You write that a lot of the novels and popular science writing during the early 20th century were concerned with the “idea of progress.” Can you expand on that?
During this period, “progress” was increasingly being seen in terms of technology. Throughout the 19th and 20th century, industrial progress was seen as very important and the sense of the future was shaped by the sense of what technology could do: rationally planned cities with your beautiful high-rises and airports on top of airports and helicopters, and all this giving people a better life.
In earlier periods, the utopian future tended to be defined in terms of the social relations put into place. But increasingly, people thought the utopian future (including these better social relations) would depend on the application of technology — which is why it was so easy for narrow-minded technophiles to focus on a particular technology which they see as going to give us all a wonderful new life.
What are some of the predictions that they made? Were the writers all technophiles? Or was there a lot of doom and gloom?
It was both. The newspapers were enthusiastic about Lindbergh flying across the Atlantic, which often led to speculations about when we’ll be able to fly, plus warnings about the dangers of aviation. Rudyard Kipling wrote about a world transformed by a peaceful use of aviation, but there were plenty of doom and gloom novels, too. H.G. Wells wrote about civilization almost wiped out in a great war and gas, and yet in his book it was still the scientists who had the technological skill to build the rationally planned world. So we did see both sides of the equation.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.