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How Technology Has Changed Our Lives. Essay

{draw:rect} MODERN AGE (1950-1985) After the Second World War Americans began to prosper, millions of people were changing. The troops that were returning from war some 12 million served during the war years were going back in the workforce. Most of these men were mere children when they signed on, some from rural America that never returned to work the earth. Farming technology was being made to counter act this problem. So much so that at the turn of the twentieth century 50 percent of the workforce was on farms that provided the nation’s food.

By the end of the 1950’s only 7 percent of the workforce was working the nation’s farms. Hourly wages for selected industries, United States, 1950 1901 …………………………………….. $ 0. 23 1918 …………………………………….. .53 1935 …………………………………….. .58 1950 …………………………………….. 1. 59 SOURCE: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey Manufacturing. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Yale Brozen writes “Fear of automation can be traced to four sources. ” One is based on the assumption that there is a fixed amount of goods.

The second source of fear springs from the idea that automation or cybernation is something more than the latest stage in the long evolution of technology. The third source of fear lies in the fact that we are much more aware of the people displaced by automation and concerned about them than we are of the other unemployed. Even while we reduce the amount of manpower needed to do a fixed amount of work does that fixed amount of work remain the same? As we all know this is not the case. As we free up manpower from one aspect we find new and productive uses for that manpower. His words speak the truth then as they do today. It saves lives through the aid it gives doctors. By controlling traffic signals in response to traffic flows and reducing traffic congestion, it adds hours to the free time of commuters every week. It helps scientists, with the aid of high speed data processing; to develop new knowledge that otherwise would not be available in our lifetimes. We are increasing the scale of educational activities because mechanization, automation, cybernation, or whatever we choose to call our new technology, makes it possible to do more than we could formerly. With the coming of automation, men are able to do more and have more.

Both sublime and mundane activities are being enlarged and the number of jobs has grown as a consequence, not declined. ” (Brozen) The second source of fear that the latest idea of automation or technology will become something more then what it was intended to be. People were so obsessed with what the future would hold books and movies were made to cast this fear. Science fiction was used to depict future events that could occur. Films such as one that was released in 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey where an artificially intelligent supercomputer, HAL takes over a space mission.

Today some super computers are in use, are they anyway near being HAL? Some say we are getting close to true artificial intelligence, but we are far from HAL. The forth source of fear of automation is that it reduces the demand for unskilled workers. This may be true in some instances but at the same time the demand for skilled workers will increase. As stated previously companies do their best to keep their employees. When possible they are retraining these employees to fill new jobs that become available because of the new technology. If this were true then the unemployment rate would raise proportionately.

If automation is added to a process and did the work of five people then five people would be unemployed. We know that this does not make sense. It has increased productivity to the process not that it reduced people from the process. NEW WAVE (1985-Present) The year 1985 saw more technological changes, Windows 1. 0 is introduced here you can do more than just one DOS application at a time. Made by this little upstart IBM partner company called Microsoft, it even comes with a calculator program. Some other wonders of 1985 is the first compact disk read only memory (CD-ROM) of none other than a Grolier Encyclopedia.

Apple was the big name in computers at the time and most businesses had one. To be up to date in the office the new Apple LaserWriter printer was the best and it only cost around $7000. The main reason we call 1985 the New Wave era is this, the first . Com domain name, symbolics. com, is registered by the Symbolics Corporation. (The People History) According to David Huether, chief economist of the National Association of Manufacturers, U. S. manufacturers are producing and exporting more goods than ever before. While manufacturing output easily outpaces the larger U. S. economy, manufacturing employment, at 14. million, is at its lowest level in more than 50 years. (Williams) Another place that has felt the effects of technology is in the office, or white collar jobs. Michael J. Handel writes in a brief for SRI International: “Analyses of national data indicate that increased use of computers in the 1980s and 1990s was associated with greater use of more-educated workers within industries. However, the direction of causality is unclear. It may be that both educational upgrading and greater computer use simply reflect an independent increase in the number of white collar workers within industries, who are the most frequent computer users.

It may be that the hiring of more-educated workers, usually office workers, stimulates demand for computers rather than vice versa. In addition, the industries upgrading their educational levels coincident with adoption of computers in the 1980s and 1990s also appear to have been upgrading educational levels before the widespread diffusion of computers. ” (Handel) There are many ways to make a job better, faster, and safer. Every dayI see improvements to the work floor. There are many facets of the business that help with these improvements.

Some of which are our Product Development Teams (PDT) that will follow the work to see if anything can be changed. They work closely with our Research and Development (RD) operations. These two areas have grown by 1000% in the last twenty years. Another area that has greatly grown is our engineering staff and related personal. In 1996 the skilled trades had two engineers to take all our requests to. We now have engineers for facilities, electricians, repairmen, mobile equipment, power house, and toolmakers. In all we have become more effective and more efficient in how we do our business of repairing the machinery in the factory.

Everyone can be affected by technology no job is completely that same as it was in years past. Studies have been made to classify a job for automation. They are based on three dimensions, Receptiveness Stability Structuredness Some jobs are changing constantly, I have seen toll booth operations change here in Illinois just over the last two years. The new faster E-Z pass lanes going into Chicago for one. I asked one of the booth operators how they liked them, one told me that it was all good. Their day is less stressful and they have hired more people in the toll way system.

More people to monitor and maintain the equipment and make sure those that did not pay get those little notices in the mail. WORKS CITED Baughman, James L. “Television Comes to America, 1947-57. ” Editorial. Illinois Periodicals Online (IPO) Project. N. p. , Mar. 1993. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www. lib. niu. edu/1993/ ihy930341. html. Bland Jr. , Gordon R. “The Effects of Job Automation on the Economy. ” Scribd. N. p. , 4 Mar. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www. scribd. com/doc/12965589/The-Effects-of-Job-Automation-on-the-Economy. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “100 Years of U. S.

Consumer Spending: Data for the Nation, New York City, and Boston. ” United States Department of Labor. N. p. , 3 Aug. 2006. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www. bls. gov/opub/uscs/1950. pdf. Brozen, Yale. “Automation: The Retreating Catastrophe. ” Ludwig von Mises Institute. N. p. , n. d. http://mises. org/journals/lar/pdfs/2_3/2_3_5. pdf. Rpt. in Automation: The Retreating Catastrophe. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. N. pag. Ludwig von Mises Institute. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://mises. org/. Handel, Michael J. SRI Project Number P10168. SRI International, July 2003. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www. sri. om/policy/csted/reports/sandt/it/Handel_IT_Employment_InfoBrief. pdf>. Huether, David. “The Case of The Missing Jobs. ” BusinessWeek. N. p. , 3 Apr. 2006. http://www. businessweek. com/magazine/content/06_14/b3978116. htm. Rpt. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www. businessweek. com/magazine/content/06_14/b3978116. htm. The People History . ” 1985. N. p. , 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www. thepeoplehistory. com/ 1985. html. U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Reducing Launch Operations Costs: New Technologies and Practices, OTA-TM-ISC-28 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, September 1988).

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