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Thread: Influences on Society

  1. #1
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    Influences on Society



    Till I get the communism essay going, here is one for you. I would clean it up but im lazy




    Michael Novak stated that there were three influences on any
    society: Political influences, Economic influences, and Moral\Cultural
    influences. The political influences consist of the governmental body
    of that society and the laws and regulations set by this governing
    group. The moral\cultural influences consist of the "voluntary
    associations" of a society: the churches, media, education systems,
    the people in this society. The final influence being the economic
    influence, which is the rate of employment, GDP, incidence of poverty,
    and structure of economic activity. Novak made this theory into an
    object, a "triangle" of sorts, with each influence being a point on
    this "triangle." Novak goes on later in his theory to deal with other
    influences, but as other dimensions. What Novak appears to have missed
    in his theory is another very important influence on society that
    influences, and is influenced by the other points of this "triangle,"
    technology. The Middle Ages did come up with a few inventions, such as
    windmills and horseshoes, but technological process was imperceptible
    compared with what is happening now. Very soon, a fiber the diameter
    of a human hair will be able to transmit, in less than a second, the
    contents of every issue of The Economist magazine that was ever
    printed (Economy Survey 4). Since Adam Smith, economists have
    recognized that technology is important for growth, but only in the
    past two decades have they been studying this subject in earnest (7).
    There pioneer was Joseph Schumpeter, one of the few economists who
    tried to explain growth mainly in terms of technological innovation.
    In the 1930's, he presented a model that postulated growth through the
    interaction of bursts of technological development and competition
    between companies (8). His evidence pointed to history. First, the
    1780s to the 1840s, which brought the steam power and drove the
    industrial revolution. Second, the 1850s to 1890! s introducing the
    railways. Third, the 1890s to 1930s with electrical power. The fourth,
    the 1930s to 1980s with cheap oil and the car. Now, today it is argued
    that Schumpeterians' would label this period of history as being
    powered by technology in all areas (9). Then there was "new" growth
    theory, hatched in the mid 1980's by the work of Paul Romer, an
    economists at Stanford University. His theory attempted to incorporate
    technology directly into models of economic growth by explaining how
    knowledge in the shape of both technology and human capital is created
    and spread through the economy (8). This essay will attempt to use
    evidence created by economic research and show how technology is
    influencing and influenced by political, economic, and social/moral
    issues; creating a fourth point on Novak's triangle. Technology
    throughout history has been a major influence on governments in many
    different societies. It has caused wars, and prevented them too. The
    invention of the cotton gin played a major factor in leading to the
    Civil War. Because of the cotton gin, production of cotton rose and
    the export of cotton from the United States to other countries rose
    too. The need for more workers, slaves at the time, rose too. This
    influenced the government by pushing the need for slavery, and look
    what happened as a result. Sputnik help lead a governmental race
    between two countries to see who could reach the Moon first. The
    invention of the A-bomb led to the end of a real war and the start of
    a cold one. Just recently, technology has been a major factor in the
    fall of several Communist governments. With the invention of the
    television and satellite dishes, as well as the Internet, many people
    could have access to media, propaganda, and information not available
    in their own society! and learn how their governments really were not
    all that great, leading to a fall for those governments. Just
    recently, the Chinese government was influenced by technology and
    decided that many Western ideas could cause the same result of
    government failure via the Internet. They banned over 100 sites or
    links on the Internet to prevent this (Chen 1). The idea of terrorism
    has been around for many years, but the idea of cyber-terrorism has
    not. With the technological advances in communication lines overseas.
    Terrorist hackers could cause more damage on a governmental body's
    computer system than could a nuclear missile and at a cheaper price.
    This has forced many governments to spend money and create protection
    from these types of attacks. Technology has also been influenced by
    governments as well. With the railroad movement in the late 1800s,
    governmental rules and regulations helped technology to be used as a
    catalyst for competition. Technology, in the form of television and
    radio, are both heavily regulated in the United States and in other
    countries. Currently, the Supreme Court is making the decision if
    cable systems must carry all the local channels. During the "Great
    Leap Forward," Mao's government helped stop technological process by
    making the Chinese do nothing but farm or make iron of no value.
    Government's also influence technology by imposing restrictions on
    what can be invented to better society (or so they say). For example,
    if it wasn't for government restrictions on environmental issues and
    car technology over the past decade, the car could be as cheap as $100
    and get 100,000 miles per a gallon (tempting, isn't it) because of
    less money spent on regulations and more on research. Other ! policies
    have prevented the continuation of genetic cloning and other "black"
    medical projects. Without adequate funding from a governmental agency,
    new technologies can not be invented or even thought up. With the
    technological influence and governmental responses to these
    technologies, economies can get stronger or weaker. This leads to the
    other point on Novak's "triangle," economics. Falling prices, one of
    the best measures of the speed of technological progress, confirms the
    impression that the pace of changes has accelerated. The rapid decline
    in price also encourages more people to buy more technology, allowing
    it to be distributed more widely (Economy Survey 10). Technology has
    greatly influenced many economic systems of the world. Japan is a
    prime example. One of the many great boosts to its economy after
    W.W.II, was the innovation of new technologies that other countries
    would like. With these new technologies, Japan has become one of the
    strongest economies of the world. A look back at American history can
    show that technology was a great influence on the economy. During the
    Industrial Revolution, trains helped pave the way for small business
    in towns formed by these railroads, and trade among cities and other
    countries increased at a rate of almost 40% a year. With the help of
    Henry Ford, the idea of the production line (which is still cons!
    idered a technology), helped lead to production of thousands instead
    of hundreds of automobiles. The PC and communication revolution of
    recent years has caused almost every company small, and large, to
