Who says war doesn’t bring us anything good
Although there is absolutely no denying war is a horrible thing, innocents dying, cities destroyed, cultures lost….but every cloud has a silver lining. Warfare has in fact brought us significant technological advances. However, how can such a terrible thing spur innovation and creativity?
One answer I’ve mentioned in previous post is that in a war, we are always thinking “how can i kill him more effectively than he can kill me”. This leads us to find creative ways to destroy. Even the earliest men must have thought something along the lines of “this stone is harder than my fist, if i hit him with the stone it’ll cause more damage, right?”. Moving along the timeline, societies that manage to utilize the better technologies for warfare almost always come out on top. The Greeks with bronze, Chinese and later the Europeans with gunpowder, and even the Americans with the nuclear bomb. The concept is simple, be more ruthless and efficient then the enemy.
We Humans are very good at waging war, however when we are not killing each other, we find time to improve our general standard of living, so it’s no wonder many useful inventions during war are adapted in peacetime. My past few posts have featured a few, but there are countless more, the wristwatch for example. A simple everyday object we don’t think much of, owes its origins to fighter pilots wanting a convenient way to tell the time, pocket watches are just too much of a hassle when trying to fly a plane.
Technologies from war have actually very significant impacts on our lives, aside from some simple conveniences. In the early days, metal works used to make armor and weapons were used to make jewelry, better tools and infrastructure. Major scientific advancements such as nuclear research and space travel also arose from the United States trying to outdo Japan and Russia respectively. Thanks to this, we have nuclear energy, a potential magic bullet for all the earth’s sustainable energy issues. Progress in space travel also granted us satellites, the key to GPS and satellite TV.
Imagine if humans were a peaceful race, would these inventions exist? Would they be invented sooner or later regardless? Or would the world be completely and totally different.