Technology in World Civilization
Parallelism between the Irish dependence on potatoes and the events of the early twenty first century and our dependence on computer technology
The twenty first century has witnessed technological developments and a shift to dependence on computers and computer based devices. This has particularly been because of the associated level of efficiencies of the technology that makes work easier and faster. Consequently, the traditional manual operational systems have been abandoned and the world relies on technology for operations in all industries and fields. Technology has for example been heavily used in mobile communication devices, in online communication and research, in data storage and analysis for forecasting across industries such as in biotechnology, and in managing processes. The developed overreliance on technology that is predicted to persist therefore means that people are not able to effectively, as they did before, handle tasks manually. This however identifies a critical problem should a global calamity occur and disable all technology-based systems (Fema, 2011).
The problem would be similar to the Ireland’s potatoes famine of the nineteenth century. In the case, social conditions had led to reliance of potatoes as the chief food crop. The crop’s disease that broke out in the year 1845 however cut the society’s only source of food, leading to famine. The consequences were fatal with further implications such as “ cholera, dysentery, typhus, and manifestation of lice” that led to death and displacement of people from the region (Digital, 2012, p. 1).
The two instances therefore identify similarity in societies that can barely survive, should their staple application fail. Like the potatoes’ plight disrupted people’s social, political, and economic lives in Ireland, disruption in technology will stall professional and industrial operations that have entirely depended on it. Economic processes, healthcare services, and communication will therefore stop. The current society can however slowly adjust to its manual operation system, like in the potatoes’ calamity, or bear the consequences until another technology is developed (Fema, 2011; Digital, 2012).
Possible measures by the society if all computers and computerized devices stopped working
A fault that incapacitates all processor-based applications such as application of computer and computer-based devices would require solutions. One of the possible solutions that the society can use is reverting to the traditional manual operation system, a process that will depend on human resource for decision-making and process implementations. The society would also try to investigate causes of the problem in order to restore the processor applications. This would involve research processes with the aim of studying the collapsed system, its foundations, and how the foundations can be rebuilt. Failure to reestablish the processor system would lead to the option of developing another system that can offer efficiency as the computer based technology did. All these approaches to solution were tried in the Ireland potatoes’ calamity (Digital, 2012).
Lessons from the two examples
The two examples warn against the society’s overreliance on a single technology and offer two lessons. Overreliance on a single technology is fatal to the society and the society should have back up options to its stable applications. This is because lack of suitable alternatives, in case of breakdowns, lead to inefficiencies with adverse social, economic, and political consequences.
Fema. (2011). Technological development and dependency. Federation Emergency Management Agency. Retrieved from: http://www. fema. gov/pdf/about/programs/oppa/technology_dev_%20paper. pdf.
Digital. (2012). Digital history: Using new technology to enhance teaching and research. University of Houston. Retrieved from: http://www. digitalhistory. uh. edu/historyonline/irish_potato_famine. cfm.
Technology in World Civilization