Imagining a society which had been separated from Earth for generations, I was thinking about what technology they would retain, and what they would lose. Today's semiconductors are the first thing that come to mind. If you go back 40 years, we had logic chips with a few dozen transistors. Now we have CPUs and GPUs with literally billions. We can network computers in intricate ways that can make trillions, in some cases even quadrillions, of computations per second, and they're only getting faster. But perhaps more impressive is that some portion of that technology is available to the average consumer, for next to nothing.
And each generation of computers could not have been designed without the last, meaning that reverse engineering this kind of technology is nearly impossible. We've been building on and improving the same technology for decades. I can't help but feel that perhaps this is a unique development. It seems more advanced than a lot of other technology we have, I mean, we predicted that the great developments of the 20th and 21st century would be in spaceflight and robotics and engineering other big things... But it seems the things we've specialized in are much smaller.
Now I realize that this may be hubris on my part, after all, I'm sure the man of the 1930s thought his vacuum-tube radio sets were pretty fancy. But it would be interesting to think that we have technology that's something special.