TECH 393 – Technology in World Civilization
Write your answers to the following questions in Short Essay Format. Be sure to include reasons and facts as required to support your answers. Total length of response for this assignment needs to be a minimum of 1 full page single-spaced, maximum response is 2 pages.
Computers seem to be everywhere: at work, at play and in all sorts of places in between. There are perhaps a million large computers, tens of millions of personal computers, hundreds of millions of programmable calculators, and billions of dedicated micro-processors built into other machines of every description in use in America today. The changes these machines are bringing to society are profound, if not revolutionary. However, our dependence upon technology is nothing new; numerous previous societies have also depended upon technology in different ways for their survival and existence.
In Ireland in the nineteenth century, the predominance and dependence of mono-cropping potatoes led to massive starvation and one of the largest migrations of that time, all because of a blight (disease) that wiped out the crop over a series of years. Much as we have become dependant on computers for our economy, the Irish had become dependant on the potato for their agriculture and to feed their families. The entire system of villages and tenant farming was centered in this one product. Its failure created untold hardship, both in the crop failure itself and in the political and economic upheavals that followed.
For the purpose of this assignment, you are to use the scenario that the world has just suffered a global EMP-based war. Everything that is connected to networks of wire, or uses transistor circuitry and newer electronics is now unusable and un-repairable. If you are unfamiliar with the Irish potato famine, you are allowed to do research to gain a better understanding of what happened.
Answer the following questions in your own words.
How is this dependence on potatoes seen as a possible parallel to the events of the early twenty-first century and our dependence on computer technology?
What would society do if all computers and all other equipment that uses processors suddenly stopped working?
What lessons can we draw from these two examples?