1950's Technology

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    Jul 18, 2009 1:48 AM GMT
    If technology did not advance past the 1950's where do you think you would be today given your upbringing?

    Both of my parents come from farming families so I would think I would be a farmer.
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    Jul 18, 2009 2:18 AM GMT
    well from what i read historically from the 50s........women would still be homemakers.. and homosexuals would still be hiding in parks to meet other men...
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    Jul 20, 2009 2:20 AM GMT
    tereseus1 saidwell from what i read historically from the 50s........women would still be homemakers.. and homosexuals would still be hiding in parks to meet other men...


    Well, that says a lot about you. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 20, 2009 2:50 AM GMT
    I would be working for the Penna. State Gov't, civil service, and have many parking tickets in the glove compartment of my Chrysler New Yorker because I got to work late everyday and had to park on the street at a meter...just like my father.icon_confused.gif
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    Jul 20, 2009 3:02 AM GMT
    we'd all be dead, WWIII would have wiped us out...
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    Jul 20, 2009 9:23 PM GMT
    tereseus1 saidwell from what i read historically from the 50s........women would still be homemakers.. and homosexuals would still be hiding in parks to meet other men...

    The condition of women & homosexuals is a cultural issue, not a technological one.

    In 2001 I did a paper and lecture on how LITTLE we have advanced technologically since the 1950s. Among the points, in the 1950s:

    - the US Air Force was flying the same bombers still in the air today
    - guided missiles were leaving the Earth
    - color TV existed
    - computers existed
    - pocket radios existed
    - cars with almost every modern feature existed (auto trans, AC, power steering, etc)
    - most current household electric appliances existed, including microwaves
    - jet passenger aircraft were crisscrossing the globe
    - you watched Technicolor movies in stereoscopic sound and Cinerama

    Versus going the same time backwards 50 years, to 1900, when:

    - the Wright brothers were still trying to get something wood & cloth into the air
    - the only rockets were for fireworks displays
    - radio didn't exist
    - manual adding machines were cutting edge
    - autos were experimental & rare
    - you cleaned your house with a broom and cooked with a wood-fired stove
    - you traveled the world by train & boat
    - you watched a silent B&W Nickelodeon viewer by cranking a handle

    Leading me to conclude that the last 50 years, compared to the 50 prior to them, are a big slowdown in technology. True, we've miniaturized a great deal, and moved computers from the office to our homes. Our televisions have become flat, and our cars have GPS and run greener.

    But these are refinements of what we already had. Where are the great technological breakthroughs that are totally different from anything that ever went before? What are the completely new THINGS? Not many, actually.
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    Jul 20, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidWhat about cell phones? What about ultrasound to look for diseases within the body? What about advances and breakthroughs in nutrition and diet and exercise? These are not technological advances but rather more information based but it's truly something that serves us very well and have changed our lives.

    Perhaps the OP should have asked from a more broader standpoint. Political views, technological advances, cultural homogenization, medical breakthroughs, information at our fingertips (Google, etc.), advanced communication methods (cell phones, text, etc), a flourishing growth of secularism, a growing awareness for human rights (and animal rights) just to name have changed dramatically over the past 50 years.

    Cell phones are indeed an improvement over the earlier mobile phones. You may see one in use in the 1954 movie "Sabrina" when Humphrey Bogart makes a phone call from his car.
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    Jul 20, 2009 11:27 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    tereseus1 saidwell from what i read historically from the 50s........women would still be homemakers.. and homosexuals would still be hiding in parks to meet other men...

    The condition of women & homosexuals is a cultural issue, not a technological one.

    In 2001 I did a paper and lecture on how LITTLE we have advanced technologically since the 1950s. Among the points, in the 1950s:

    - the US Air Force was flying the same bombers still in the air today
    - guided missiles were leaving the Earth
    - color TV existed
    - computers existed
    - pocket radios existed
    - cars with almost every modern feature existed (auto trans, AC, power steering, etc)
    - most current household electric appliances existed, including microwaves
    - jet passenger aircraft were crisscrossing the globe
    - you watched Technicolor movies in stereoscopic sound and Cinerama

    Versus going the same time backwards 50 years, to 1900, when:

    - the Wright brothers were still trying to get something wood & cloth into the air
    - the only rockets were for fireworks displays
    - radio didn't exist
    - manual adding machines were cutting edge
    - autos were experimental & rare
    - you cleaned your house with a broom and cooked with a wood-fired stove
    - you traveled the world by train & boat
    - you watched a silent B&W Nickelodeon viewer by cranking a handle

    Leading me to conclude that the last 50 years, compared to the 50 prior to them, are a big slowdown in technology. True, we've miniaturized a great deal, and moved computers from the office to our homes. Our televisions have become flat, and our cars have GPS and run greener.

