Member Rara Avis
I'm sorely tempted to suggest the most amazing thing is that people are still predicting the downfall of humanity "any day now," but will save that for another thread. Besides, that's been going on a few thousand years, so the last hundred are just a drop in a very large bucket.
I know I'm biased, but I think the most significant thing in the last hundred years has been the development and proliferation of computers. Did you know that if the computers in just the banking industry were turned off tomorrow it would take the efforts of every man, woman and child in the US just to process the number of checks we write? For good or ill, our world is a much different place than it would be without the computer.
I think the significance of the Internet and the impact it will have on our society is only beginning to be realized. Like the computer that gave it its birth, the Internet will change our world in ways we can't possibly predict today. More importantly, though, I think it has the power to change not just that global entity we call society, but to literally reshape the far more important individual. For the first time in history, the barriers to communication and understanding between people are beginning to fall. We still have a long ways to go, of course. Just seven years ago the WWW was little more than a dream in one man's head. Today, it has become a tool with the potential to alter the way we see other people. It's easy to hate a stranger. Understanding may not bring love, but I think it will give birth to tolerance. One person at a time.
Those, in my mind, are some of the more significant things of the past hundred years, though I could easily fill a volume with both different advances and with those that led to the computer and Internet. But the most amazing thing to me has less to do with the world and more with my own life. The accomplishments of the past hundred years hold me in awe. But I'm amazed simply by the fact that I've lived through half of it. I can think of no more exciting time in history to have been alive.