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50 Years Ago
By: Your Name
50 Years Ago
People always go on and on about how great things were 50 years ago. They call it, “The good o'l days.” I am here to argue that things are much better today than they were fifty years ago. Fifty years ago puts us back to the 1960's. For the sake of argument, 50 years ago will represent 1950 through 1970. The world today has better medicines, better travel, better ways to facilitate business, better international relations and better rights for women and minorities.
Over the past half-century, amazing strides have been made in the medical field. For example, it used to be that if a person got diagnosed with cancer, it was basically a death sentence. Now, the survival rate is five times what it was in 1970. Additionally, an article just came out about how a tiny little man-made heart kept a baby alive until it could find a matching donor. The biggest feat in medicine is the mapping of the genome and DNA testing. Hundreds of those wrongly convicted of crimes have been exonerated via DNA testing, and arguably thousands more have been acquitted at trial for the same reason. Modern medicine has done wonders for innocent people wrongly convicted. And gene therapy has allowed thousands more to have their own bodies rebuild themselves...a human ear was even grown on the back of a rat for someone who lost their ear!
The Boeing 747-400 was introduced in 1989 and was a huge leap, technology and performance-wise over the older, and really aging 747's. It was the first of the 747's to have an all-glass, computerized cockpit as well as fly-by-wire and improvements to the structure (bigger, more fuel-efficient, longer range)..until the A380 goes into full service, the 747-400 is still king of long-range airline flight. Militarily, the submarines, jets and ground vehicles are all high-tech and most can be driven remotely which means less military is put in harm's way. The cars made modernly have GPS to guide drivers to keep them from getting lost (and for the men, save their dignity by not having to pull over to ask for directions), and On Star to turn the car off if it gets stolen. Although the body styles modernly are not as cool as they were fifty years ago, it is what is under the hood that counts.
Better Technology for Computers, Cell phones.
The past 50 years are referred to the information explosion. The technological advances that have been made are astounding and effects nearly every facet of life. There have been more technological advances in the past 20 years than in the entire span of man's recorded history on Earth: Digital cameras/webcams, video games, arcade and home versions, HDTV, the Internet, namely public access to the Internet, cell phones, word-processing software such as Microsoft Word and WordPerfect,
creative software like Broderbund's Print Shop and Create-A-Card, Digital sound recording, MIDI, just to name a few.
Better International Relations.
There is, and has always been instability in the middle east. But fifty years ago, the U.S. had nukes pointed out them. Russia and America had their long-lasting cold war that kept the entire world on edge, wondering if a nuclear war was imminent. Then there was the Cuban missile crisis and the Berlin wall. All of these threats no longer exist, or at least not in the way they did 50 years ago. Around the world today democracy is toppling the old out-dated dictatorships of the past.
Better Rights for Women and Minorities.
Fifty years ago or so, women and minorities were still fighting for equal rights. In the 50's, the US was laden with separate, but equal facilities for blacks and whites. Women who worked made less money working in the same position, with the same education of their male counterparts made significantly less money simply by virtue of the fact that they were not men. What is touching today is to watch young children at school, of all nationalities, races and creeds playing together with absolutely no idea that anyone was less important then themselves based upon those plaques of the past. Actually, kids never on their own know the difference between different races of people. They just want to play and have fun. It has always been the adults who exemplify the foolish behavior such as discrimination or prejudice. Unfortunately, as kids grow, they learn all about it from adults. Nonetheless, it is touching to see how when kids are taught about how blacks used to be separated in the United States in schooling, in housing, even in drinking fountains (a black fountain for blacks and a white fountain for whites), the kids kind of giggle because to them it seems so silly. Kids are taught how racist things used to be, rather than, like 50 years ago, having to live in the midst of discriminatory times.
Microwaves, the Hubble space telescope, the Mars rovers Spirit & Opportunity, 4.5 second and 335 mph Top Fuel dragsters, automotive air bags & ABS braking systems, the X43A HyperX project, Burt Rutan's Spaceship One (Antari X-prize winner)...how did anyone ever live without these?
In comparison to today, yesteryear was really slow...and boring. The human mind was meant to excel, invent, innovate, create. The past 50 years has propelled the human mind into territory that no one could have even imagined 50 years ago. This is the most exciting times to have ever lived. If humans can just learn to put aside their petty differences and work together, everyday in the future could be like Christmas.
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