Cam Davidson-Pilon talks about 21st Century Problems. Here’s how he describes most of the great technological leaps of the 20th century:

What these technologies have in common is that are all deterministic engineering solutions. By that, I mean they have been created by techniques in mathematics, physics and engineering: often being modeled in a mathematical language, guided by physics’ calculus and constrained and brought to life by engineering. I argue that these types of problems, of modeling deterministically, are problems that our fathers had the luxury of solving.

And here’s the truth behind the hype about Big Data we see so much of these days:

Statistical problems describe the space we haven’t explored yet. Statistical problems are not new: they are likely as old as deterministic problems. What is new is our ability to solve them. Spear-headed by the (constantly increasing) tidal wave of data, practitioners are able to solve new problems otherwise thought impossible.