The Instigator
TheEPICpie
Pro (for)
The Contender
tumeric
Con (against)

The technological progress from now to 2060 will be larger than the progress made from 1920's to now

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2017 Category: Technology
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 290 times Debate No: 105911
Debate Rounds (5)
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TheEPICpie

Pro

Technology is growing quicker every day, and I personally believe this exponential growth will be going at such a quick rate in the future that 2017 to 2060 will be a bigger technological leap than 1920 to 2017 by many many times.
tumeric

Con

There's lots of reasons technology will not take a bigger leap than it has till now.

First, technological growth is not inevitable. Technology leaps forward in certain areas, and then is overtaken by other technologies. if you're old enough, you will remember that we were supposed to be living in space by now. In 1920, airplanes were fairly new. 50 years later we landed on the moon. If you asked someone in 1965 how long it will take to get from NYC to London in 2017, they would say less than an hour. The real answer? Exactly the same amount of time it took 50 years ago.

Ironically, part of the reason is other technologies. Why do you need to get to London when you can conference call or Skype instead?

Second, technology often gives us cheaper versions of things we already have -- the above is one example. Another is cameras. Everybody has a camera in their pocket now. But they take lower quality pictures than digital SLRs that people used to buy.

Third, technology seems to be occupying more and more of our time and mental energy. This is because it enables DIY like self-checkout at stores and endless emails at work. Because we will have less free time, we have less room to indulge in newer experiences.

Fourth, people don't really like change that much. Remember the "Space Age" of the 60s? Now there's been a whole movement of organic food, local culture, and an attempt to recreate the past. People hate the globalized future world that was touted as the future years ago.
Debate Round No. 1
TheEPICpie

Pro

"If you asked someone in 1965 how long it will take to get from NYC to London in 2017, they would say less than an hour. The real answer? Exactly the same amount of time it took 50 years ago."

Many people made baseless claims. It's not their fault. Back then, you couldn't google statistics or graphs or anything that showed you where and how fast progress was being made. A lot of people just said stuff like that because they didn't know any better. People thought in 1970, we would have human level AI. That's a completely baseless claim. No one knew how fast computers were gaining power, no one knew how powerful the brain was, and no one knew how AI would even work. Nowadays when scientist make claims that "True AI will be here by 2035," there's a lot more evidence for that. We now know how fast computers are gaining power, we know how powerful the brain is, and we know how AI would function a lot better.

Also, check out https://boomsupersonic.com... They're making supersonic passenger jets that are quite and people can actually afford to fly in.

"Ironically, part of the reason is other technologies. Why do you need to get to London when you can conference call or Skype instead?" Again, check out the website. "Second, technology often gives us cheaper versions of things we already have -- the above is one example. Another is cameras. Everybody has a camera in their pocket now. But they take lower quality pictures than digital SLRs that people used to buy." People still buy cameras. Lots of people. And camera technology is still growing too. 4K video recorders didn't exist back then, but they do now.

"Third, technology seems to be occupying more and more of our time and mental energy. This is because it enables DIY like self-checkout at stores and endless emails at work. Because we will have less free time, we have less room to indulge in newer experiences." Maybe it seems like it, but statistics don't really line up with that statement. You can google "Do we have more free time than ever?" It's a complex issue with no real clear answer, but from what I've seen, we do have more free time than before. Also, even if we do have less time, we can spend that time doing much more entertaining things. Back in, let's say the 60's, If you wanted to do something with your free time, you could watch a movie, read a book, listen to some music on the radio. Nowadays we have video games and the internet.

"Fourth, people don't really like change that much." In my experience, that only really applies to older people. Millennials seem to tolerate or even crave change. That's probably because they grew up in a time period we're a lot of change has happened.

"Now there's been a whole movement of organic food." That's probably due for a few reasons, one big one being
people care more about the stuff they're putting in their body. Back in the day, people didn't really care about what was in food and they didn't really know much about nutrition. Besides, the people who eat organic food are a minority. Not a small minority, but a minority.

"Local culture." That has to go away in order for it to come back.

"People hate the globalized future world that was touted as the future years ago." Who...?
tumeric

Con

Many people made baseless claims. It's not their fault. Back then, you couldn't google statistics or graphs or anything that showed you where and how fast progress was being made. A lot of people just said stuff like that because they didn't know any better."

Exactly, that's what I'm saying your argument is now. But those early claims weren't baseless. It was totally rational to believe back then that we could be living in space by now -- that's logical from the speed and progression of air and spaceflight at the time. Their mistake, and the one your argument is based on, is the assumption that technology moves in a linear way.

"People still buy cameras. Lots of people. And camera technology is still growing too. 4K video recorders didn't exist back then, but they do now."

The pace of progress you're up against, though, is from Charlie Chaplain to Lord of the Rings and the new Star Wars movie -- pretty big difference. The state of technology today is that advanced tools are becoming cheaper and more available to everyone, but generally people are using their new tools to copy professionally made stuff. It's not like Youtube is this huge advancement in film. Even the name is a spoof of television. But TV was more consequential because it created mass culture. The internet is destroying mass culture, which means that any given thing that happens online will be ignored by a majority. If you don't believe me, ask your grandmother about your favorite viral video. By contrast, things that happened in movies and TV could become iconic, like Elvis or the Beatles. Not true for any internet celebrity.

There's also a mathematical problem with your original claim. As technology advances, the tendency should be that earlier discoveries and advancements are more consequential than later ones, because the baseline is lower. We talked about aviation earlier, but that was probably less consequential than the locomotive, which lead to time zones and westward expansion, and that was probably less important than the age of tall ships, which lead to colonization, the British Empire, African slavery, and at least a dozen wars.

Maybe you could list some areas that you predict these dramatic advancements will happen
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Debate Round No. 5
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