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Technopoly

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Technology has always existed; it is just more noticeable now with its blinking lights and honking horns. It has transformed from simple levers and cutting utensils to self automated robotic arms and food processors. This is because, as our understanding of the world around us increases, so does the complexity of technology.

The technology that most of us take for granted today serves little if any purpose in the past. What good is an ipod 80 years ago without a computer or cell phone without the network? As we continue to make new discoveries about the order of nature we are able to harness it and develop more sophisticated devices. These discoveries give our new technologies a life expectancy or a death sentence of obsoleteness. However, technology as a whole, not devices, evolves while our needs typically stay the same.

We have seen several changes in technology through-out history. A reason why we are able to see and recognize these evolutions is, because that is precisely what they are, evolutions of solutions to our needs.


Communicate:


Writing: letter, telegram, fax, e-mail
Voice: phone, cell phone, web-cam

Transportation:


Short: walking, horses, buggy, bicycle
Long: Boat, hot balloon, automobile, Plane, Helicopter, Space shuttle


Music:


phonograph, record, 8-track, cassette, cd, mp3

While examining these evolutions we might think of the “advancements� we have made in technology. But with each of these technological evolutions we need to be aware of the unspoken affects they have on us. The e-mail lacks the personality of a letter. Cell phones may give us the ability to reach anyone at any time but you lose out on personal privacy.

Technology makes are life’s easier while adding complexity. Transportation is available at miraculous speeds but with increased transportation fatalities. The portable MP3 player allows vast amounts of music to be listened to anywhere but there being listened to everywhere. People are not getting to know their neighbor, classmates or that person you sit next to everyday on the bus.

Granted, one can find faults in anything. True, and that’s just it. We need to be aware of these faults and let the unspoken be spoken. When we do this we are able to way the odds and make better decisions. So, the next time you’re out buying a new gadget, ask yourself what else are you buying besides a faster and smaller unit.