The Most Important Inventions of the XXth Century
The twentieth century was the time of a technological breakthrough. Some people even felt dizzy about it and cherished hopes, that the future would be so incredibly bright. Now it has become obvious, that some of the inventions that appeared within this period turned out to be even deadly dangerous for the whole humankind.
Nuclear power in its peaceful application (we do not speak about nuclear weapons) seemed to be a source of energy that wouldn’t pollute nature. It is highly effective, but the question of safety took the first place after the events in Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011). Some countries are now reducing the usage of Nuclear Power Stations (NPS) and are looking for new ways to produce energy.
The Personal Computer (PC) started a new era in electronics. Calculations of all kinds became faster and simpler. People got an opportunity to store information
and to search for it instantaneously. Today we can say that all the practical knowledge of the humankind is contained in a digital form and it is accessible all around the world.
The airplane gave people an opportunity to travel faster and cover longer distances than ever before. The army developed new and more effective military strategies, taking advantage of the possibilities that planes provided. However the total number of planes which are airborne at this very moment is frightening. There is a special website* to show them all on the map of the world. It seems to be a problem: the planes consume great amounts of fuel and pollute the atmosphere and the planet we live on.
The automobile. The development of combustion engines and other elements began in the 19th century, but the automobile itself gained its popularity only in the 20th century and underwent the changes that made it look like what we are used to now. The automobile gave people a certain degree of mobility, which has resulted in the growing number of cars in the world.
The submarine became a powerful military instrument on the scale of the planet. The dreams of Jules Verne came true and Captain Nemo who seemed to be just a fantastic hero in the 19th century turned out to be real in the 20th century.
Antibiotics were a great hope of the humankind for quite a long period of time. Now they seem to be one of the most dangerous things that people have ever discovered, because no antibiotics will be effective anymore in 10 or 15 years, as various infections and bacteria have got accustomed to them. Some diseases will be incurable consequently.
Radio is the phenomenon we cannot imagine our life without. It is used everywhere and people constantly live in the ocean of radio waves of all bands. But few think of it.
Television is gradually losing its meaning, that it used to have 20 or 30 years ago. The Internet has the same and many more functions, so I suppose television will be out of date soon.
The Internet gives people all the opportunities for communication and information exchange. There had never been anything like it in our history, that is why we don’t know what it can lead to. Maybe the Internet may be as dangerous as nuclear power in some regard.
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