In the history of technology, there have been many revolutions. The most commonly mentioned revolutions, I have chronologically listed in this blog.
Each of the 30 revolutions in 10 categories marks a well defined watershed moment in the history of technology.
Revolution defined: a radical or pervasive change in society.
1) First (Neolithic) Agricultural Revolution (10,000 BCE)
Around 10,000 BCE agriculture began. Before then, wild grains were harvested by hunter gatherer groups beginning around 100,000 BCE. True domestication of plants occurred in Mesopotamia with the founding 8 neolithic crops: eikorn wheat, emmer wheat, peas, chick peas, flax, barley, lentils, and bitter vetch. Around 9000 BCE, domestication of sheep, goats, pigs, and later cattle occurred. By 8700 BCE, Native Americans domesticated corn in Central America. In 7000 BCE, the Chinese domesticated rice. Eleven separate regions of the world independently originated agriculture on 5 continents.
Agriculture was truly revolutionary due to the lifestyle change from nomadic hunter gatherer to settled, agrarian societies.
The land demands of agriculture are 1/100th or less compared to nomadic societies, allowing for increased population and increased population density due to food increases. The benefits of irrigation, fertilization, and crop rotation in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were evident by 6000 BCE. Successful agriculture eventually led to the development of cities and civilizations by 3500 BCE.
2) First (barter/commodity) Economic Revolution (9,000 BCE)
Before the existence of currency or money, bartering was the principle method of commerce. Livestock were the primary means of bartering with crops used less frequently. Common objects of value such as grain or livestock could be used to trade for uncommon materials such as obsidian, or manufactured materials such as ceramics, tools, or textiles. Bartering and trade need interaction of people which dramatically increased with settlements and agriculture. Some commodity items like cowrie shells and beads saw use in a fashion not unlike money.
The Neolithic clay token system of accounting in Mesopotamia preceded the invention of writing.
The Neolithic clay token system was a method of accounting that was more advanced than simple tally marks. Each clay token represented not just a number but a specific commodity traded also. The clay tokens were individually shaped to represent a specific commodity. The number of tokens corresponded to the number of that particular commodity traded. The tokens were than sealed in ceramic jars as a permanent record of the commodity traded. Tokens were not tied to a specific language. By 3500 BCE, the number of specific tokens had increased from about 12 to more than 250 different tokens. The larger sized tokens represented numerically more of the commodity than the smaller sized tokens. The token system was replaced by cuneiform written language (3500 BCE) and currency (coins) in 600 BCE both of which were superior in versatility and accuracy to the token system.
3) Second Agricultural Revolution (4000 BCE)
Ard or scratch plow and domestication of oxen. The wooden ard scratch plow was improved in the Bronze Age with a metal tipped plow. The ard scratch plow worked best on softer, sandy soils which are naturally fertilized with annual river flooding like in the Nile river basin of Egypt. Annual flooding fertilized the soil making crop rotation less essential for successful agriculture than elsewhere in the world. Irrigation techniques and infrastructure improved, further increasing crop yields. Plowing perpendicularly again across rows improved results.
Bronze tools significantly contributed to the Second Agricultural Revolution with bronze metal tipped plow, bronze spades, bronze sickles, axes, saws, and hoes.
Bronze tools led to the expansion of carpentry, increasing the ease of clearing forests for agriculture. Wood remains the most versatile construction material on the planet. Bronze improved plow and other agricultural tools construction. World population increased dramatically with the invention of the plow combined with domestication of oxen, and use of bronze tools. World population doubled between 4000 BCE to 3000 BCE from (7 million to 14 million). Next, world population almost doubled again between 3000 and 2000 BCE (14 million-27 million). World population almost doubled again between 2000 BCE and 1000 BCE (27 million -50 million).
Iron tools began replacing bronze tools around 1800 BCE.
The moldboard iron plow is invented in China in 500 BCE. World population goes up 4x between 1000 BCE and 1 AD (50 million-190 million). Success in agriculture allowed for increased size and complexity of settlements. Excesses in food production freed up a warrior class societies allowing large scale warfare.
4) First (metal/horses/wheel) Weapons Revolution (3500 BCE)
Smelting of copper began around 5000 BCE. When tin was alloyed with copper in 1:8 ratio, bronze was created. Bronze was superior to copper in hardness, utility, and workability. By 3500 BCE, smelting of bronze created tools which improved wood working, revolutionizing carpentry. Wood is the most versatile construction material. Carpentry became one of the most common professions. Bronze saws, hammers, chisels later were replaced by iron tools. Bronze has superior hardness than wrought iron but inferior hardness to steel. The Bronze Age dates from 3500 BCE -1200 BCE. The Iron Age dates from 1100 BCE-300 BCE.
