THE GROWTH OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE

Pipestone Flyer

 

When we were attending University we remember one of our professors drawing a line on the chalkboard and labeling it at one end 1AD and the other end 1492. Then he drew another line twice in length and labeled it 1492 on one end and 1865 on the other end.

Just about the time we were wondering what he was doing he told us that the first line represented the total time that human knowledge had doubled since the beginning of human existence and the second line was how long it took to double again. He continued to show how human knowledge kept doubling and how quickly it occurred. Each line was double in length of the previous line. The last line showed we were doubling the total of all human knowledge every five years and the line took two chalkboards. Today there is an indication the rate will soon be every 73 days.

Just look how far we have come since the first iPhone, which was introduced in 2007! Everyday we are told of new discoveries in outer space, our ocean floors, nanotechnology, climate, medicine, and archeology just to name a few areas of human inquiry.

Recently we bought a new 2013 Ford Edge. Our first car was a 1947 Ford Coupe, which we inherited from our Dad in 1957. In a word it was a tank! Solid and steered by Armstrong muscle. It included a radio and a clock. When we sit in our new Edge the technologic advances amaze us. There’s a CAMERA for backing up, indicators for when another vehicle is in our blind spot, and we can TALK to our car when we want to find a gas station or call our daughter. We can also tell it how far back we want to be to the vehicle in front of us!

There are also features that allow us to Parallel Park without touching the steering wheel or direct us to a place we have never visited before. It won’t be long before you will be able to sit in a car without a steering wheel and just tell it where you want to go and it will get you there while you read your iPad.

Cities are spending billions of dollars for LRT systems, but we are beginning to think that the future will cross our desire to have our own car with a network that runs like a LRT system except you will go where you want to go not just where the tracks take you.

Now if we could only teach our cars to park automatically between the parking lines at the mall everyone would be happy!