Technology is all around us. From the turn of a wheel to the rise of a rocket, inventors and creators use what is available to them to create something that is available to us all.
We can debate the influence of innovations. We can bemoan the rapid changes in our world. We can celebrate, denigrate, or ignore the future before us.
What we cannot do is deny that tools and technology affect the way we live our lives.
Look around you.
Imagine how different your life would be if one thing in your environment did not exist.
Imagine two things – gone. Three things – gone. Five things – gone. Ten things – gone.
What would you do? Where would you be? Who would you be?
Take a moment to think about the technology and inventions around you.
Send a silent thank you to all the inventors of the past – and all the creators of the future.
Technology, Inventors, and Inventions
The great creators — the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors — stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. ~ Ayn Rand
Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won. ~ Ayn Rand
Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it takes just one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and remind us that, here on Earth, we’re still at the mercy of nature. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
There is a problem trying to figure out what people want by canvassing them. I mean, if Henry Ford canvassed people on whether or not he should build a motor car, they’d probably tell him what they really wanted was a faster horse. ~ John McNeece
I’m not convinced that the world is in any worse shape than it ever was. It is just in this age of almost instantaneous communication, we bear the weight of problems our forefathers only read about after they were solved. ~ Burton Hillis
We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phone, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are. ~ Jefferson Bethke
If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are. ~ Clive James
I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success. ~ Nikola Tesla
Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine. ~ Nikola Tesla
The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result...His work is like that of a planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation of those who are to come and point the way. ~ Nikola Tesla
Uncertainty is unavoidable in innovation...innovators must be willing to let go of bad ideas—to “call the baby ugly”... ~ Jeanne Liedtka
The introduction of noble inventions seems to hold by far the most excellent place among human actions...since the benefits of inventors may extend to all mankind. ~ Francis Bacon
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~ Thomas Edison
Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart — and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. ~ Steve Jobs
Tools are just tools. They either work, or they don’t work. ~ Steve Jobs
Too often we forget that genius, too, depends upon the data within its reach, that even Archimedes could not have devised Edison’s inventions. We also forget that genius is not genius all the time... ~ Ernest Dimnet
No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. ~ Edward Hopper
Inventors have set in motion some of the greatest industries of the world; to them society owes many of its chief necessaries, comforts, and luxuries... ~ Samuel Smiles
Inventors...by their genius and labor daily life has been rendered in all respects more easy as well as enjoyable. ~ Samuel Smiles
The inventor looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea. The spirit of invention possesses him, seeking materialization. ~ Alexander Graham Bell
Inventions become perfect by slow improvement, and each step is itself an invention. ~ Joseph Jastrow
The invention of speech or argument is not properly an invention; for to invent is to discover that we know not, and not to recover or resummon that which we already know... ~ Francis Bacon
Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. ~ Louis Pasteur
The great myth of our times is that technology is communication. It puts up a great barrier between human beings, leaving us yearning for intimacy. ~ Libby Larsen
The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past. ~ Tim Berners-Lee
Although human subtlety makes a variety of inventions answering by different means to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. ~ Ayn Rand
I’m an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started. ~ Ray Kurzweil
The best inventions...breathe, have life, and stand on their own. ~ Lanny Vincent
Cars will soon have the Internet on the dashboard. I worry that this will distract me from my texting. ~ Andy Borowitz
When we have all data online it will be great for humanity. It is a prerequisite to solving many problems that humankind face. ~ Robert Cailliau
As technology accumulates and people in more parts of the planet become interdependent, the hatred between them tends to decrease, for the simple reason that you can’t kill someone and trade with him too. ~ Steven Pinker
Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. ~ Arthur M. Schlesinger
Over the years, I have learned that every significant invention has several characteristics. By definition it must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. ~ Edwin Land
I never allow myself to become discouraged under any circumstances. ~ Thomas Edison
For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn’t be done that way, and that we would have to try some other way. ~ Thomas Edison
We sometimes learn a lot from our failures if we have put into the effort the best thought and work we are capable of. ~ Thomas Edison
Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. ~ Edward Hopper
All creative people want to do the unexpected. ~ Hedy Lamarr
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
It is indisputably evident that a great part of every man’s life must be employed in collecting materials for the exercise of genius. ~ Joshua Reynolds
Invention, strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory. Nothing can be made of nothing; he who has laid up no materials can produce no combinations. ~ Joshua Reynolds
I invented nothing new. I simply combined the inventions of others into a car. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. ~ Henry Ford
A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. ~ Freeman Dyson
Invention is both the institution of problem solving and advancing human obsolescence. We were naturally selected to replace ourselves. ~ Aaron Diaz
I guess that’s just the life of an inventor: What people do with your ideas takes you totally by surprise. ~ Stephanie Kwolek
A student unacquainted with the attempts of former adventurers is always apt to overrate his own abilities; to mistake the most trifling excursions for discoveries of moment... ~ Joshua Reynolds
Believe in the power of truth. Do not allow your mind to be imprisoned by majority thinking. Remember that the limits of science are not the limits of imagination. ~ Patricia Bath
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. ~ Anonymous
It had long come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. ~ Elinor Smith
We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work. ~ John F. Kennedy
Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination. ~ Daniel Bell
Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos. ~ Mary Shelley
The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man. ~ B.F. Skinner
The very fabric of life now, she thought as she rose, is magic. In the eighteenth century, we knew how everything was done; but here I rise through the air; I listen to voices in America; I see men flying – but how it’s done I can’t even begin to wonder. So my belief in magic returns. ~ Agatha Christie
The great inventor is one who has walked forth upon the industrial world, not from universities, but from hovels; not as clad in silks and decked with honors, but as clad in fustian and grimed with soot and oil. ~ Isaac Taylor
Our need will be the real creator. ~ Plato
Necessity is the mother of invention. ~ English Proverb