Metal weapons including arrow heads, spears, knives, and swords changed battle tactics creating a revolution in warfare.
Domestication of horses in 3500 BCE further revolutionized warfare. Cavalry changed the tactics of warfare. Horses become a major factor in warfare until the Third (smokeless powder) Weapons Revolution and machine guns.
Invention of the wheel and chariot combined with horses changed the speed of warfare. Transportation of supplies was expedited with wheels and horses.
5) First (writing) DATA Revolution (3500 BCE)
Around 3500 BCE in Sumerians from Mesopotamia developed cuneiform writing on clay tablets. Written language evolved from the proto-writing ancient clay token system of accounting which preceded writing.
For 4000 years, the clay token system was primarily a systematic form of accounting in commodity trading.
For the first 500 years, writing was exclusively used for accounting.
Use of writing in government, arts, and literature only came later. Written language was revolutionary in many ways. Most importantly, history began with the invention of hand written language. Written language improved accounting, increased commerce, and created a permanent record of business and government actions. With time, literature written on clay tablets began. The Sumerians also invented the plow, domesticated oxen, invented the wood hulled, oared sailboat, began bronze smelting, created the first cities, and invented the wheel/axle with horse domestication. All these inventions occurred in what was the Big Bang of Technology (3500 BCE). Within 300 years, the world’s first 6 civilizations developed creating a further explosion of technology.
6) First Transportation Revolution (3500 BCE)
Wheels can function as a single (wheelbarrow), double (chariot/bicycle), three, four (cart of wagon), six or more (train). First came the potter’s wheel. The potter’s wheel later led to the axle, the solid wood wheel, the spoke wheel, the iron ringed wheel, the rubber ringed wheel, the pneumatic tire wheel, and the metal spoke, rimmed vulcanized rubber pneumatic tire wheel. Wheeled devices move materials far better on roads. Therefore, the 55,000 mile Roman empire road system dramatically increased the utility of the wheel. Horse domestication occurred nearly simultaneously with the wheel and axle invention. Horses further helped revolutionize warfare, agriculture, and transportation.
Commerce changed dramatically with oared sailboats. Oars allowed ships to go up current and up wind allowing trade in most weather conditions. The wood hulled sailboat with both a square cloth sail and oars originated around 3200 BCE in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Three quarters of the world surface is water. The river and island cultures of Mesopotamia (Tigris and Euphrates), Egypt (Nile), India (Indus), Greece, Phoenicia, and China (Yellow) used sailboats for transport and commerce.
7) Second (metal commodity money/coinage) Economic Revolution (600 BCE)
Tally marks on wood, stone, or bone were the first system of accounting dating to 20,000 BCE Africa. Money of account, that is, debts and credits of commodities dates to the token system as early as 7500 BCE in the Middle East. Money of account records dramatically improved with the invention of cuneiform written language on clay tablets around 3500 BCE in Sumeria. Gold bars were used as money for exchanges as early as 3000 BCE in Egypt. By 1000 BCE, metal knives and spades were used as a form of currency in China.
In 600 BCE, the modern coin was used first in Lydia, Turkey.
These were stamped coins of gold, silver or bronze with a face on one surface. These coins were commodity money due to the inherent value of the metal in the coin. Money revolutionized trade and commerce. The barter system gradually was replaced by the monetary system for commerce.
8) Black gunpowder, the Second Weapons Revolution (850 AD)
Mechanical propellants such as bow and arrow and trebuchet/catapult were gradually replaced with low explosive propellants with the invention of black gunpowder in China in 850 AD. Particularly after 1450 when cannons helped the Ottoman Turks to conquer Constantinople, gunpowder revolutionized warfare.
Fortified walls became obsolete against cannons. Firearms likewise made the knight in heavy armor obsolete. Cannons, muskets, pistols, and rifles replaced catapults, siege towers, bow and arrows, swords, and spears.
9) Second DATA Revolution (1450)
Mechanical Print Data
Although invented in China, the printing press with movable type never took hold there probably due to the inefficiencies of the large numbers of characters in the Chinese language (20,000) compared to the few characters needed for alphabetic languages of Europe (less than 100).
With the invention of mechanized language, data transmitted faster, cheaper, and more accurately.
