the cells of your body, and literally take you apart, atom-by-atom.



    Now imagine the military applications for advancements like these! Yeah I’m a pessimist I know.
     
  10. some pretty astounding things have happened recently in terms of invention.
    just because your physical food and body aren't getting cooked and moved differently, doesn't negate the importance of such developments as advanced internet searching (google, archives like Ebscohost, forums like this!) and internet commerce. think about this...the entire way we think is changing because of database/archiving advances. information is easily collected now, so individual knowledge is becoming secondary in importance to reasoning, synthesis, and problem solving.
    a lot of bio-tech breakthroughs could be occurring soon too, thanks to genome project research. Stem cells, if research was supported, could yield world changing results.
     
  11. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    the end? nah, no where near!

    remember anything is possible
     
  12. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    good one!

    just think what would be possible then! einstein said if we ever got to usin 100%(we only use like 5 or so now!!!) we would be pure energy. oooo the possibilities.
     
  13. Juiceman3000

    Juiceman3000 Banned

    Aditi,
    its funny you mentioned 'too many lawyers' because Ive been wondering if that doesnt have a lot to do with the lack of 'public' innovations and inventions.
    It seems like whenever I do hear of some new invention - its often followed by some comment like
    "Ya.. but if ... and when.. and if another company... then they would get sued"

    Its like every segment of the marketplace has already established itself, protected itself and anything 'novel' will be immediately challenged and quashed.

    Now,, I did come across what I consider a 'real life changing' discovery/invention and guess what... a regular 'creative' everyday 'garage inventor' came up with it"

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4723367/?GT1=3391

    Supposedly, this can use wind-power to grind almost anything into dust.
    This is really amazing because it might dramatically reduce landfills, make for safer disposal and even be used to create easily separated product out of refuse!

    Now again the big question - will this thing simply get 'ignored away' by the various markets that simply do not want to change or be left behind?

    Will you find out that nothing came to fruition because, really, your city has contracts with unions, who have deals with landfills, who have to 'protect' their budgets etc etc?

    THIS is the kind of person I want to see more of - dreamers, nutty professors and backyard mechanics coming up with real practical and truly unique ways to make our actual daily lives better.
     
  14. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    all the good stuff has been invented already?

    gee thanx, i needed a good laugh!
    you know who else said that?
    ben franklin,
    and that was before even the steamship or the wireless telegarph.
    sure perpetual motion may not be inventable in this universe but neither ftl nor gravity modulation are utterly and entirly ruled out by what is known, just only made to seem for the moment somewhat improbable.
    if people from other worlds are running arround in space with these things there's no reason our own world and species might not just come up with them too.
    of more immediate interest and use, how about life sized lego blox to make houses out of made from polymerised SiO2, the most common element in crust and core of our planet, or electrical storage batteries that can be recharged thousands even tens or hundrends of thousands more times as many times as any we have now. really cheep ways of mass producing photovoltaic cells. a REALLY safe AND useful way to RECYCLE spent nuclear fuel ...
    there's really no end to eminently doable things to invent, and we WILL, i guarantee, keep inventing them, even after the colapse of oil based monitary economics, which may or may not be the end of anything other then itself
    --
    you, me and everyone else
    are creating 'the' future,
    ALL THE TIME.
    you can let fanatics con you out of accepting the responsibility to explore the real mechanism of influence of your priorities and actions
    or you can explore and learn and contribute you voice as well as your sweat to doing so
    there may be one god, no god or zillions of them
    but our future is collectively up to us
    sure they could slap us down
    but that ain't the way they nor the universe we've been turned loose in does things
    diversity (beyond your wildest immagining) is
     
  15. Juiceman3000

    Juiceman3000 Banned

    Whats been bothering me lately is the lack of real turn-out for all these 'upcoming' innovations.

    Most recent example .. The electric car. For 40 years this has been just on the horizon.
    Around 2000 it was supposedly 'here now' and you may remember newly built shopping centres, stores were installing the 'hook ups' in their parking lots.

    NOthing.

    Never happened and last I heard they are 'still a ways away' from 'perfecting it'.

    Ballard fuel cells were another 'startling invention' that I got excited about... and again... the dates keep getting set back further and further... no dates are now planned for any real public unveiling.

    Heck.. I remember 'Nanobots' were going to change our lives. Ask any major corporation when working versions will actually be introduced and you get amused replies.
    They say 'Dont hold your breathe but believe its in the 'future'.

    HURRY! lol!
     
