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kuozzman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:11 PM
Original message
How important is technological change?
I'm about to write an essay for my econ class and was hoping to get some peoples' opinions to get me thinking.....

Consider it's impact on the economy (good or bad).....
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UL_Approved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Technological change drives economies
We wouldn't have much of an economy in the U.S. if it weren't for constant change. When we stop moving forward, we slowly fade away. This is true of all things.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Cockroaches haven't done anything different and they've outlived MANY
species.

It's all a load of diarrhea that if we stop progressing, we fade away.

Life is about change. But technology seems tantamount to slowly destroying the planet. More importantly, let's suppose technology could change the world for the better. Since everything is based on greed money, nothing will happen until it becomes cost effective. Google up "peak oil profitable" and see what happens.

Cockroaches never needed an economy anyway. Neither does every other species on this planet. And if you ask me, it's done humankind no net good in the end. How's that for your balance sheet?
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UL_Approved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Its not technology that is the problem, its ethics
We would still be having the same warfare/big man politics issues if we had only sticks and stones to our names. Technology is not the problem, its what we do with it. This distinction is paramount to changing the way the world works.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. Do you really believe "everything is based on greed/money"?
I am trying to imagine how humanity could have possibility survived if "everything is based on greed/money".

I can't.

I believe that a subsistence greater than greed drives "humanity". Otherwise, nuclear destruction would have already whiddled life as we know it.
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kuozzman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. What about when machines replace humans and the effect that
has on employment?
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idiosyncratic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well . . . if milking machines hadn't been developed everyone
would still have their own cow.

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Quite. Our milk is in the hands of a select few, who manipulate things
so they stay in power.

Doesn't sound like freedom to me.
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kuozzman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I think I'd like having a cow....
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laura888 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. LOL! You're cute! n/t
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. Where are countries which have embraced the change
and where are those who have not (or not been able to)?
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
6. it is another word for the "divine right of kings"
With the "new economy" all the "old" rules were declared void by the
powers that be, saying all sorts of non-provable nonsense... but the
net result was "we much change because because." Such change
provides the screen to feign that "political economy" has changed
somehow in the past several thousand years, and that now, with the
advent of MP3 players, and because you can listen to political
speaches on the bus on the way to work, that this invalidates all
of historical political economy... and we can do whatever we want
in the new paradigm. Such change is an important tool for propagandists
seeking to re-invent the world for their political superiors.

I don't dispute the tremendous social benefits of the internet,
the electric grid and the internal combustion engine. That the
human race has more people in raw numbers living in slavery today
than ever before in history, is also telling. That you likely don't
know that, is the will of kings and propagandists reinventing the
world with the latest lightbulb.
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McKenzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. depends what it's used for/driven by
in a world where selling "stuff" is paramount technological change is underpinned by profit and not altruistic rationales.

So WTF am I saying? Hmmm....in a capitalist world technological change is a corollary to market advantage. If it don't pay it won't happen. Ethics, decency, morality etc are largely absent from the drivers of technological advancement unless they are a concomitant to the pursuit of profit...change happens if it's profitable.

It's not quite as simplistic as I suggest but it does illustrate how profit underpins everything. I exercise moral choice in my life...does technological change? Now there's a nice line of argument to follow in your essay.
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Increased technology helped spell
the demise of the Neanderthals.

Increased technology put our species above the apes and other primates.

Increased technology led to better crops, faster and better transportation, improvements in housing, better insulation, success in fighting disease, better food processing, improvements in dental problems and eye problems.

Increased technology let to the demise of the outhouse and brought in the bathroom. We now have safe lighting in our homes, safe and efficient heating systems.

I could go on and on, but technology is what drives the engine of progress for humanity. It does have it's downsides, but with diligence and forethought, we can overcome the downsides and make them upsides. We just have to have the collective will to accomplish it.
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McKenzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. agreed...technology is good
it's how it's used for and for whom that matters. We need to harness technology for collective benefit, not private profit.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yet today, technology is globalized
And whilst the USA may own some patents, there are no particular
technological advances owned by any group of homo sapiens over any
other group of said "neanderthals" so that political-economy
argument presented by shraby here, is the progress myth.

