Robert J. Gordon, in addition to just being wrong about the Internet and World Wide Web, is also so narrow mindedly old-white-guy that he needs to be called to task.
For Gordon, an old white guy, maybe life has not changed much since 1940, as he argues.
But for the majority of Americans, and billions of others in the world, life has changed dramatically since 1940.
Let's, for sake of Gordon's thesis, stay with just "America" and just technological inventions.
Now try to argue that the invention of birth control pills, so significant we just call it The Pill, did not change women's lives since 1940. And many men's lives as well. The Pill opened up careers, and education, to women that they did not have before this invention. So half of Americans have seen their lives change since 1940.
Now, let's mention at least that African Americans' lives have totally changed since 1940, with social inventions like the war against poverty, equal rights, and more. I would be interested in anyone suggesting some technological invention that helped spur equality - - live television comes to mind.
While I totally agree that 1900-1920 was the key period of technological and societal change for the last century, it is just as clear that 1) 2000-2020 is the key period of technological and societal change for this century; and 2) the resulting changes in life will continue to be experienced throughout this century.