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November 22, 2006

The Technology Monopoly

I guess there is a reason this one got called the mother of all blog prompts; here goes:

Technopoly is a hard word to define, so I am going to give it my most educated shot. Logically, it is the combination of two words, technology and monopoly. The technology monopoly. I guess what Neil Postman is trying to get at is that technology is holding a monopoly over the human race. It has begun to rule the everday lives of the planets citizens, especially those of Americans.

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Americans are putting technology before all else in there lives. We live off of techno gimmicks: camera cell phones, cars that parallel-park themselves, and universal remotes. The cell phone in particular has done horrible damage to the American social structure. It seems to be more fashionable to pull out the cell and take a call than to continue talking to the person standing right next to you. I find it annoying as hell when I am eating dinner with someone and their cell phone rings. It is incredibly rude to pick up the cell phone and leave your friend to sit there with no one to talk to.

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The computer is another huge instance of technology holding monopoly over humans. People sit in front of their personal computers and e-mail their friends or blow time away on facebook. Nobody wants to talk to each other in person anymore, they would rather fritter away their time writing on each others "walls" than walk the ten minutes(on this campus) to go see them in person.

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The iPod is another major issue. I can't tell you how awkward it is to be sitting in a room full of people listening to their iPods. Nobody makes eye contact and they all sit in silence. It really shows how disinterested the real world they really are.

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Finally, there is the TV. It used to be the highest offender of technopoly. I think that it has dropped a little ways down the list. Although it is most assuredly an offender.

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Technopoly is a way of lumping every technological advancement that deteriorates our social system into one big association.

Technopoly is also part of the flow of technology threw nature. When civilization began, the world was a simple place, eat or be eaten. Man invented hunting implements and shelter. As we came to get some footing in our world, the wheel was invented. Now we could trade information and goods with each other. When we became affluent, came the big trading ships to trade across great distance. We spread out and invented what we needed to survive and keep a leg up on opposing lands. The came locomotion, for ease of transport. And then ocean liners, cars, and airplanes. We began to invent things to that were luxuries. This is when technopoly began. We don't need our own cars. They are just a modern day convenience. We don't need TVs, PCs, iPods, cell phones(I'll make an argument for regular phones; they are only usable in the privacy of our homes), gaming consoles, or CDs. Don't get me wrong, I love music. I see it as a very important part of my life, but is only a convenience. It just shows that the technopoly has its power over me. While I eventually will probably own a TV, PC, and cell phone(I already have a PS2 and a boatload of music) I am currently doing just fine without them.
Technopoly is just another stop on the evolutionary change of the technology throughout the order of nature. Its dominance over us is truly frightening. As history has shown, most of our technology stays with us(wheel, car, boat, airplane, etc.). The reality of the situation is that we are all now bound under the web of technopoly. There will be no escape as everyone is just accepting it because they want it. All we can hope for is that we move on down the chain past technopoly before society loses too much.

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This nifty little pic shows us the future of reading. The bood reads to you. Isn't that wonderful. Nothing inspires you to learn more than having something else to do your work for you. (and no, this person is not blind)
Sources:
Technopoly Reading
http://www.stemnet.nf.ca/~elmurphy/emurphy/technop.html

November 4, 2006

Mathematical Design

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The arch is probably on of the most important design discoveries dealing with math. Its shape allows it to withstand a massive amount of weight without crumbling. It must be meticulously built in order to not fracture under stress. A lot of math is involved.


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The bridge is another major design involving mathematics. While it shares many attributes of the arch, it also requires bracing and structural support. It must be meticulously designed and tested by computers to assure that it will stand.


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The circle is a mathematically inspired shape that is used in architectere to create a different feeling than that inspired by the square.


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Skyscrapers require a lot of mathematical testing to withstand wind shear and the rotation of the earth.


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The triangle is the foremost geometric shape that everyone can identify. It is easy to see that these buildings are inspired by the triangle.

It is readily apparent that architecture would not exist without mathematics.