    But these are refinements of what we already had. Where are the great technological breakthroughs that are totally different from anything that ever went before? What are the completely new THINGS? Not many, actually.
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    Jul 20, 2009 11:52 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    In 2001 I did a paper and lecture on how LITTLE we have advanced technologically since the 1950s. Among the points, in the 1950s:

    - the US Air Force was flying the same bombers still in the air today
    - guided missiles were leaving the Earth
    - color TV existed
    - computers existed
    - pocket radios existed
    - cars with almost every modern feature existed (auto trans, AC, power steering, etc)
    - most current household electric appliances existed, including microwaves
    - jet passenger aircraft were crisscrossing the globe
    - you watched Technicolor movies in stereoscopic sound and Cinerama



    Color TV- did it have 1200 channels, on demand and beamed via fibre optics or satellite, where I could pause live TV and download 300 hours of it to a hard drive all on a 2 inch thick 42 inch screen on my wall. Ahh yes plus...It now has a remote control...when I don't want to set it to record remotely over the internet

    Computers- could I fit it all in a small bag or even my pocket, tele-communicate round the world, store 100's of gigabytes of Multimedia and play back instantly, connect to a network that allows me do virtually anything, were they built and used to control nearly every mechanical device?

    Apple introducted the first PC in 1977
    The chairman of IBM said in 1958, I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers. Now what a billion all linked together..

    Radio- What's that sort of like an Ipod? Mine connects to XM satillite radio

    Cars with modern functions- My car connects to satellites in orbit to determine within 5 meters exactly where in the world I am and uses a computer to tell me step by step where I need to go,

    Pasenger jets - the 707 created in the late 50's could travel 6,500 mile range, The 747 came in the mid seventies now Virgin are building planes to travel in sub orbit, people are flying in two-Decker A380s which can fly nonstop London to Sydney with all fly by wire computer technology and navigation.

    Movies- Stunt men on wires, and hand drawn animation vs. entire worlds built using computer generated images and digital animation
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    Jul 21, 2009 12:16 AM GMT
    This sounds like a thought game i think I´d like to play, but I´m not sure understand the question.
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    Jul 21, 2009 12:42 AM GMT
    I'd still be a geek, but in "real" engineering somewhere, instead of the software biz. I'd be an expert with one of these babies:

    SlideRule.jpg

    I'd probably still be in the Midwest somewhere, as there'd be no Silicon Valley to lure me to California.

    But I would own the coolest TV ever -- the Philco "Predicta", where I could watch grainy black and white sit coms where everyone smoked like a chimney.

    g_04.jpg

    I think the world would look like Terry Gilliam's "Brazil", actually.


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    Jul 21, 2009 12:57 AM GMT
    MsclDrew saidColor TV- did it have 1200 channels, on demand and beamed via fibre optics or satellite, where I could pause live TV and download 300 hours of it to a hard drive all on a 2 inch thick 42 inch screen on my wall. Ahh yes plus...It now has a remote control...when I don't want to set it to record remotely over the internet

    Computers- could I fit it all in a small bag or even my pocket, tele-communicate round the world, store 100's of gigabytes of Multimedia and play back instantly, connect to a network that allows me do virtually anything, were they built and used to control nearly every mechanical device?

    Apple introducted the first PC in 1977
    The chairman of IBM said in 1958, I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers. Now what a billion all linked together..

    Radio- What's that sort of like an Ipod? Mine connects to XM satillite radio

    Cars with modern functions- My car connects to satellites in orbit to determine within 5 meters exactly where in the world I am and uses a computer to tell me step by step where I need to go,

    Pasenger jets - the 707 created in the late 50's could travel 6,500 mile range, The 747 came in the mid seventies now Virgin are building planes to travel in sub orbit, people are flying in two-Decker A380s which can fly nonstop London to Sydney with all fly by wire computer technology and navigation.

    Movies- Stunt men on wires, and hand drawn animation vs. entire worlds built using computer generated images and digital animation

    Repeating what I said in a post above: "But these are refinements of what we already had. Where are the great technological breakthroughs that are totally different from anything that ever went before? What are the completely new THINGS? Not many, actually."

    Of your list, GPS is the only totally new thing, which had no 1950s counterpart anywhere, in home or office. Whereas going back another 50 years from the 1950s, there were NO airplanes, NO radio or TV, NO computers, NO home electric appliances, and autos & motion pictures merely reported novelties that had yet to be experienced by ordinary people. That's why I think the first 50 years of the 20th Century saw more changes that radically changed peoples lives than the last 50.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Jul 21, 2009 1:36 AM GMT
    Well Red, what about biotechnology? Watson and Crick cracked the code for DNA in the 50's but it took decades to figure out how to successfully manipulate it and entirely new tools have been developed to both model and manipulate it successfully.

    Medical MRI machines are another example - while NMR is a concept that's been around from the 20's it's application as a diagnostic tool didn't happen until the 70's.


    oh, and by the way, if it was still 1950's-esque, I'd be this guy:
    BioShock.jpg

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    Jul 21, 2009 11:01 AM GMT
    ^ Not quite Bioshock. Go play Fallout 3 for the real 50's vibe. <3 icon_wink.gif

    It's becoming a genre in video games (and to a lesser degree, in movies and books). Something like Steampunk but less Industrial Age, and more McCarthy era-ish. It's one of the games where entertainment blurs the line with art.


