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Something to think about.

L.M. Sacasas

Consider the image below. It was created in 1952 by Alexander Leydenfrost for the 50th anniversary issue of Popular Mechanics.

Alexander Leydenfrost - March of Science 3WifC

I thought of this image as I read Thomas Misa’s brief discussion of the wide-spread perception that the pace of technological change is ever-quickening. “At least since Alvin Toffler’s best-selling Future Shock (1970),” Misa writes, “pundits perennially declare that the pace of technology is somehow quickening and that technology is forcing cultural changes in its wake, that our plunge into the future is driven by technology gone out of control.”

Misa, a historian of technology, is not altogether certain that the pace of technological change has in fact quickened. He is certainly opposed to the “crude technological determinism” inherent in the idea that technology is forcing cultural changes. He does, however, give merit to the experience that is often described using this language. He attributes the perception of quickening…

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