Further, the printing press led to acceleration of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. The continuous expansion of data and inventions since 1450 and the printing press is the Big Surge of Technology. Since 1450, 570 years have passed or 0.22% of human existence creating 1653/2000 inventions (83%). More than 4/5 of the 2000 greatest inventions of all time originated in the Big Surge of Technology. The failure to widely adopt the printing press in China and Islamic countries may partly explain the stagnation of technology there since 1450.
10) Scientific (Method) Revolution (1543)
The Scientific Revolution begins with heliocentric ideas of Copernicus in 1543 and ends with the laws of motion and universal law of gravity of Isaac Newton in 1687 with Principia. The Scientific Revolution redefined science from the ancient Greek definition which had ruled scientific thinking for 2000 years.
By the end of the Scientific Revolution, science was beginning to replace Christianity as the focal point of European civilization.
The scientific method revolutionized technology. No longer did superstition dominate thinking. Truth no longer was defined by blind interpretation of the Bible by clergy, rather experience defined by scientists in experiments became to the route to acquire knowledge. Copernicus redefined our place in the universe from geocentric to heliocentric. Later, Charles Darwin would redefine our human place in the history of our planet. Beginning with the Scientific Revolution many scientists were some of the most influential persons in history. Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Mendel, Tesla, Mendeleev, Einstein.
11) Optical Revolution (1600)
Invention of the microscope (1600) and the telescope (1608) allowed the exploration of 2 new universes.
The microscope allowed the visualization and study of a new universe of all things small and close.
In 1590, Zacharias and Hans Janssen of the Netherlands invent the 2 lens compound microscope. Galileo Galalei invents an improved compound microscope in 1609 using a convex and a concave lens. However, high levels of magnification would not be achieved with the microscope until the 1760s. Microorganisms and cells were first seen by Antoni van Leuwenhoek in the Netherlands in 1768. Conventional compound microscope technology would take 100 years to catch up to the level of magnification achieved with van Leuwenhoek’s nearly spherical lenses (270x). Also, the same 100 years would pass before the microbial theory of disease as put forth by John Snow, Louis Pasteur, and Robert Koch would achieve wide acceptance. Dramatic gains in magnification occurred with the invention of the electron microscope using electrons instead of visible light to visualize objects.
The telescope allowed the visualization and study of the universe of all things big and distant.
In 1608, Dutch Hans Lippershey patents the refractor telescope. The next year, 1609, Galileo Galilei improves on the Lippershey invention with a more powerful refractor telescope with which he is able to see the moons of Jupiter. In the 1650s, Christian Huygens improves on the refractor telescope with a compound eyepiece. In 1668, Isaac Newton invents the first practical reflecting telescope. By 1733, Chester hall builds the first achromatic lenses which dramatically improve the quality of refractor telescopes. In 1924, Edwin Hubble determines that our Milky Way is just one of many galaxies in the universe. In 1927, Georges Lemaitre proposed the Big Bang theory of the universe origins.
12) Third (British) Agricultural Revolution (1650)
Beginning in the 700s and 800s the 3 field crop rotation system began to see use. The 3 field system of crop rotation use began around the same time as the heavy plow. One field would be wheat or barley, the next year is lentils, beans or some other nitrogen fixing crop, the third year would be fallow with grazing allowing manure to fertilize the field. In the 500s to 700s the mold board (heavy) plow began to see use in Europe. Between 100 BCE and 100 AD the cast iron moldboard plow originated in China, The Second Agricultural Revolution is associated with England and Wales and is sometimes called the British Agricultural Revolution. The British Agricultural Revolution was from 1650-1900. Wheat production yields increased from 19 bushells/acre in 1720 to 30 bushells/acre in1840.
Key to the British Agricultural Revolution was the Norfolk 4 field crop rotation system: 1) wheat 2)turnips 3) barley 4) clover.
The planting of crops occurs every year with no fallow year. Begun in northern Belgium in the 1600s, the Norfolk 4 field system of crop rotation was popularized in the 1700s in England by Charles Townsend. Selective breeding of livestock became popular, further increasing agricultural productivity. With increased agricultural productivity combined with increased mechanization, the population began a widespread shift from rural to urban, fueling the first industrial revolution. Then the population increased in England and Wales from 5.5 million to 9 million between 1700-1800. Later, the population quadrupled to over 35 million by 1900. John Bennet Lawes began the systematic scientific study of fertilizers in 1843, founding Rothamsted Experimental Station on his farm. He developed superphosphate, the first synthetic fertilizer to achieve widespread use.
