Will Technology And Science Keep On Advancing Forever?

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Technology will keep on changing for as long as humanity exists, I think. However, I don’t think it’s assured that it will change for the better, which I think ‘advancing’ implies.

The reason technology is created, generally, is to make money, and making money and good computer science are not the same thing, or even correlated.

Technology is being sold on many different levels, to solve problems, because it’s fun, or it’s fashionable, or simple as a vehicle to pornography, Facebook, and other distractions.

Windows 95 was by far the best selling OS of it’s time, but easily one of the worst. Great technologies like Plan 9 or Inferno are sidelined in favour of flashier and more visually attractive alternatives.

In terms of medicine, while there is more money in curing erectile dysfunction (not that it’s not a serious problem) than in tackling, say, child blindness in Africa, that’s where the money is going to go.

So, yes, I think technology will keep on changing, but I’m far from convinced it’ll be advancing, i.e. getting better. Now that computing technology is very much in the domain of fashion and media, there is really only popularity to strive for, not technical brilliance.

It’s prevalent even within technology circles. How many posts on Quora do we see about people wanting to interview for Facebook and how many for IBM Research? There is more demand to work for a website filled with selfies than for an actual Computer Science division.

Some of the better ideas in computing have come and gone, it’s not a meritocracy, and while there is more interest in fashion than technology, it’s probably going to remain that way.

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