Things I think about ...

There was a time when you could actually build a transistor.  Transistors, of course, took the place of tubes, in radios, and computers - all things electronic.

There was a time when you could make a "breadboard" ( a type of circuit board used for prototyping) and build the circuits, solder in the transistors, resistors and capacitors, and make your own radio, or amplifier, or tube tester or any number of other electronic marvels, including computers.

Today?  Those things are still possible but the "electronic marvels" you might build would be roughly the equivalent of toys.

Part of the science behind all the technology we use today - the cars, phones, televisions, computers, etc. - is the science that transforms the technological advances into products that we can just turn on and use.

It's not anything we ever think about, but somebody had to figure out how to put BILLIONS of transistors on a silicon wafer an inch and a half square, and then wire it into a circuit board so it can drive a computer.  Somebody had to figure out how to use rare earth metals to make your smartphone screen touch sensitive so that you could control the computer inside your phone.  Somebody had figure out that lithium ions could store energy and then had to figure out how to package the resulting battery safely.

It's one thing to develop technologically advanced stuff, it's quite another to offer a product usable by John Q. Public that utilizes those technological advances.

Someday, we will have ray guns.  They will be "point and click", because someone will have figured out how to hide all the technical complexity.  All you'll have to do is pull the trigger.

That might be a poor example - but the idea is sound.  It's just as hard to hide the complexity of the technology, as it is to construct the technology in the first place.

Ndinombethe, ubuntu.


Tara R. said...

I'm trying to figure out who first thought of eating a chicken egg, then cooking it. Bread! How did someone discovered yeast and how to use it. I'm gobsmacked by the mundane, don't make my simple brain ponder technology.