Differences Between the Technology in Use in 1910 and the Technology in Use Today Term Paper

  • Length: 7 pages
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  • Subject: Engineering
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #25941352

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Technology in Use in 1910 and the Technology in Use Today

Technology during 1910 and its rapid evolution to the present era:

The 19th century witnessed major upheavals in science and technology ushering a gamut of changes and widespread ripple effect on the society. The dawning of science in industry brought about by the Industrial Revolution was a watershed in global technology that continued to shape the future of mankind. It was in that era when development of large scale metal working techniques popularised steam power. Railroads appeared and facilitated in mass migration of populations. Urbanizations started, commerce flourished, fortunes were made and a new class of affluent appeared. Major scientific inventions like electromagnetism by Clerk Maxwell and greater sophistication of electricity brought about technological changes and improved quality of life with telegraph, electric light and radio transforming the world for the better. (Jeff, 2002)

Development in natural science spearheaded by Charles Darwin with his seminal work 'Origin of Species' put forth the theories of evolution. Concurrently the study of chemistry was also progressing spawning new disciplines in medical science. It is a fact that although greater advances and changes have occurred during the twentieth century, more core technological changes were initiated during the 19th century. A lot of the technological changes are the outcomes of the transformations which started during that period. It is interesting to note that perhaps this asymmetric blend of upheaval on one side and disorder on the other brought about by science ignited the cradle of science fiction and futuristic thinking. Witnessing all the changes around them led people to ask what would happen next! (Jeff, 2002)

The exponential transformations which are being dealt with by human culture echo a reinforcing interplay between genetic, social, cultural and technical capacity. An exponential curve is a significant starting point in comprehending the increasingly complex implications of non-linear system behaviour. Perhaps no single technology has progressed at the rapidity, innovation and the accompanying obsolescence as that of Computer technology. Computers, because of the ground breaking Moore's Law, have gone from occupying the dimensions of a small building, to the size of a room, to the size of an item accommodating on a desk to a lap and then to handheld devices popularly called PDAs, Smartphones, Netbooks and now Tablets. With growing use of the concept of nanotechnology, the trend towards decreasing the dimensions of a Computer has just begun with the birth of Nanotubes made of carbon atoms capable of being laid in 3-dimensional space. It can be 100 times as strong as steel, and be used for functioning of a computer. (Fisch; Bronman, 2005)

Computer technologies through the application of digital tools have made an overnight transformation in the manner in which we work, play and enjoy leisure. These digital trends have emerged in less than a single human lifetime with defining changes happening in the last decade. Digital tools have just been available for the six decades or so of human history emerging actively from the 1940s. The business-related global Internet system inherent with its World Wide Web applications that started during 1994 onwards came about in the age of the digital palette and metamorphosed the nature of literacy. The modern computer has been doubling its capacity every two years and in the coming years and computer design has more than doubled the performance capacity of Computer every two years for about the same cost for last five decades. Now the point has dawned when the Moore's Law could be subjected to its own rapid exponential acceleration. (Fisch; Bronman, 2005)

Evaluation of the pace of change of technology over the last century:

Over the last century the pace of innovation and technological transformation has hastened constantly. The time lag between a basic invention and its commercial applications for extended mass usability has lowered considerably. Cycles of technology induced societal and economic change are unfolding as a much faster rate. If today's rate of progress is any indication, cycles of innovation and technology are set to accelerate from here onwards. The history of technological progress gives convincing proof that changes is not linear rather exponential. The dynamics will increasingly emerge from the convergence of science and its associated technologies. (EEA, 2010)

The acceleration of technological transformation will impact economic sectors as well which have been rather sluggish to change during the yesteryears, especially the energy and transport sector. In the scenario of highly networked world, the process of creating, owning and sharing knowledge are undergoing rapid transformation hence any outlook is enveloped with substantial uncertainties. For instance open access to information creation as well as access will go on to empower bottom-up innovation processes thereby unveiling novel routes for knowledge creation. Nevertheless within a highly mature information society, access to information and user rights will be severely guarded and contested by corporate and private groups. (EEA, 2010)

Technology forecasting for the next decade: (i) The Internet of things:

With the ubiquity of the Internet, the next decade will witness a scenario where Internet will leapfrog to an altogether different plane. At present there are more things which are interconnected to the Internet compared to people. By 2020, the number of internet connected entities could be more than six devices for every individual on the planet. (ii)The burgeoning data flood: Roughy 1.2 zettabytes of unique information were created in the year 2011 which is set to explode in the coming years with ever increasing need for data and applications. (iii) The World gets smaller: With Internet connectivity penetrating everywhere, social influences will continue to progress with expanding rapidity between cultures and a smaller world implies faster information dissemination. (iv) Growing energy requirements: With the population explosion, the quest for more efficient methods to provide power continues to be indispensable, especially solar energy. (v) Virtual humans: The day is not far when virtual human i.e. physical robot and their online avatars will be engaged to work. By around 2025, robots might outnumber human beings in the developed nations. It is envisioned that by 2035 robots could altogether be a replacement for humans in specific areas. (Mercola, 2011)

Forecasting of how changing technology will modify:

We are gradually treading on a path in which the manner in which people think and behave will be impacted by discrete changes in emerging areas of technology as also by the extremely dynamic, continuous and hastened process of change on all areas. The phenomena of change, by their unpredictable nature often deprive us of basic rules and past experience as guides. Important emerging technologies, on their own, unveil unprecedented challenges. On the whole emerging technologies possessing the maximum possibilities for transformation are inclusive but not limited to (i) electronic communications and anywhere computing emanating from the information revolution (ii) human genetic, biometric and bioinformatics and (iii) nanotechnology. (Teich; Nelson; Lita, Hunt, 2003)

Changes in the Management of Technology:

Converging technologies are improved through novel social patterns, building a virtuous cycle of knowledge creation that is new. Growing proliferation on use of the email, the World Wide Web and cell phones have equipped us to be always accessible, always mobile and attain productivity levels unthinkable in the past. The dawning of the 21st century, converging technologies and the emerging social trends becomes the bedrock of a paradigm shift in new landscapes, in society, in commerce, in the very significance of the work we perform and the lives we lead and finally in the manner of what, where, why and how we make our learning. It is interesting to note that learning and teaching will be redesigned by the growing forces of social production, social networks, a semantic web, media grids and a novel paradigm of knowledge creation ideally stated as a metaphor having biological, organic and sustainable tenor. (Wilmarth 2008)

The concept that technology may be managed and targeted towards social and economic needs and objectives necessitates that an unequivocal set of societal goals can be pronounced. In fact, societies include and express a lot of different goals, the veracity of which might undergo transformation over course of time and will vary among people. Nevertheless, if people, communities and society can be apparent regarding a goal, how could technology be oriented towards this particular goal? Technology transformation can be managed or aided through external influences; strategic interaction and public opinion i. e crowdsourcing. The issue of people's wants will assume part of modulating continuing transformation. (Rip; Kemp, 1998)


Changes future technology will need given the widespread use of web that has made other changes in how technology and information is managed:

A web-based 'Information System' is capable of disseminating information as also proactively interacting with users and processes their business assignments to perform their business objectives. Intranets support internal work, web-presence sites which are marketing utilities crafted to reach consumers outside the organizational realms, electronic commerce systems which support consumer interactions like online shopping and a mix of internal and external systems to facilitate business-to-business communications, loosely called Extranets. In future, faced…

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