  16. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    nothing chainges our lives any more or less then our collective political will for it to do so.
    all those things you mentioned are indeed ongoing, and many are available now in the form of off the shelf components that you don't need to be an engineer or even a particularly skilled tecnician to simply bold togather. in some cases you still need to have a pretty hefty cash flow where production quantities are limited by limited demand.
    but the limits of both supply and demand are being imposed politicaly by policy decisions. those actualy being made, often to favor old campaign contributing buddies, more often then not at rather extreme odds with stated policy intentions of candidates, especialy, though perhaps not uniquely, so called conservative ones.
    what kind of nanobots do you want?
    want to convert your car to electric? (yes you will need your own charger, but again energy policy is the answer to the 'mysterious' abscence of charging stations)
    i've got numerous links to websites of retail and wholesale suppliers of all the components and plans you could possible immage, everything it takes, besides the money to spend on it, to satisfy your craving for most of the things you've mentioned.
    (pm or e-mail me and i'll give you list after list of websites. these are things that interest me and i have collected quite a few. and i don't mean websites of phylosophical speculation but actual tangable suppliers that will send you catilogues and let you order directly from their websites!)
    so don't immagine there's any dearth of inventiveness.
    the problem, and there is a real problem, lies elsewhere. specificly:
    the political and hence social, or is that social and hence political, worlds run on incentives, and our actual priorities in practice create those incentives and disincentives, but the policies set by elected officials, as well as popular mythologies also play a realy signifigantly major role.
    (the whole enron fiasco was premeditatedly from jump aimed at torpedoeing the budding alternative energy industry, becuase it was becoming too profitable for the liking of interenched fossle fuel giants. guess what, that may have delayed a few large scale wind and solar generating stations in southern california from getting paid what they were owed on time. but the alternative energy industry is by no means crippled.
    and nano-tec is being produced. to be purchased to be put in satilites to look for more oil. well you do get the picture i hope. and the membranes for the fuel cells ARE an off the shelf item, that again just isn't being mass produced 'for reasons of market' that are infact and reality being politicly driven!)
     
  17. BuddyBuds

    BuddyBuds Member

    what about cloning?

    that seems like a pretty big break through invention that came about in recent years, since 1984
     
  18. Juiceman3000

    Juiceman3000 Banned

    I agree with you about the political and social will TheMnax.

    I honestly believe we 'could' be on the verge of a whole new wave of innovation and real life-changing invention .. however.. it sure seems like we have established a 'comfortable' little marketplace which is so carefully rigged and hitched with the 'comfortable' political systems, that, NO ONE really has any desire or motivation to really change anything!?

    My Gad people! 50 years later and the newest cars and trucks get THE SAME GAS MILEAGE or worse!?!

    You should see all the shitty plastic covered new houses going up in my neighbourhood... they look like the same cheap shit and standards that have been for 35 years.

    See... there IS some people with truly new and progressive ideas for homes BUT just try and build one.
    NOoooo... the City cant 'zone it' and it doesnt meet 'standards' and then suddenly 'the contractors' are grumbling and the 'tradesmen' dont want this happening because 'union bla bla'.

    WE are to blame too.. "Oh... I dont think they should be allowed to build that.. it might be 'weird' and will ruin my property value... lets just allow these kinds of houses like always'

    Yep.. that 'pioneer spirit' seems to have been downsized, disneyfied and bought out by Walmart like everything else.

    As for cloning... ya.. that was pretty big, but Im once again waiting for any 'real daily' purpose for it?
    Is cloning going to actually mean anything for any aspect of our lives?

    Same goes for these 'partical accelerators' and theories about quarks... great stuff but will anything actually happen or be done with it?

    Honestly.. Im not just being cynical for the sake of being so - I really wonder where the excitement and wonder went?
     
  19. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    "Yep.. that 'pioneer spirit' seems to have been downsized, disneyfied and bought out by Walmart like everything else."

    --
    hit the nail right on the head in a nut shell right there! capitolism itself has reached its own point of diminishing returns as far as any stimulus it might once have given to innovation is concerned.
    it DID give us one century of overcomming the resistence of other forms of fanatacism, and we did get SOME good out of it. but now it has become as much a part of the status obsticle quo as everything it
    once helped to overcome. nor did it give us these things without a terrible terrible price a majority of people still don't yet realize they are paying or clearly understand.
    --
    like all things it too will fade from the stage. as will all the worse things so feared by those who cling so despirately to it. not to be replaced by some perfect utopian paradise, perfection itself is a
    proccess, not an end point, but not by some untenable tyrannicle drudgery either. we've got that now under capitolism even as people in russia supposedly had under marxism. and it is partialy for this
    reason marxism collapsed and for precisely THE SAME reason capitolism (at least as we currently 'know' it) ultimately will. we have indeed been in a kind of dulldrums for low these past 50 years more or less, that the automobile has been god and oil has been king.
    --
    the more and longer people try and force things to remain the same the more the very act of doing so creates the very conditions will ultimately which force them to chainge.
    in the mean time of course we are all crushed between unstoppable force and the immovable object, untill enough of us realize that we are and get tired of it. for this to not happen seems as improbable to me as it's doing so might seem to anyone who hasn't given this enought thought or been arround long enough and seen enough to be unable to avoid doing so.
    --
    i am all too awair of building codes and their missapplication to rural owner builders.
    california's legelature is currently debating replacing the u.b.c, currently in force, with one of the others, the i.r.b.c. and i.c.b.c.

    --
    the oil running out when it does will force some really major chainges, and i think the international economic melt down which seems probable with or without the other happining first likely will as well.
     
  20. Tamee

    Tamee naked

    why should those two things not qualify as life-changing?
     

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