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Tribute to Babbage and Edison

On this day in 1871, Charles Babbage died and on this day in 1931 Thomas Edison died. Both men were great inventors who have shaped our modern world. 

Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer and Edison, amongst other inventions, was responsible for the light bulb.

The computer is everywhere in our lives and computing power has increased exponentially over the decades. It is well known that most of us have phones with more computing power than that contained in the Apollo 11 space rocket or even the Soyuz rockets still in use by the Russians today. In the pensions world, we talk about digital solutions - dashboards, digital MOTs and apps to get the self-employed saving more- all of which are very doable when put in the context of the new arms race going on between China and the United States to create quantum computers.

The light bulb has been through change from its incandescent first days to energy saving solutions and now multi-toned white lights or multi-coloured lights controlled by smart home hubs and devices. Pensions also used to be simple but now come with a spectrum of options at retirement.

The light bulb and the computer also challenge how we think about the impact of inflation. Technologies have a huge cost cutting effect. If we think of the cost of lighting a room at the start of the 19th century in terms of wax or tallow versus the cost of a light bulb and the units used, there has been a huge cost reduction. As for the computer, how do we tally up the savings from disseminating information to thousands of people all at once versus printing and distribution or storing a whole library of books, music and videos?

If you are starting out saving for a pension or even just about to retire, it doesn’t take a Babbage or an Edison to know that the future will be full of technological advances that will shape this world in ways that we can only guess at. Pensions can prepare us for the future without having to know precisely what that future looks like and our specialists are available on 0800 011 3797 to guide you every step of the way.

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