What changed our life? The answer is probably different for every person, because we have different needs. Cell phones, for instance are not on my list. I think that they are a nuisance in the US but helpful in underdeveloped countries.Here is my list.
Because they saved my life:
2. fiber-optic technology. Among many applications, I am specially grateful for the medical ones.
Because they ameliorate social conditions
3. the pill or not the pill: freedom to organize one's life. More than that. knowledge that you can organize your own life.
4. New vegetables. New species of flowers. I still got the gardening guide of my grandmother: it is incredibly poor, compared to what is available today. I am less convinced by modified animals generally made to satisfy greed, rather than the customer.
Because I lived alone most of my life:
5. good quality paint, specially latex paint
6. the invention of home improvement stores which gave women access to DIY
7.Television (like many Europeans, we got our first TV to see the moon landing)
Because I used to be an oceanographer:
8. weather and positioning satellites: it changed everybody's lives not only life at sea
9. Numerical weather predictions: climate models save countless lives every day
Because I am curious:
10. Computers, the internet, blogging
11. Finding black holes at the center of galaxies. That gives more sense to the universe.
12. Access to time. Dating the age of the earth, of artefacts, of climate changes, etc; it is all possible through our understanding of nuclear reactions.
13. the structure of DNA: a first access to the great secrets of life