Technology and Society: How Technology Changed Our Lives

The way we think about our world has changed dramatically through the years especially when technological engineering advances happen such as the first automobile assembly line for the Ford model T in 1913  (Ford, 2019), the first basic telephone in 1849 by an Italian man named Antonio Meucci  (Elon University, 2019) and many other inventions that completely changed the world. These inventions changed the way each person views the world and untimely brings us closer with each other. Along with these groundbreaking technological advances, it shows how engineers are able to push the limits of technology its ways never thought possible.

These advances will shape and build a better future for further generations to come.

Technology advances shape the way we think about things as well as change our perception on everything in and about the world. Just like the first computer that was designed by engineers and built to be fully operated in 1941. This would change the course of history forever as it lead engineers to create large computing centers for researchers and later on, public use.

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  (Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.) With this becoming the main event for technology development it quickly developed thus opening up a new door for society in an enormous number of categories like the beginning of the family entertainment category with the Atari 2600 VCS in 1977 (Cohen, 2019), or linking everyone together no matter the distance with the invention of the World Wide Web.  (World Wide Web Foundation, n.d.) This would impact society so 0greatly that it would vastly improve the way people communicate with each other around the globe via email and later to come; instant messaging.

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A rippling effect has begun and it probably won’t end anytime soon until we have pushed materials and computer technology to the absolute maximum limits. In parallel to computer electronics benefiting society, one invention that has caused a major ripple in technological advancement is the invention of steam power in 1898. While realizing the technological advancement that steam power can do for society, James Watt greatly improved the concept thus the creation of the steam engine was born in 1765 and also adding many other enhancements, the traditional power plant was modernized.   (Encyclopaedia Britannica, n.d.) Steam power rapidly developed along with many other global networks benefited from these technological advancements like the food industry, transportation industry and thousands of other industries that propelled the world into a global industrialization era. Along with such technological advancements, the lives of many had improved greatly hence adding on another layer to the complex global network created by engineers.

Lastly, a technological improvement that revolutionized the world and changed that has touched every human’s life is the development and implementation of Gutenberg’s printing press around 1440. The printing press would allow the ease and swift production of standardizing text that helped flourish scholars all over the world with the foundations of scientific research publishing. Not only did this new technology help scholars began to publish scientific research papers, it leads to the reduced cost in books allowing people of all classes to be able to read and improve literacy scores throughout the entire world. (McFadden, 2018) Furthermore, the printing press allowed books to be created faster than the most skilled writer at the time meaning books were created by the thousands. Improvements were made to Gutenberg’s design to make it faster more efficient and veering away from the traditional mechanical design to a steam design in 1814 (world, 2014) and later to electric printers that are able to print at incredible speeds. These electric printing presses are essential in everyday lives for the simple fact that paper books are still being used today by the entire world, also it adds another layer to the complexity of the global network created by engineers.

Water is an essential part of human lives, without it humans would be dead, which is why engineers created sophisticated devices to move water from one place to another. To achieve this, Roman engineers had to develop a system that would transport water from an elevated place 80 kilometers or more away to the major cities. This intricate system is known as the aqueducts and they were built around the seventh century B.C  (MSc, n.d.). Following the invention of the aqueduct, Greek engineers were puzzled at the fact that they needed to transport water from lower bodies to higher bodies of water or farmland. To do this Archimedes introduced his water screw; a large screw inside a hollow tube that would turn to bring water up, in the third century B.C.  (MSc, n.d.) It wasn’t until 1627 Sir Francis Bacon began desalinating seawater by sand filtration. This kicked off the first municipal water treatment plant designed by Robert Thom in 1804 and later America started building large-scale sand filters to assure public health in 1890. (MSc, n.d.) These complex technological systems are vital in today’s modern world as they provide fresh clean drinking water for society and generations to come.

Food is another essential part of humans survival and is vital for our growing society. Agriculture has been around for more than 10,000 years and is practiced in many parts of the world in different ways.  (Marcin, n.d.) Due to the different types of crops, weather conditions soil conditions, there are many different types of inventions that engineers had to come up with to face this problem all over the world. One thing is common throughout agriculture and that is planting the seeds in the ground, harvesting and preserving the product produced by the plants. In order to turn the hard soil efficiently and effectively, a sturdy device is needed for this job. Unlike traditional plows that had been made out of primitive stone age technology, John lane created the first steel plow in 1833.