13) Third (paper currency/representative money) Economic Revolution (1661)
China 806, banknotes first saw use. By 1050 AD formal banknotes saw use in China. By 1455, China abandoned paper money.
Commerce in the modern sense began in the 1500s when large companies formed in the UK, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
In 1600, founded through a charter by Queen Elizabeth I, the British East India Company traded in spices, cotton, silk, indigo, tea and saltpeter. In 1602, the Dutch East India Company founded.
Later, in Sweden in 1661 issues the first European banknotes.
The Bank of England in 1694 became the first government bank to issue permanent paper currency.
In England in 1816 a Gold Standard supported the paper currency value. Within 80 years, most other governments followed England.
Representative (paper) money unlike commodity (coin) money has no intrinsic value to support its worth. Paper money value depends on the certainty of government support of the money’s value. Commerce was revolutionized with paper money. Larger sums for larger transactions are possible and more practical with paper money compared to coins.
14) First Industrial Revolution (1765-1830)
Billed by historians as the most transforming event in human existence since the First (Neolithic) Agricultural Revolution.
The First Industrial Revolution brought liberation from animal power.
Also, the First Industrial Revolution marks the change of society and economy from a primarily rural agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by urban factories, machines, and manufacturing.
The First Industrial Revolution began primarily in Britain and centered on iron, coal, and textiles. New materials of the industrial revolution included primarily iron and steel. Also, new energy sources of the industrial revolution included coal, gas, and petroleum. New machines of the industrial revolution include: the steam engine, spinning jenny, cotton gin, power loom. New organization of labor occurred with the factory system. And , new transportation systems with trains, steam ship. New communication systems with telegraph. The First Industrial Revolution transformed the economy from rural, manual labor agricultural to urban mechanized industrial. The percentage of population living in cities of 10,000 or less in Europe increased from 5.6% in 1500 to 8.3 % in 1650. Pre-industrialization populations were over 80% rural.
By 1850, more Britons lived in cities than in rural areas.
15) Second Transportation Revolution (1765)
Watt’s steam engine (1765), the external combustion engine, redefined horse power.
Then, Richard Trevithick’s 1804 locomotive revolutionized land transportation. So in 1826, the first American railway began service.
Later, Robert Fulton’s steamboat 1807 revolutionized river transportation. The paddle wheel would later be replaced by the propeller invented in 1827 by Josef Ressel.
National Road construction 1817 also known as the Cumberland road. The first road to cross the Appalachian mountains.
Erie canal completed in 1825. 363 miles from Albany NY to Buffalo NY. Transportation costs across the Erie canal were 1/10 after construction what they were before construction.
16) Third DATA Revolution (1837)
The evolution of electronic data from the telegraph, to the telephone, radio, television and to computers defines the Wired Era and Wireless Era. Electronic data transmits across great distances almost instantaneously. Initially, wires transmitted the data but later, radio wave technology allowed the transmission of electronic data without wires to millions of people simultaneously. Mass communication began first with just sound in radio, then later with pictures and sound in television. Next, computers allowed both storage and analysis of large amounts of electronic data. Digital data storage forms replaced analog electronic data on vinyl records and cassette tapes.
Electronic data revolutionized the information volume, speed, and storage capacity leading to the information (digital) age.
17) First Medical Revolution (1850)
1847, chloroform anesthetic, James Simpson, Scotland.
Later, in 1848 Thomas Rynd of Ireland invents the hollow metal needle.
Then in 1851, British Alexander Wood invents the all glass syringe.
Combined with the hollow needle, the glass/plastic syringe becomes the single most important medical device in history. Estimates of saving 2-3 billion lives with vaccinations, injections, IV treatments, transfusions, aspirations.
Later, in 1851, ophthalmoscope for eye examination, Herman Helmhotz, Germany.
Then in1853, aspirin (acetyl salicyclic acid) synthesized, Charles Frederic Gerhardt, Germany. Aspirin is #5 of the 10 most important medicines in history.
1858, German Rudolf Carl Virchow establishes the cellular basis of pathology.
Late 1850s, French Louis Pasteur begins to define the germ theory of disease.
18) Plastics Revolution (1862)
British Alexander Parks invents Parkesine a celluloid plastic, the first man made plastic in 1862. Yet, the plastic was not successful due to its high cost. Later, in 1869 by John Hyatt invents celluloid in the USA as the first commercially successful synthetic plastic. Then in 1909, Leo H. Baekeland from New York invented Bakelite, the first fully synthetic plastic.
