Amercia’s Got Problems
If you don’t get the “Amercia” reference, Google “Romney Amercia”.
The United States of America gave the world a lot of stuff. Pasta, pizza, fireworks, gunpowder, the two largest engineering projects in the world. Wait. No, that was China. Let’s look at China for a second. History credits it for giving the world a great deal of innovations, but then they stopped for a while, during which time they were confused for a third world country. They started innovating again recently and now they are on their way to kicking the ass of America.
So let’s try this again. America gave the world medicine, mathematics, scholars. Pretty much, society today wouldn’t be nearly advanced as they are if it wasn’t for America. Nope. Wrong again. That was the Middle East. Again, an area of the world who stopped innovating, and this time they never recovered. Now most people don’t even remember that they used to be great innovators. They’re simply known for their violence.
So what have the United States given the world? A lot. That wasn’t a lie. They gave the world electronics and computers. They were one of the first modern societies to mix capitalism and communism to form a kind of socialism (by the way, the word socialism is misused a lot. Usually by people who really ought to know better). But one of the greatest things that they gave the world was the ability to innovate quickly.
Yes, I’m ignoring the negative things the US gave the world. The reason is simply because it’s not the point of this post.
After their civil war in the mid-1800’s, inventors started coming out of the woodwork. By the time the twentieth century came along the world had already changed. They were about to start flying. Just over half a century later, they reached the moon. Shortly after that, the world was given personal computers and phones that could travel with you.
But while those things have advanced immensely since then, what has really changed the world in the past thirty years? Humans have lived with the current technology of the day advancing since you discovered technology. So what truly new technology has come out of America that was truly innovative and world changing? Their greatest engineering feat, going to the moon, hasn’t been done since the seventies. The shuttle wasn’t a bad way to go, but it was invented in the seventies, and nothing since. At least not from NASA. The International Space Station was another great idea, but there are two things wrong. It hasn’t been used the way it was supposed to be, although that’s hardly the fault of the innovators, and the original space station was the Russian MIR, so not American.
Technology ages fast in the public eye. Cell phones from ten years ago are considered ancient. Yet everyone was sad when a technology from the seventies was finally retired earlier this year (the shuttle). There was public outcry when the Hubble telescope was threatened to be retired, despite its age. (It is no longer going to be repaired, just so you know. Unfortunately, there will be more out crying when they pull the plug even though they are doing to put a better telescope up.)
America has stopped innovating. If you want proof, read what I said earlier about China and the Middle East, and then look at what has been happening to the US in recent years. It has been steadily declining. Just like China and the Middle East when they stopped innovating.
But for the Americans who read this, don’t give up hope. As soon as the private sector got the go ahead to make their own spaceships, the innovation was started once again.
In case you’re wondering why I keep bringing up the space program, it’s because the space program tends to inspire innovators to do their thing. Some of the greatest innovations happened during the height of the space race of the Cold War.
And if you are an innovator yourself, or at least think you are, I’m going to give you some advice. Don’t just look in whatever field you are in. Mistakes and repairs in the Hubble telescope have led more than once in advances in breast cancer research and prevention. Not true innovations like the type I was describing earlier, but it shows the train of thought. Here’s something I want to see: someone design something that preserves food for the few men and/or women going to Mars that can then be used to preserve lots of food for people who live in drought common areas of the world. Or something similar for water. Innovation comes from everywhere, so look everywhere. You do this, and America will be great again.
See you next week.