    WARNING:

    A FUCKLOAD OF FALLOUT 3 FANBOI PARAPHERNALIA FOLLOWS

    fallout_3.jpg

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    fallout-3-cover.png?w=354&h=438

    Sugar+Bombs.jpg

    VaultLiving.jpg

    fallout-3_2009_04-30-09_01.jpg

    UncleSam.jpg

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    Fallout-3-wallpaper-1730.jpg

    Abraxo.jpg

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    Don't forget, kids! The communists started it.

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    Jul 21, 2009 11:19 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    MsclDrew saidColor TV- did it have 1200 channels, on demand and beamed via fibre optics or satellite, where I could pause live TV and download 300 hours of it to a hard drive all on a 2 inch thick 42 inch screen on my wall. Ahh yes plus...It now has a remote control...when I don't want to set it to record remotely over the internet

    Computers- could I fit it all in a small bag or even my pocket, tele-communicate round the world, store 100's of gigabytes of Multimedia and play back instantly, connect to a network that allows me do virtually anything, were they built and used to control nearly every mechanical device?

    Apple introducted the first PC in 1977
    The chairman of IBM said in 1958, I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers. Now what a billion all linked together..

    Radio- What's that sort of like an Ipod? Mine connects to XM satillite radio

    Cars with modern functions- My car connects to satellites in orbit to determine within 5 meters exactly where in the world I am and uses a computer to tell me step by step where I need to go,

    Pasenger jets - the 707 created in the late 50's could travel 6,500 mile range, The 747 came in the mid seventies now Virgin are building planes to travel in sub orbit, people are flying in two-Decker A380s which can fly nonstop London to Sydney with all fly by wire computer technology and navigation.

    Movies- Stunt men on wires, and hand drawn animation vs. entire worlds built using computer generated images and digital animation

    Repeating what I said in a post above: "But these are refinements of what we already had. Where are the great technological breakthroughs that are totally different from anything that ever went before? What are the completely new THINGS? Not many, actually."

    Of your list, GPS is the only totally new thing, which had no 1950s counterpart anywhere, in home or office. Whereas going back another 50 years from the 1950s, there were NO airplanes, NO radio or TV, NO computers, NO home electric appliances, and autos & motion pictures merely reported novelties that had yet to be experienced by ordinary people. That's why I think the first 50 years of the 20th Century saw more changes that radically changed peoples lives than the last 50.


    Everything will always be a refinement, something has always existed to fill that need, technology fills the need better, faster, cheaper and for more people. It seems that way because in the 21st century people's needs haven't changed, just the methods by which they fulfill them


    GPS has a 1950's counterpart...It's called a Map

    It's like saying

    a Kindle a refinement of movable type
    a digital camera is a refinement of an oil painting
    a computer is a refinement of an abacus

    What about, biotechnology, molecular biology and genetics, I don't think they existed, or were in their absolute infancy in the 1950's



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    Jul 21, 2009 11:43 AM GMT
    Only way I would have and Japanese anguage skills or knowledge about Japan would be through a Department of Defense grant.
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    Jul 21, 2009 12:44 PM GMT
    Eric, that Fallout 3 shit is amazing. I think I just had an orgasm.
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    Jul 21, 2009 1:14 PM GMT
    iguanaSF saidEric, that Fallout 3 shit is amazing. I think I just had an orgasm.


    If you have never played a PC game ever before, this is what I recommend. It's a satirical piece on the American society. And it perfectly answers this thread's question LOL.

    Everything in that game is built with the 1950's art deco and futurism feel, including the music. In short, it's exactly what 2077 would have looked like if technology (at least superficially) and lines of thought (particularly the ultranationalism) remained 1950-ish.

    Flying cars with fins for example, home robots, monitors/TV's much like the one you previously posted, laser and plasma guns with valves and dials instead of buttons, radio shows, even the preferred mode of dress before the nuclear war itself... etc. icon_razz.gif

    (P.S. it also got into a controversy a while ago, because the screenshot of the very realistic destroyed Capitol building in the game was used in a Terrorist video)
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    Jul 21, 2009 1:32 PM GMT
    I recently started playing Fallout 3 actually. Great game!
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    Jul 21, 2009 1:40 PM GMT
    Some sort of banking/finance job if i was influenced by moms side, dads side would have me in government or policing. Hmm, at least we know people would still rightfully have their money.
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    Jul 21, 2009 9:44 PM GMT
    Sedative saidIf you have never played a PC game ever before, this is what I recommend.


    It looks awesome. I haven't played video games of any sort since I was a notorious arcade addict in my early 20s, oh... somewhere back when dinosaurs ruled the planet. I destroyed quite a few Tempest spin wheel controls back in the day.

    * cough, wheeze *

    I'm going to add this game to my retirement TODO list, along with watching the complete Sopranos series and all the other pop culture I'm putting off until then. Let's play it together in my Manhattan penthouse with the central park view, shall we? Say 2020? Yes, you can bring your boyfriend, Serge. He can do his naked yoga on the balcony.

    * wonders if he took the wrong pills this morning *