In 1920, invention of PVC, polyvinyl chloride, occurs which then becomes the most commonly used plastic in the world.
In 1931, plexiglass invention occurs which proves to be highly successful. Roy Plunkett discovers teflon in 1938 . Next, in 1939, Wallace Hume Carothers invents nylon.
Plastics become with wood, the most versatile materials on the planet.
Plastics would revolutionize food storage, replacing most ceramic, glass, and metal containers.
19) Second (technological) Industrial Revolution (1871-1914)
Railroad networks, electricity, electrification of factories, machine tool industry, interchangeable parts, gas, and oil, Bessemer steel, internal combustion engine, mass production, telegraph, telephone, assembly line, steel, radio, mass communication, automobile, typewriter, and gas, water, sewage systems. Globalization and urbanization was prominent. Factories with assembly lines creating machines with interchangeable parts defined the revolution.
In 1800, only 6% of the US population lived in cities.
By 1900, 40% of the US population lived in cities.
Age of science and technology defines the Second Industrial Revolution.
In the 1880s, over 75,000 miles of railroad track was laid down in the USA, more distance than all the roads constructed in the 1000 years of the Roman empire (55,000 miles).
20) Smokeless powder and high explosives, the Third Weapons Revolution (1884)
Paul Vieille invented white smokeless powder (Poudre B) in 1884 in France. Made from 70% insoluble nitrocellulose and 30% soluble nitrocellulose with ether and paraffin. Smokeless powder has largely replaced black gunpowder as a propellant for firearms due to 3x greater power, cleaner burning, and improved handling properties.
Also, smokeless powder allowed the more successful production of automatic weapons and machine guns, revolutionizing warfare.
Finally, smokeless powder is a low explosive propellant which does not detonate like high explosives such as TNT in 1863, dynamite by Alfred Nobel in 1867, C-4 1956.
21) Third Transportation Revolution (1903/1908)
Nicholas Otto of Germany invented the 4 stroke internal combustion engine in 1877.
In 1892, Rudolf Diesel received patents for the diesel engine which is about 30% more thermally efficient than gasoline powered engines. Most maritime propulsion is diesel due to engine durability, increased torque, and fuel efficiency. However, gas turbine engines deliver greater speed and are quieter.
Later, in 1903, the Wright brothers created the first cast aluminum 4 cylinder internal combustion engine to power the first airplane in at Kitty Hawk, NC.
Then, in 1908 with the Model T, Henry Ford created personal motorized transport affordable to the masses.
22) Second Medical (antibiotics) Revolution (1940)
Alexander Fleming, penicillin, UK
Erlich’s lab discovers the first antibacterial medicine Salvarsan (arsphenamine) for the treatment of syphilis in 1907. By 1918, synthesis of quinine for the treatment of malaria occurs. In 1928 Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Then in 1935, first sulfonamide antibiotic, Prontosil. By 1942, benzyl penicillin released. Later, in 1944, streptomycin is the first aminogyloside antibiotic. By 1946, chloroquine appears. In 1952, erythromycin released. Also in 1952, isoniazid released for treatment of tuberculosis. Then, in 1955, tetracycline released. By 1972, artemisinin isolated for the treatment of tuberculosis. And finally, by 1990, AZT protease inhibitors (AIDS/HIV) are invented.
1940-1962 was the Golden Era of Antibiotics when all major antibiotic classes appeared. Estimates that antibiotics saved over one billion lives.
Also, antibiotics rank as the #19 Greatest Invention of All Time.
23) Fourth Transportation Revolution (1939)
Jet/rocket engine. Propeller planes use internal combustion engines to power flight. Jet planes use jet engines and jet fuel to fly.
The difference between a jet engine and a rocket engine is the jet uses atmospheric oxygen to burn fuel and a rocket provides its own oxygen to mix with fuel. Because outer space has no oxygen, rockets require oxygen tanks to power flight.
Interstate highway system (1956-1992)- a network of super highways connecting major cities first in the USA. Dwight D. Eisenhower developed and spearheaded the project. Eventually, construction occurred of 50.000 miles of super highways in the USA. The interstate highway system led to a dramatic decline in railway use and a dramatic increase in trucking.
By 1951, the first container ship converted from a freighter. Then in 1955, the first dedicated container ship launched.
Since then, containerization has taken over shipping.
