Thursday, June 04, 2009

"What Are the Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years?"

Knowledge@Warton provides this list, in order of importance:
  1. Internet, broadband, WWW (browser and html)
  2. PC/laptop computers
  3. Mobile phones
  4. E-mail
  5. DNA testing and sequencing/Human genome mapping
  6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  7. Microprocessors
  8. Fiber optics
  9. Office software (spreadsheets, word processors)
  10. Non-invasive laser/robotic surgery (laparoscopy)
  11. Open source software and services (e.g., Linux, Wikipedia)
  12. Light emitting diodes
  13. Liquid crystal display (LCD)
  14. GPS systems
  15. Online shopping/ecommerce/auctions (e.g., eBay)
  16. Media file compression (jpeg, mpeg, mp3)
  17. Microfinance
  18. Photovoltaic Solar Energy
  19. Large scale wind turbines
  20. Social networking via the Internet
  21. Graphic user interface (GUI)
  22. Digital photography/videography
  23. RFID and applications (e.g., EZ Pass)
  24. Genetically modified plants
  25. Bio fuels
  26. Bar codes and scanners
  27. ATMs
  28. Stents
  29. SRAM flash memory
  30. Anti retroviral treatment for AIDS
Comment: Without microprocessors there would not be personal computers, and without personal computers and fiber optics, there would not be much value in the Internet. That is true also for ATMs I suppose.

The software commodity business, including Microsoft, is more important than the development of free and open source software, at least so far.

Generally, I guess I would put the evolution of the global information infrastructure as the most important technological development of the past 30 years.

I wonder whether there are not more important medical advances than anti-retrovirals. Perhaps some of the social innovations that are leading to more progress against the diseases of poverty are saving more lives than the anti-retrivurals. JAD

No comments: