Summary of Can Technology Solve Our Big Problems?

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Can Technology Solve Our Big Problems? summary


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When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon in 1969, didn’t it seem as though the solutions to the world’s most intractable problems were within reach? Yet more than four decades later, technologists are busy developing relatively trivial social networks rather than concentrating on the big issues. Jason Pontin, editor of MIT Technology Review, explains what factors are necessary to gain meaningful traction but warns that the days of transformative technological innovation may be over. getAbstract recommends Pontin’s gloomy but valuable lecture to engineers and futurists and to policy makers with the power to influence the direction of research and development.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the 20th century’s “accelerated thrust” of technological progress has waned and
  • What factors allow technological solutions to thrive.

About the Speaker

Jason Pontin is the editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review.



The first lunar landing in 1969 was the “culmination of a convulsive, collective effort.” The feat required $180 billion, 400,000 personnel and the cooperation of more than 20,000 institutions...

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