The mission of MIT Technology Review is to equip its audiences with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology.
GET SMART: Want to brag about what you learned at MIT, even though you’ve never been to Massachusetts and have less tech know-how than your average kid in grade school? Since 2001 they’ve released their list of the year’s top ten technical innovations; think of David Letterman’s top ten only geekier. See how life changed in the past decade and a half by perusing previous years of the MIT Technology Review and look for stuff that became mainstream while we weren’t paying attention. The Review has featured many advances we now take for granted like cloud computing, biometrics, and nano-medicine.
GO TIME TRAVELING: Explainthatstuff.com invites you to look back on the last billion years or so of technological progress and consider the cascade effect of technology, where one advance leads to the next and so on.
3000- 600BCE Bronze Age: Widespread use of copper and its important alloy bronze. 2000 BCE Water-raising and irrigation devices like the shaduf (shadoof), invented by the Ancient Egyptians, introduce the idea of lifting things using counterweights.
These onstage demos offer a mind-blowing peek at where technology is taking us. Flying robots, levitating superconductors, brainwave-reading headsets and more ...
LISTEN WHEN THESE PEOPLE TALK: Flying robots, driverless cars, and headsets that read brainwaves may sound like science fiction, but they are here today. Take a break from The Walking Dead for a night and view a series of fourteen TED talks on current tech breakthroughs.
BECOME A TREKKIE: There were some pretty far out ideas introduced when Star Trek made its television debut in 1966. Since then electric weapons called a Taser instead of a phaser have become common place, we call portable communicators cell phones, and video conferencing has become passé. The Heroes and Icons Television Network airs the original uncut series and CBS launched a reboot in 2017. With the TV and enduring movie franchise to boot, Trekkie tech continues to live long and prosper. Imagine what the transporter will do for your commute time someday.
SAY GOODBYE: The good old days fly by in Amit Ramesh’s video ode to the disappearance of rotary telephones, type- writers, and road atlases. Watch cell phones and computers consolidate and dominate. Then think about what might be next.
BUY THE BOOK: Merely reading it isn’t enough; you need to own a copy of Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt (1946). How about this for a strong opening: “Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man.” Yep, my kind of guy. For now, focus on Chapter 7: The Curse of Machinery. We’ll return again to the rest of the book, but his discourse on technology and how it creates jobs rather than destroying them is one to have handy when watching the nightly news.