As a journalist, I recently came across an article from the History Channel that highlighted seven inventions from the Gilded Age that transformed the world. This reminded me of a commentary I made a dozen years ago, inspired by Mark Steyn’s book After America.
In this commentary, Steyn encouraged us to imagine what it would be like to bring our great-grandfather living in the late 19th century to an ordinary American home in 1950. The result would be astonishment, as he would see a home full of mechanical contraptions and marvel at how much technology has advanced.
However, now imagine if someone from 1950 were to visit our world today. They would likely be disappointed, as not much has changed since then. While there are computers and smartphones, they may have expected more advancements than they found. It is fascinating to consider that most of the remarkable changes took place over a hundred years ago.
As for why much of our technology has reached a plateau, there are several reasons to consider. Physics and politics play significant roles in limiting innovation and imagination. We can dream of flying cars, time machines, and teleporting devices, but there are physical limits that prevent them from being created. Additionally, bureaucratic regulations imposed by government make it more challenging for inventors and entrepreneurs to create new technologies and bring their ideas to life. It is time for policymakers to roll back the size of government and create an environment that fosters innovation and creativity once again.