    incorporate the use of computers in order to make these companies'
    goals more feasible. One advantage of technology's influence on
    economies is that it reduces communications and transaction costs,
    helping markets to work more efficiently (10). Technology also follows
    Says Law of supply creating its own demand. VCR's, PC's, contact
    lenses, Super Nintendo's, etc., are good examples of creating markets
    out of thin air and in turn, helping the economy. At the same time,
    rapid technological change is confusing and rapid forecasts are easily
    hyped, which can cause some negatives for the economy too and
    adversely, affect technological progress. Technology is greatly
    influenced by economics in the form of funding and demand for new
    technologies. Imagine what would have happened if the PC was invented
    during the Great Depression. There would not have been any "PC
    Revolution" during this time period because of the state of the
    economy, as no one had the money to afford to create or buy PCs. The
    same is true for many countries today. Africa's economies have never
    been that strong and technology has not been much help to these
    countries because of the economic situation. Until recently, India was
    pretty much the same way. With a stronger economy, there is now more
    money being spent on R&D, resulting in more technological progress
    for the future in India. How much money is placed in R&D (Research
    and Development) greatly influences how technology will evolve. The
    stronger the economy, the more technology that comes out of this
    economy. Of course the economy is also strongly based on the people
    and their desire for! this technology, which leads to the final point:
    moral\cultural influences on technology. What would life be without
    TV? Automobiles? Nintendo? Ask any kid these questions in a developed
    country and they would respond very negatively. Most people know what
    these technologies are because their society has been influenced by
    technology. Imagine what life would be like without the invention of
    the boat or airplane! These are just some of the technological
    innovations that have influenced society. American history can tell
    many stories of how technology has influenced society, but most people
    can just look around and see it's affects (both positive and
    negative). Some of the positive influences of technologies on a
    society's social/morality can be seen by the medical advances and
    healthcare. Some negative influences are the increase in violence and
    illiteracy. Before the TV and Radio, many children read classic novels
    and their homework. Now, the overall education of these children is
    pathetic. One advantage to the new technology is the vast amount of
    informa! tion available to people that was usually not available.
    China's governments actions can show how much these technologies have
    influenced its society in a "negative" way for a Communist government.
    The best way to see technology influencing societies is looking at
    other societies that are not as developed as the West is. For example,
    India's society has just recently been greatly influenced by
    technology in the form of cable television and consumer durables, such
    as washing and dryer machines. Their society now has machines that can
    do the work of what many had to pay someone else to do or do
    themselves. The idea of a machine doing the work of a human scares
    many societies and causes a backlash against technology. This leads to
    the influence of societies' moral and cultural standards upon the
    pursuit of technological growth. Unemployment due to machines has been
    the greatest fear of many societies. Since the beginning of the
    Industrial Revolution, people have predicted that machines would
    destroy their jobs and their lives as well. The book, Frankenstein was
    the result of a technology gone astray. The author wrote the story to
    keep people from inventing all these new technologies. Karl Marx
    himself said that, by investing in machinery, factory owners would
    create a vast army of the unemployed. In the late 1940s, Nobert
    Weiner, a pioneer of computing, forecast that this new technology
    would destroy enough jobs to make the depression of the 1930s looks
    like a picnic. With all the negative publicity of new technologies,
    many societies choose not to invest in some technology and without a
    demand or the ideas for technology, progress is slowed. Unemployment
    is not the only driving force behind the influence of society on
    technology. There are many groups against technological progress.
    These g! roups help stop a technology by petition, debating, and by
    any means necessary (as did farmers with burning the cotton gins in
    1840s). Technology can not progress unless there is someone that
    thinks up an idea, but that idea can be stopped very quickly by a
    societies' view of that idea. John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying:
    "If men have the talent to invent new machines that put people out of
    jobs, then they certainly have the talent to put these people back to
    work." (Unemployment 21) Kennedy's speech was based on the idea of
    creative destruction: new jobs are created, while others are rendered
    obsolete. Societies must learn that to complain is human; to adjust
    essential. Either way, technology is influenced by this point. Michael
    Novak stated that there were three influences on any society:
    Political influences, Economic influences, and Moral\Cultural
    influences. As seen by this essay, there are many reasons that there
    should be a fourth point added to this "triangle." Throughout history,
    technology has seen to influence and be influenced by political
    decisions. These technologies also have helped build economies and
    destroy those that chose not to use technology. Society has also been
    greatly influenced by technology in positive and negative ways, and
    society has greatly influenced technology as well. Technology as the
    fourth point of a triangle? How about a square or trapezoid?

    ---
    Works Cited

    Mowery, David C., and Nathan Rosenberg. Technology and the Pursuit of
    Economic Growth. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

    McKenzie, Richard B., and Dwight R. Lee. Quicksilver Capital. New
    York: The Free Press, 1991.

    Rosenberg, Nathan. Inside The Black Box: Technology And Economics. New
    York: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

    Chen, Kathy. "China Bans Internet Access To as Many as 100 Web Sites."
    Wall Street Journal 5 Sept. 1996: 1-2.

    "Technology and Unemployment." The Economist 11 Feb. 1995: 21-23.

    "Technology In Finance." The Economist 26 Oct. 1996: 3-22.

    "The World Economy." The Economist 28 Sept. 1996: 3-4, 7-10, 19-23,
    43-45.

  2. #2
    Mike Cash
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    They don't teach about paragraphing at your school?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecash
    They don't teach about paragraphing at your school?
    He just copied & pasted, the original is like that.

    @ Ghost:
    Please state your sources if you quote complete articles, else we have to delete the stuff!

    In this case I'll do it for you, the source probably is:
    Influences on Society

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    oh, forgot to put a link. I really dont know who did it, but it was good so I had to. By tha way, i didnt claim it, so no funny ideas.

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