When people remark about how amazing our modern technology is — sometimes after discovering something else their cellphones can do — I wonder what time in human history they’re comparing “modern” to.
Is modern technology more amazing than inventions of the 1920s: television, the altimeter and liquid-fueled rockets?
How about the Renaissance when the printing press, eyeglasses and the musket emerged?
What about the Han Dynasty in China when paper and the blast furnace were created?
How about the first century A.D. when carbon steel was likely invented in present-day Tanzania?