Humans have lived the world for more than thousands of years so how come technological advancement only started about less than a century ago?

A firefly blinks and it’s gone.
In my mind, given enough time, a civilization with opposable thumbs or some other good way to grab hold of things will eventually have evolution of machines and then evolution of electronics. The problem in the universe is by the time we find out somebody else is out there like us they will be dead.
The earth is over four and a half billion years old. That’s a long time. I used to drive from Vancouver, Canada along the Thomas river and see cuts in the mountain billions of years old. Nobody had to tell me. I was in ancient country. We’ve not been here but a spark of the time the Earth has been. It’s a miracle.
And then the sun blows up and the Earth is dead and who knows we ever existed? That is the bigger question.