Progress Marches On

Recently, my son and daughter were having an argument over the appropriate age to carry a cell phone. This was one of those times that I just held back and listened. My son argued that since he had to wait until he was twelve to receive his iPhone then so should she. The response of my nine-year-old daughter Abby was curt but clever. Negotiating she asked, "Daddy, if I get a less expensive phone, could I receive one when I am eleven?" Before I could answer, my son's response was quite revealing. "By the time you receive a cellphone," he said, "there will be something even better and less expensive than an iPhone." He went on to describe an elaborate array of new features to be anticipated on future models limited only by his creative imagination.

My son revealed a belief that has been common to our culture for the last century – a belief in progress. Like so many Americans, he has come to assume that progress, especially with regard to technological advancements, will always be forthcoming. Take a minute to remember the earliest electronic device that you can recall from your childhood. I can remember my fascination with the VHS machine which revolutionized the way we watch movies.