Technopoly and Technology in the Order of Nature
There is a strong relationship between technology and its effects on the world/environment. Most technologies are developed with the goal of helping society. Most are aimed at making our environment and lives easier or better. Technology is a huge money making phenomenon. Technology direcly influences the way our current world operates and exists. One thing a lot of people don't realize about technology however, is its negative effects on the environment and the individuals of our society. The negative effects can be obvious, as in the case of nuclear weapons, but sometimes the negative aspects are considerably more hidden. SuperValu is a huge company that provides food services for a enormous number of grocery stores nationwide. I recently had a conversation with family friend who works indirectly for SuperValu. She let me in on some information concerning how SuperValu works. The company has huge warehouses that are responsible for loading semi-trucks with the food that eventually finds its way into grocery stores. I've driven past a few of these warehouses. One of them sits off of highway 169 and excelsior blvd in Hopkins. The size of these warehouses amazes me.
When talking with my family friend the topic of how many people work at one of these factories over a typical day shift. She had me guess before telling me. I guessed something like 4 or 5 hundred people. Upon relaying this figure my friend laughed at me. I then offered another guess of one thousand people. Her laughs only intensified. She then informed me that on a typical day shift at one of these massive warehouses only fifteen people work the entire operation. SuperValu has developed such advanced warehouse technology that a mere 15 people operate enourmous buildings. The whole thing is done through computer controlled automated loading systems. There are obvious advantages to such an advanced operations. Immediatley after learning this i started thinking about the huge number of jobs this technology eliminated. This is where i think the technology becomes a technopoly. The automation of this huge industry is putting huge numbers of working individuals out of jobs. It almost eliminates a whole industry of employment. There are still a lot of jobs involved in the overall industry such as truck drivers, grocery store employees, and in house corporate postions but the warehouses are almost employment free with computers doing the majority of the work.
This technopoly is directly related to the role of technology as a order of nature. Everyone needs food. The SuperValu company provides huge quantities of quality food for people across the nation. A long time ago people had to farm for thier food. In our current day and age the process of acquiring food is becoming considerably easier. Whole grocery orders can be made online and its delivered to your front doorstep. I foresee the process of buying food only getting easier in the future. It is an order of nature to acquire food and technology is leading the way in the ease of this process. I feel that overall this is a good thing but I fear in the development of this technopoly an increase in automated tasks will lead to fewer and fewer jobs for the American population. Food is good...I like food.