Pinto: From fire to Flappy Bird, where do we go next?


Yoni Pinto, Columnist

When the first iPhone came out in 2007, it revolutionized what we thought about mobile phones. It changed the concept of what a phone was, where and how it was used and what it was used for. It created a whole new industry and a brand new culture around the concept of mobile phones. It directly changed how people all around the world live.

Since fire was discovered, we’ve been inventing new things, new tools and new ways to live our lives. All of our innovations and accomplishments have brought us to what I would consider the best period of human history.

Right now we’re in a period where we have technology that can shape and reshape the world around us in almost any way we want. We can change, create and build new things like humans could never do before. We have been the main force shaping the world for a long time, but never as strongly as we are right now.

Most of us don’t think about this. We just carry on with our lives, not considering what we are capable of doing. But when you think about it, this is truly amazing. We have never been in a such a position in the world before. The power of the technology we currently have is unprecedented. But that’s not why I think we’re in the greatest period of human history.

We are in the greatest period of human history because this is the first time that developments in technology have been directly accessible and directly influential in defining the ways we live our lives. Yes, when man discovered agriculture, it brought change to how he lived. When man discovered tools, he used them. But never in human history has technology spread as quickly as it does today. Never was the world as globalized as it is today.

The fact that everything travels so quickly around the globe adds a whole new dimension to the fact that there are new technological developments happening every day. The fact that we can take advantage of any new technology, wherever we are on the world, is incredible.

In the past 40 years, the centerpiece of technological development was computing. It created a whole new culture of the computing civilization — a culture built around the fact that information is at the tips of our hands, whether it’s Flappy Bird or breaking news. This is what globalized the world. This is what made it possible to take advantage of anything new anywhere on the world.

Soon, there’ll be new focal points for technological development. In this century, other things we once deemed impossible will be made possible with technology. In medicine and in the space industry, there will be remarkable developments; diseases thought untreatable will be treated and places thought unreachable will be reached. The fact that these technologies travel ridiculously fast around the globe will mean that whole new industries, whole new businesses and whole new cultures will come to life all around the world. Just as the computer was the beginning of the information revolution, just like the iPhone was the beginning of the smartphone revolution, the whole world will change again.

We are living in a wonderful time. Yes, there are still problems all around the world, but there will always be some. But I think the fact that we’re moving toward new things, even a new way of life, is amazing. I think we’re lucky we will be witnessing some of the greatest innovations humanity has ever seen. I think it’s awesome we will be there when the way that we envision our lives changes once again.

Yoni Pinto is a Weinberg freshman. He can be reached at [email protected]. If you want to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected].