If you look at the technical advances of the first half of the 20th century, there is a common thread. Many (most?) were the direct result of basic science research (antibiotics, pasteurization, lasers, radio, even flight). Furthermore, many benefited from our dramatic increase in knowledge of the physical world. You can look at the list of Nobel prize recipients in physics, etc and thank them for research which directly improved your life.
If you want more advances, call your congressman and tell them that you want increased funding to the NSF, NIH, NIST, DOE, and NASA for basic research. Then sit back ten or twenty years.