This myth conceals in practice, ethocentricsm that allows 1 culture
to say, because they are more "technologically advanced" in their
own opnions... that they have some superior rights to government...
what i call "the divine right of kings.".

It sounds so sweet and appealing that progress myth... yet the
reality is that the progress is a fantasy, and humanity is as
barbaric as it was during the decline of the neanderthals.
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kuozzman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Actually your wrong,

your 1st claim is simply inaccurate given the fact that the current leader of the free world is a chimpanzee!

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. *grin* n/t
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. Not at all important.
Even when your country is dwarfed by a particularly malign superpower - aren't they all? - and consequently easy meat for maximum economic oppression, any aid in the form of money is channeled by the rogues in charge of the former into capital equipment in their own ownership, instead of the creation of labour intensive work for the masses.

There was a Quaker economist called Schumacher, in the seventies, I believe, who wrote a book called "Small is Beautiful", in which he expatiated on that theme and also the finitude of the earth's natural resources and its implications.

I believe that he argued that, in view of the latter, materials should not be transported half-way round the world and back (as is frequently the case), but used locally.

Neither, it seems to me, was Ned Ludd so deluded. Catholic doctrine stipulates that capital was made for man and not the other way around. Technological development should be organised in such a way that it benefits all of society. This enlightened behaviour by our leaders, however, would fly in the face of the sad reality, i.e that the further you go up in society, the greater proliferation there will be of sociopaths, some quite extreme. Much of the time, it is difficult for the good ones in high positions to countervail to any appreciable extent against the characteristically malign machinations of the psycopaths.

However, a counsel of despair, implicit in Conservatism, is not a Christian option. Good does periodically prevail, and only the spiritual lapsing of the people with their increasing personal affluence dooms us to repeat the cycle. The Church has a role to play in all this, which it has not yet taken up as purposefully as it should. Chesterton once stated that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, but found hard and left untried. The institutional Church, after all, has moved a long way away from the Gospels in its economic values, however explicit its official social doctrine may be on the subject.

I don't know if any of this would be of help to you, as the theme is clearly eccentric, and doubtless would be condemned as overtly Communist by the Conservatives who currently hold sway in most of our world.











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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. It has created the possibility of an informed people.
A more informed people is a more empowered people.

Pretty damned important development,...in my book.
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Diane L Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
18. Having had a career in computer technology for
many years, I would say this: I blame technology for a dive in business ethics. This has, by example, caused a deterioration in the way so many folks treat their customers. I notice this constantly when I call a business and even operators, if you can get past the automated attendant, lack manners in most cases. You can't count on a customer service person to even enter correct data onto a customer's account. If the computer network goes down - it seems like everyone is helpless - because they have no manual backup system.
Sure, I think automation has caused some jobs to go away, but nothing like the outsourcing of jobs to other countries has caused. I personally think we are getting a little out there with technology. I personally find myself spending more time dealing with the technology - wasn't it suppose to save us time?
And I think research & development for new technology is sometimes spent on the wrong thing.
So, to me, there are positives but many negatives.
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Redleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
19. Consider both macro and micro impacts of technology.
Edited on Sun Dec-12-04 09:25 PM by Redleg
At the macro level it has contributed to a relatively high rate of productivity increases. At a micro level it has displaced workers but created new work for others. Technology improves the work of some people and makes worse work for other workers. For example, I am a professor- technology in the form of computers and statistical applications helps me crunch numbers. In other industries, workers simply tend the machines while the machines do the work. These workers get deskilled by the technology.

As you can see, the impact of technology is complex.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-04 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
22. It's the only way to increase productivity in any big way over time.
People haven't become any more physically efficient than they were ten thousand years ago.
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