96.Essay Writing Format, structure and Examples.’ TECHNOLOGY AND THE HOPE FOR A NEW GLOBAL SYSTEM’


INTRODUCTION: The new world which is poised to usher in an era of peace and prosperity is itself dependent on technology for its effectiveness. Technology can break barriers and lead to the forging of the world community into world citizenship.

DEVELOPMENT OF THOUGHT: In the past decade, the world society was witness to the emergence of new social and political forces driven by developments in technology. The common man is conscious that developments today are qualitatively different from those of the preceding decade. The new forces have liberated human consciousness from the ideological boxes. The revolution in communication, information and transportation technology is the watershed in the creation of the global system encompassing the whole planet. Technology is creating more and more integration at the world level. The fear of lagging behind in the technological race compels nations to cooperate and realign. Technology shapes and reshapes ideas, cultures and world views. Let us hope that the explosion in freedom, triggered by the technology, will lead to a further awakening to formulate plans for global issues related to development for all world citizens.

CONCLUSION: Electronics and biotechnology promise new hope for globalisation. But to create this new world, effective management, entrepreneurship and innovations will have to develop and deploy.

 The new world offers hope for everyone. For the advanced nations, it is the victory of capitalism. For the socialist nations, it is an opportunity to restructure after 40 years of Cold War, and adopt modern management and technology needed to improve the standards of living with the freedom and flexibility of a democratic society. For developing nations it is a challenge to demand they’re fair share and avoid isolation and alienation, to make sure that the tension between the North and the South does not delay development.

The new world is positioned to bring the hope of peace and prosperity, a cleaner environment, increased dominance of technology and technocrats, new developments and breakthroughs in the field of health, transport, electronics, communication, robotics, biotechnology and the possibility of a world government with fading and, in some cases, disappearing borders with free movements of goods, services and people, ultimately leading to world citizenship—at least for the technocrats of the world.

Nesbit, in his ‘Mega Trends’ outlines forces which will shape the future of the world. These relate to movement from capital-intensive industrial base to knowledge-intensive information base, forced technology to high-tech. national economy to world economy, short-term to long-term interests, centralized to decentralized administration, institutional to self-help programmes, representative to participative democracy hierarchical to networking relationships and rather than either-or choices, multiple choices in problem-solving.

The vision of the future in the technology-driven new world cannot be based on what seems possible: it needs to be decided according to what has to be made possible. Technology will have to be mobilized to make the essentials possible—and that is the challenge for the new world.

The recent explosion in freedom and realignment of the Eastern socialist and the Western capitalist nations makes it clear that the world is becoming a better place to live in with the potential for peace and prosperity. With the voluntary destruction of warheads, the Cold War has ended, making the world safer and more secure. Because of the sudden expansion in communication technology, the world is moving closer together, shortening distances and cutting across boundaries. At the same time, the growing disparities between the South and the North are pulling the World further apart.

Technology is the key driver in integrating and assimilating the aspirations, and expectations of a large number of people the world over. Because of these modem Western technologies, Western civilization is spreading throughout the globe. No longer is it ‘East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet’.

More probably, it will be ‘North is North and South is South and never the twain shall meet.’ People used to be divided on grounds of differences in cultures and religions. The cause of division now is economic disparities. The affluent nations are coming increasingly closer to one another, forcing realignments the world over. There is concern about poverty throughout the world, but no clear action plan on removing it. Many who advocate solidarity of the affluent nations feel that they have little need for the poor nations. It is very little they need from the poor nations which would require solidarity with them. Within their trading bloc, they can find substitutes for whatever little raw material is left in the nations of the South. They do not need it any more. Most of the raw material is now being replaced by synthetic products. They also ho logger need nations of the South for military bases to fight their enemies.

Notwithstanding the conflict between the rich of the North and the poor of the South and between economy and ecology, the interdependence of the world is here to stay. All eyes are firmly fixed on globalization and industrialization m quick tempo. Everyone is committed to improving the standards of living. Everyone is looking to the North for industrialization and the modern lifestyle. To the North, the market in the countries of the South should be attractive because it is large enough to absorb all the goods produced in the world market. h To make this a reality, however, the purchasing power of the masses in the countries of the South needs to be substantially increased.

The prospects for peace and prosperity are higher now because of many fundamental changes taking place the world over. To being with, there is a growing consensus on democracy and democratic norms which emphasizes on power to the people and participation by all. Democracy is no longer dismissed as a luxury of the rich and the affluent. Whether in the socialist or developing nations, real people’s democracy is on the ascendant as opposed to the democracy of the elite and the intellectuals. In Eastern Europe, people achieved democracy by taking their aspirations, expectations, struggles and movements to the streets.