Shipping now measures in 20 foot equivalents (teu). Containerization has decreased shipping times by 84%, decreased shipping costs by 35%. 90% of non-bulk international shipping is by container ships. Container shipping is faster, cheaper, safer, has less breakage, is more automated, and sees less shifting during transport than conventional shipping.
24) Fourth agricultural revolution (Green Revolution) from 1940 to present.
Green Revolution is high yield hybrid seeds, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, expansion of irrigation, and heavy mechanization.
The Green Revolution began in Mexico in the 1950s and increasing through the 1960s.
Norman Boraug, PhD (U of MN) “father of the Green Revolution” pioneered high yield hybrid dwarf wheat in Mexico increasing crop yields 300%.
Credited for saving over 1 billion from starvation in Mexico, India, and Pakistan.
Crop yields have increased 400% since 1940 in US, wheat yields have increased 300% since 1940 in Europe. Using Norman Boraug’s principles, rice hybrids developed in the Philippines and Asia which increased rice production up to 300%.
25) Nuclear power, the Fourth Weapons Revolution (1945)
Prior to atomic power, weapons did their damage by the power of the propelled shell, the blast of the exploding shell, and shrapnel from the exploding shell. TNT and other high explosives supplied the energy of conventional bombs.
With atomic weapons, the power of the explosion blast combines with intense heat, and radiation to kill.
Also, with atomic weapons comes the threat of mutual assured destruction with all out nuclear war between nuclear powers. The Cold War extended from 1945-1989, ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since the advent of nuclear bombs, no major wars between nuclear powers have occurred.
26) Fourth (electronic currency) Economic Revolution (1946)
Plastic currency or credit cards began use in 1946 with Diner’s Club.
Rather than coins or paper currency, credit/debit cards use electronic currency for payment.
Typically, no cash money actually exchanges. rather, electric recording of the transaction is all that occurs. Also, with electronic currency money instantaneously goes virtually anywhere in the world making commerce easier, safer, and often faster. Currently, the use of electronic currency has allowed growth of extremely large companies such as Amazon which specialize in electronic purchases. Currently, cash represents 30% of all payments and 50% of all purchases under $10. 73% of American households use credit cards.
Credit cards/debit cards represent 51% of all purchases.
In person payments still represent 73% of all transactions.
27) Third (digital) Industrial Revolution (1947-1989)
Semiconductors, namely silicon computer chips defines the Third Industrial Revolution.
Silicon Valley California became the geographic center of the revolution.
The Third (digital) Industrial Revolution marks the beginning of the Information/Digital Age.
Analog to digital electronics, analog data (vinyl records, cassette tapes) to digital data forms, semiconductors, MOSFETs, integrated circuits, aerospace technology, biotechnology, personal computers, television, cellular phones, telecommunications, human-machine communication and nuclear energy are elements of the Third Industrial Revolution.
Factory production becomes increasingly mechanized and automated.
Digital data storage forms replaced analog data.
28) Fourth DATA Revolution (1989)
Hypertext Data is the Fourth Data Revolution.
The electronic data interconnected with other data in the form of hypertext defines the Internet era which extends from 1989-present. Hypertext is a software system where electronic topics link on a computer screen to other data accessed typically by a point and click method. Also, hypertext access is with touch screen or computer mouse. Almost all documents can interconnect by hypertext links. Finally, hypertext enhances data integration and access.
29) Third (Genetics) Medical Revolution (2020)
Watson and Crick defined the double helix of DNA in 1953 largely based on x-ray diffraction data by Rosalind Franklin. The Human Genome Project finished in 2003. CRISPR-Cas 9 gene editing technology originated in 2012 by Jennifer Doudna. Then, in 2020, cures of 3 people with genetic diseases occurred with bone marrow stem cells altered with CRISPR-Cas9 technology, one with beta thalassemia and 2 with sickle cell anemia. 10,000 genetic diseases exist, at least half are point mutations which are amenable to current technologies of DNA editing.
Diseases potentially curable with CRISPR-Cas technology include: monogenic disorders, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, Huntington’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, hemophilia A, chronic granulomatous diseases.
30) Fourth Industrial Revolution (21st century)
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is digital electronics, internet, internet of things, automation, gene editing, artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, social media, virtual/augmented reality, machine to machine communication, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, WiFi, smart sensors, smart technology, nanotechnology, quantum computing and 5th generation wireless communications technology. In 1990, <1% of the world owned a cell phone, <1% used the internet.
By 2020, 67% of the world own a cell phone and 60% of the world uses the internet.
Also, 96% of Americans own a cell phone, 81% a smart phone.