Have you ever thought 'how' have we come so far in a matter of 70 years?
From horse and cart to man on the moon.
For thousands of years man only had the horse.
I accept the car was inevitable, but taking pictures of the Earth 60 years later from outer space.
Does it add up to you?
By asking "does it add up?" do you mean that you don't believe it has happened, or just that it's surprising or impressive? The moon landing was certainly impressive. The International Space Station and planned manned mission to Mars in a few years time are even more so. You are skipping over a few things between horse and cart and space travel though, most notably steam powered vehicles, and the aeroplane. It's not like we jumped straight from horses to cars or from cars to space travel.
In terms of technology and medicine, pretty darn far, but as a society I believe we have become morally stagnant and perhaps are going backwards. Given too that much of our 'progress' has come about at the expense of other people, our natural resources and the integrity of many of our ecosystems, it doesn't add up for me.
It is pretty amazing how far we've come! Makes you wonder what will have been achieved in yet another 70 years. If only we had progressed so far as human beings! Whilst we are going ahead in leaps and bounds with technology and the like, seems like many are forgetting how to be a decent human being. The pace of life gets faster and faster, it's no wonder so much has been achieved in the guise of "progress".
I think we owe a lot of our progress to science fiction, which really got going in the 30s and 40s.. strange as it may seem, to me it looks to be a case of life imitating art, giving people something to aspire to .. space travel .. advanced technology .. not many thought of it before then.
So perhaps it all began a little earlier with the printing press, meaning that literature was available to the masses, not just to the privileged few who could afford it. Leading on from this was education for more people, meaning that more people with ideas could come forth and bring them into fruition, combining ideas and building on the knowledge and ideas of others now accessible to them. For a long time we didn't have this great ability to share what we know. Now we have the Internet, a superhighway where virtually anything someone can think can be instantly transmitted around the world. With that comes, as Vee mentioned, a downside of perhaps more unsavoury ideas being transmitted, but so too can collaboration occur - scientists, artists and dreamers from all over the world can combine knowledge and ideas at an unprecedented rate, which is why, I think, we have been able to progress so much faster in recent times. Telepathy would probably be the only thing quicker, but I don't think anyone's mastered that yet!
This doesn't really address the downside of all that technology, or where we're not doing so well, but it could just be that now we know how bad things are, where as before we didn't have access to the information so things were just how they were in our own lives.. this could turn into an article the way I'm going, so I might stop now as it's getting too long .. but thanks for the question Jonaj, I didn't know that I thought all that about the subject!
I think we have come pretty far but I don't think it was fast. I think people develop on the success of their predecessors every decade over the centuries. also some developments contribute to the possibility and the frequency of other innovations. The harnessing of electricity for example has made it possible to create a host of other things.