Stagnation of technology

We have all experienced the wonderful benefit, or the bad fall out, of technology. For over 500 years the Western world has advanced technology from a simple horse cart to rocket taking us to our celestial neighbour.

The effects have been astronomical… Like our lunar explorers came down back to earth, after their marvellous trip to the moon, we as civilization should also come down to our primordial reality: the advance of technology cannot go on indefinitely, it has to stop and soon.

Might that halt come from economy, environment or human brain’s capacity is up for debate. But the truth is that we are slowly reaching the height of our knowledge, simply because we can’t support the scientist as a person in an economy that is declining (when looking at all the economy in our day and age can you really say things are improving?).

Moreover to accommodate the new advances we would have to change our education system to cater for the new advances. Just imagine a child starting at the age of five and studying all the way to the age of twenty-one, just to get the basic scientific truths down, in that time he or she is completely dependent on others.  

Then he/she will still have to go to college and there goes another four or seven years of productive live. Now the grown adult, will have to choose an specialization to make meaningful contribution to the sciences.  At the age of about 30, the person would only start to make a reasonable contribution to the sciences.

This scenario doesn’t even take into account the myriad of things that could go wrong along the path. As our collective knowledge grows it will lead to the decreasing breakthroughs that will inevitably lead to specialization. The specialization will in turn lead to more specialization. Just imagine a hyper-specialized world.

It is very easy to think that the small problem could significantly damage such a system.   As humans, we have accepted the continuous march of technology as something we take for granted, but soon we will see the error in our ways, as technology has very degrading impact on the environment and society, we will see how both start to unravel and in the process destroy our hyper-technologized world.

I have come to accept two conclusion or getaways from our current problem with the sciences, either we continue on our present path and set ourselves up to decline like the Roman Empire, or we do the unthinkable and start cutting our living standards and reforming our society. The former will probably be the “easier” choice but will ultimately lead to a dark age.

The latter is probably impossible to implement. At the end of the day I think our technology will be our down fall and all our thinking will be in vain as the world once more transcends into darkness. Maybe, I am just overthinking things, maybe, there will be a major breakthrough that changes our lives forever. Maybe, our fate is sealed regardless… 
Bear Daar 2014/08/27 11:10:55 PM
If humanity has any hope of existing in 2000 years, it would be off the back of space colonization.
Willem Vd Hoven 2014/08/27 11:26:22 PM
If the going gets tough, the tough ones get going
RabbleRouser 2014/08/27 11:38:25 PM
This article is a load of garbage. Scientific and technological advancements will continue unabated. If the author wishes to capitulate on life with such a dismally pathetic and pessimistic view that is his problem. The rest of humanity will continue to advance and progress. The human psyche and our quest for discovery, learning combined with the ability to reason will ensure that, as a species, we will continue to advance. We forge our own destiny. It's an unstoppable progression.
Salacious P Crumb 2014/08/28 12:12:18 AM
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of US Patent Office, 1899.
John Greystoke 2014/08/28 12:21:11 AM
The author is missing the pot. We are already specializing into specialties but these specialties form part of the whole and continues to develop forwards. Today's science fiction is reality tomorrow. Already people are studying to become specialists.
Anrie de Beer 2014/08/28 03:44:25 AM
You sound so pessimistic. Read the Book "Why the west rules ~ for now" by Ian Morris. He has a interesting take on history and believe every era gets the idea for its time. So yes we can descends into darkness. If we carry on as we are we will destroy the earth but each one can also start to change our attitude about how we live our lives and that knock on effect can change history. Also go to They address many of your questions and fears and even suggests some answers. Enjoy your journey on earth and I hope you will find something to be more optimistic about.
Thomas Freeman 2014/08/28 05:42:56 AM
Our future is in good hands. The human race has evolved from animals. We will be okay. Of greater threat is ignorance, backward cultures, and fundamentalist religion - but even there things will slowly improve and will go the way of the dinosaur. We already have enough knowledge and technology to stagnate for a while, which of course won't happen, because you cannot stand in the way of progress.
Kallie Karnallie 2014/08/28 08:08:59 AM
How can you comment on technology if you are unable to even grasp the proper use of the English language? I swear I'm going to start a crusade against this scourge of illiteracy we have to witness on these forums. Go back to school for heavens sake.
Stephen Townshend 2014/08/28 11:11:28 AM
Russell's reasoning on the mature and sober use of technology are especially prevalent here. Technology has indeed given us the means to wipe out our own species, but that should not imply that we must turn away from technology. Quite the opposite, in fact. All that remains is to ensure that, as a species, we use it responsibly and sustainably. My issue with this in the modern era is that history has shown that whenever irresponsible use of technology is found, some or other political agenda is lurking somewhere nearby. Climate change is the most notable recent case of this, but such things as GM crops are also on the list. Nothing good has ever come from politics meddling in the business of science. If we are to turn towards anything, it should be toward science and deliberately at the expense of politics. The problem is that only intelligent people are going to realise the imperative of doing this, and they are consistently outnumbered by stupid people. The stupids are thus in the very positions of power that we expect the responsible use of technology to be seated thanks to certain liberal ideological bullying. And surprise surprise, I don't trust stupid people to do the right thing when push comes to shove.
Leroux Van Der Hoven 2014/08/28 12:01:09 PM
Nothing will stop the advancement. The unprepared will just be left behind.