First, I was amused that the Chief Economist at the Bank of England is called "Charlie Bean". Not because of synonymity with Mr. Bean, but because of the amusing discovery of people who work in a particular industry having a related or amusing surname with the job or industry they are in. Actually this practise hails from old times, where it's believed that surnames came from their jobs. So presumably there were a lot of 'smiths' in times of old..?
This neatly leads on to my next thought, which interestingly is related although I was thinking about this before spotting the above in the paper.
I caught some of a program on TV on the history of Motorways on Friday night. Now I feel I must explain that the only reason why I was watching this was because it was late and I was flicking over while looking for something interesting. I gave it a chance and the program turned out not to be very anorak-y; it was all about the change that motorways made to the lives of people in Britain. It turns out that Britain was quite far behind the rest of the Western world when it came to developing motorways but anyway now I'm rambling.
The thought that occurred to me is that there are many things that have happened in the recent past that have changed people's lives. The invention of electricity was game-changing for industry as well as the home. Motorways revolutionised transport, within the lifespan of most of our parents, again for the benefit of business and individuals. The internet...
So what is going to revolutionise our life in the future? The (supposed) Artificial Intelligence Singularity? The impending energy crisis? The global warming crisis? I'm not going to include the recent financial 'crisis' in here as this is nothing unusual.
What do you think is going to profoundly affect (western) human life in a way that hasn't been seen before? Why?