Ages of Progress
What are the four ages of progress according to historians? How have our brains changed and adapted over the ages to fit our changing surroundings? What technologies and inventions were produced during each age?
Since the very beginning, the human race has adapted and changed to become what we are today. Our brains have matured and grown, making all sorts of new discoveries and catapulting civilization towards new horizons. The four major ages to the present are: the agricultural age, the industrial age, the information age, and the conceptual age. Each age is mainly defined by the types of technologies produced and the actions taken.
First is the agricultural age, also referred to as the "dawn of civilization." It ended between 1750 and the mid-1800s. This age focused on farming; people were concerned about having a shelter and food readily available to them. The agricultural age produced a transformation of human society brought about by inventions such as the plow, the wheel, writing, and numbers. The invention of the plow affected this age the most because it accentuated the change to the industrial age. The plow allowed large-scale agricultural production possible, which in turn produced a larger food surplus, in turn freeing up people for other types of work. Other agricultural inventions that were created during this age were the plow and moldboard, seed drills, and reapers. During the agricultural age, people were thinking: produce food and tools to sustain the family’s needs. The left brain dominated.
Next comes the industrial age. This age overlaps the agricultural age due to the fact that the world was advancing in different stages. There are two industrial revolutions. The first occurred in Great Britain during the late 18th century. The second began during the mid-nineteenth century and was centered mainly on the United States and Germany. Industrialization in America was especially important because it led to three crucial developments - transportation, electricity, and improvements in industrial processes. This age in general marked a major turning point in the world. Some of the technologies invented during this time include railroads, steam ships, and textile factories. During the industrial age, people were thinking: faster and more efficient production. Once again, the left brain dominated.
The third and fourth major ages are the information age and the conceptual age. We are currently in a transition between the information age and the conceptual age. The information age generally began in the late 1900s and is still somewhat present. In the information age, people are thinking: find and send information fast and get the word out across the world - left brain domination. A change is occurring however, and the global economy is shifting its focus away from the abundant publication, consumption, and manipulation of information and more towards the contribution of creativity, innovation, and design skills across the world.
The conceptual age is impelled by the fact that left-brained jobs such as accounting and computer programming are being either replaced by computers or outsourced to other countries. In this new age, we will be driven to rely more on the right brain rather then the left brain as we have in the past. In order to make that transition from information to conceptual, we need to gear our minds towards the adaptions and changes that will come into play. During the conceptual age, we will be thinking: creativity, innovation, and design. So get ready to buckle up and enjoy the ride through these ages of progress!