Bored during isolation? Then why not enjoy an adventure of history about the evolution of technology? From merely using tools to perform tasks to having a global village where more than half of the processes are automated, humanity sure has changed, while on a simple quest to make life easier. All of this progress is owed to the great discoveries by scientists and hard work by engineers. Just like how a famous saying goes, “Scientists study the world, engineers make it how it has never been before.”
Since the dawn of mankind, humans have always been on a wild ride to understand the world around them. Every era has had at least someone to ponder about the world around him. Those scientific endeavours may have been called impractical by the people of that time, but the goal was seldom practice, it was about knowing. And, the discoveries, called useless at some point, turn out to have numerous applications in the near future. Not only directly having applications, but such adventures often put a need which leads to later invention. Space travel, called useless even now by some, has been the root of many inventions we see today.
It all started when cavemen started making tools in order to hunt. Those tools evolved, turning finer and finer. Newton’s Law of Mechanics changed the way we think about the mechanical world, paving way for many inventions. Einstein’s theory of relativity further modified our perception of the universe and was helpful in making systems like GPS in the future.
On the electrical side, Charles Coulomb discovered the law of electrostatics. We further saw the inclusion of newer fields of science, like electrodynamics, that formed the basis of many of the electrical gadgets we use today.
By the end of the 19th Century, scientists began to think that most about the universe was discovered. But they were wrong, they needed to go deeper, they needed to go quantum! The basics of which had applications like lasers and semiconductor materials like transistors. Transistors formed the basics of modern digital electronics, and of course the modern digital computer. Computers got more and more compact with further evolution of technology. And not only compact, they were made to perform more and more complex tasks. We are nearing the age of artificial intelligence, and no I’m not talking about Sci-Fi bots now (sorry to disappoint). However compared to where we were a hundred years ago, we have well developed. AI today is still capable of A LOT of things that may amaze you, for instance basic medical diagnostics, help for business, etc.
In short, the technology we enjoy today is the result of the effort of mankind for thousands, if not millions of years. We have indeed come far.