Fast forward 400 years from now, will subsequent generations be hosting discussions like Professor Cohen’s “How Revolutionary – and how Scientific – was the Scientific Revolution”, but for the ongoing technological revolution? The technological revolution continues to accelerate before our eyes and influences our lives in unimaginable ways. Moving for jobs is no longer as difficult when you can Facetime your loved ones at any time, and anywhere; you can keep in touch with old high school classmates through social media platforms like Facebook; you must maintain a “clean” social profile, as what goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet. When this revolution of sorts past, and is recorded down in history, will Colby’s class of 2416 be asking: Was the technological revolution really technological and revolutionary? Albeit the continuing technological revolution differs significantly from that of the scientific revolution, I’d expect some individuals will be posing these sorts of questions given the many parallels the technological revolution has with the scientific revolution.

Can we place the technological and scientific revolutions on the same comparison plane? Let’s first examine what constitutes a “revolution”. As discussed in Professor Cohen’s lecture, a revolution results in a break with the past, is violent, has a group spearheading the movement, and this group is ousted, and is sudden. However, like the scientific revolution, the technological revolution encompasses not all, but only some of these. It is sudden, celebrates a break with the past, may be violent through means like cyberbullying, and has many big-name groups, like Apple, Google, and Samsung directing its trajectory. These characteristics do not necessarily overlap with those that make up the scientific revolution, but it shares its ambiguity.

With such ambiguity, future generations might examine the technological revolution and ask, was this really a revolution, and was it really technological? Even today, the technological revolution is not a fully established term to describe the ongoing changes related to technology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Moreover, much like the term “scientific”, the word “technological” is fluid. Technological might represent something completely different than how we currently define it.

Like the scientific revolution, it will take outsiders, specifically those outside of the revolution’s direct influence, to fully comprehend its meaning and whether it represents a revolution or not. Moreover, I’d argue they would likely come to the same conclusion Professor Cohen did: That the most revolutionary part was its metaphorical implications of the word “revolution”. However, it will be a path we will currently lay out: Whether or not we solidify on the ongoing changes as a technological revolution, and, if so, whether this decision will affect what constitutes a revolution in the future.