We take the supply of electricity for granted . . . . For younger folk there is rarely the concern that the power will go off, and if it does, it’s not often for more than a few minutes at a time. In the 1970s this country, and most of the world, had to put up with a very story. Power cuts and the national grid rationing the power output to localised stations was an ongoing thing for several months after the six day war in the middl east disrupted oil supplies to our power supplies. Again, in 1979 the coal miners’ strike shut power stations with the national grid limiting output. We were reduced to working 3 day weeks and it was catastrophic for everyone. Now we must again cut right back for ever – to save the planet. Swapping to saver tariffs an using white good during the off peak periods is very helpful – using a simple plug in timer. Installing solar panels etc. all make us appreciate this unseen but vital commodity.
There have been so many advances in science ad technology we hardly notice new stuff coming along now. It just arrives without fanfare and we absorb its affects. One area though that does excite many is Artificial Intelligence . . We are seeing so many more tasks and manufacturing relying on this incrdible invention. The latest headline grabber is the ability to crack the game of poker. It seems AI has finally cracked its final challenge, the texas hold’em. Usig games is a good way for many new ides to be tested . Decades ago when my job was getting its first computers, the only training we had was being told to play solitaire and other simple games on our desk tops, to get us used to handling the mouse and interactivity with the machine. It was somewhat less challenging than poker but to me, it took much concentration So basic but just another science & technology milestone.
With all our knowledge of science and technology on how the world around us works and what incredible new inventions are coming on stream all the time, it’s hard to imagine how life was back a couple of centuries. We had the greatest minds beavering away – developing electricity . . . that breakthrough must have seemed so incredible. Something we take for granted every hour of the day. Einstein was one of the most famous men ever – very few will eclipse him. A universit in the US is publishing all his letters and papers – hundreds of items show nuances about his genious and downsides to that huge personality. Some highlight his despair at the lack of progress towards the unified theory of gravity and electricity – one of his major goals. So many other inventions came along to distract work – take quantum ideas describing mechanics of electrons and subatomic particles and that was back in the 1920s & ’30s. Todays scientific world take every new challenge and runs with it quicker and more confidently!