The smooth formed steel blade is able to cut through the tacky black prairie soil turning the soil in large fields more easily thus creating a more efficient farming process  (Landers, 2015) The need for preserving food for longer periods of time grew and another problem began raising the question to engineers. Luckily Oliver Evans had the solution for a refrigeration machine but it wasn’t until 30 years later in 1934 that the first refrigeration machine was built by mechanical engineer Jacob Perkins. (Bellis, 2018) A refrigeration machine allowed the preservation of all sorts of different kinds of food making them last longer than traditional adopted methods.

Shelters are basic to human survival as they provide protection against the elements and also allow humans to be protected from natural predators. Traditional tents and teepees made from animal hide and bones aren’t sufficing enough for cold winters and aren’t protective from attacks either. To combat these issues various solutions from engineers at different parts of the world have developed different ways to erect shelters. Early shelters made from mud mix and straw lead to the advancement in primitive limestone concrete technology called pozzolan cement. This would be the standard in house building until the late 1700 where concrete technology would be further enhanced by civil engineer John Smeaton when he discovered a modern solution for producing hydraulic lime in cement. CITATION Pep17 l 1033 (Pepin, 2017) With little improvements along way by changing the mixture of the cement slightly, it wasn’t until the 1880s that Francois Coignet who added steel rods to act as a reinforcing agent to the concrete.  (Pepin, 2017) Such technologies is still being used today in all concrete shelters as well as other concrete designs. This allows engineers to add another layer to the complex network of our society.

Power generation is fundamental in todays modern society, it powers everything like cities, buildings, signs, lights and when the power goes out its like the world stops until it comes back on. This is how much humans rely on power even though humans have been utilizing this energy for around 250 years.  (instituteforenergyresearch, n.d.) The first electricity experiment is nonother than the famous scientist and inventor Benjamin Franklin who flew his kite in a lighting storm with a metal key attached to the string.  (Benjamin Franklin History Society, n.d.) Building on Franklins idea of electricity scientist Michael Faraday discovered that electric current flows through current wires when there is motion between the magnets inside the coil copper wire.  (U.S. Engery Information Administarion, n.d.) Blowing this idea up on a larger scale engineers are able to power the megalopolis in todays modern society. Engineers are then able to refine this technology and create a more efficient running system to meet the need of society massive power draw.

Transportation is as old as humans roaming the earth and walking to different locations with all their belongings. Primitive engineers used water ways to move from place to place in a faster more efficient ways by creating rafts and long boats back in 7600 B.C. (Nguyen, 2019) This allowed large groups of people to migrate to different places and begin civilization. After humans conquered the waters, it became clear that humans needed another form of transportation to explore on land. With this in mind primitive engineers came up with the solution, horse drawn buggies began to arise with the invention of the wheel around 3500 B.C (Nguyen, 2019) Only slight improvement have been made to horse drawn buggies and manual boats, until the invention of steam then transportation took a wild turn to modernization. Soon after the discovery of steam power boats have been modernized with powerful steamboats to carry passengers and goods along water ways in 1769, while on land a new type of transportation is in the midst of being born in 1804, the railway designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick. (Nguyen, 2019) Railway ruled the transportation even when the first powered was invented in 1886  (Nguyen, 2019) but hasn’t been widely used as a mode of transportation until ford inventing the Model T with the first production line 1913  (Ford, 2019). On the contrary, to this, the write brothers began work on the first airplane making this the first official powered flight in 1903  (Nguyen, 2019) With these technological improvements allowed society to improve the goods within separate countries. Shipping goods became possible through the different modes of transportation allowing countries to become more diverse in many ways.

Engineers have come along way with developing and enhancing the modern world and improving human lives. Technology has improved the life of society thanks to groundbreaking engineering innovations and intertwining a complex network of technological advances. Without these discoveries, our modern world wouldn’t be able to function properly and increase the difficulty of life.


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Technology and Society: How Technology Changed Our Lives

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