It is to be hoped that democracy will bring concern for the rural poor, the minorities, and for the women and children the world over. Democracy is also expected to bring freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of movement, which have been restricted for many decades. This new democratic experience will result in further cooperation as opposed to confrontation.

Cooperation will come also from a concern for common human values related to human rights, ecology, environment; voluntary agencies and independent institutions will play an important role.

 The best way to ensure peace is to make life comfortable for the world’s majority. To a large extent, this has been achieved. Before the World Wars, comfort was a privilege for a few affluent people in high society. Now we have reached a minimum critical mass for the comfort level, such that it does not pay to fight any more. In the present consumer-oriented culture, people want jobs, money, exposure, entertainment, products, and services. They are least concerned about conflict and confrontation. They are part of the new ‘ME’ generation that is concerned only about personal freedom and personal prosperity and is lea’ st bothered about wars and victories. The new awakening offers great hope for a free, fair and flexible world, full of enjoyable opportunities to travel, entertain and explore.

There is one element that binds all of us together, irrespective of where we are and. what we are, and that is the air we breathe. ‘To survive, we need to breathe in ‘fresh clean air. The environment is a common heritage of mankind and, consequently. its common concern.

In the last two decades, our environment has been substantially damaged and destroyed because of the prevailing emphasis on economic growth. The strain put on water, air and soil, because of the continuous emphasis on industrialization without concern for the environment has undermined the life support system. In many parts of the world. jungles have been erased, desert areas are growing, and the air is saturated with chemical pollutants.

The environment seems to be man’s greatest concern for the future. Everyone recognizes that the environment is under threat. People know that flood and drought are the consequences of deforestation, poisoning of air is a result of heavy industry and chemical plants, and the poisoning of soil comes from over-fertilization with chemicals. Often, knowledge is far ahead of the action. We know what needs to be done but we have not yet organized management and information system to achieve visible results.

Environmental protection has become a major movement the world over. Many activists have made it a lifetime mission. All over the world, there are major movements to clean the world’s environment by growing more forests. controlling chemical pollution and creating awareness. Governments the world over are also working towards creating better laws and an institutional framework for a cleaner environment. Interdependence in the environment is far greater than interdependence in the economy, business and trade. However, the emphasis on this is only recent. It has only recently been recognized and appreciated that the coexistence of man and nature is a matter of survival for the rich and the poor.

The cleaning of the environment will call for a cultural change in our consumption pattern and approach. Some insist that materialism and consumerism are the root cause of environmental problems. Others have great faith in man’s ability to solve problems, even those related to the environment. Man’s genius indeed is greater than all problems put together. For any problem, there will always be a man with a mission to solve it. This faith is the faith in technology and its relationship to man’s ability to solve problems.

It is wrong to assume that we are at the end of our tether with nothing more to expect from the earth. indeed, the earth has a great deal ‘of resources which we have yet to explore. For millions of years, we have been merely scratching the surface. The vast ocean with its wealth of riches is yet to be explored. When we talk of lack of adequate drinking water supplies, for example, we forget that in some places there are periodic floods but we do not have the proper technology to store the water. Thus all the rainwater resources go down to the ocean, carrying along the rich soil to aggravate the problems. Too many of these problems, there are solutions if we are willing to accept the challenge and mobilize technology for environmental protection, preservation and prosperity.

Technology is a productive power which has been used both for development and destruction. In the modern world, technology has become so pervasive that in an average Western home 20 motors may be running at a time, in fans, hair dryers, garage doors, washers, mixers and other appliances and gadgets.

Technology has an impact on individuals and institutions. It is affecting our lifestyle. customs, cultures and national and international politics.

In the first quarter of the next century, two technologies will play a critical role in reshaping the world. They will bring innovations in a variety of fields affecting human needs such as health, environment, comfort, entertainment, communication, food, etc. These technologies are electronics, which already has a well established large industrial base, and biotechnology, which is an upcoming technology with promising prospects.

Electronics applications will make communication universal, instantaneous and inexpensive. They will enhance accessibility and integrate voice, data and video to offer flexibility. Supercomputers will be available on the desktop by the beginning of the next century. They will have memory devices as small as a postage stamp to store millions of pages of written documents.

Robotics will be common on the factory floor. They may even be found in homes, pardoning routine, cleaning and cooking duties. In the next ten to 20 years, we will encounter robots at the fast food restaurants, cooking hamburgers and taking orders. Airport and shopping centres then will be cleaned by mopping robots.

In the near future, mechanical robots will take over many of the cumbersome repetitive and difficult jobs from human beings. The latter will, thereafter, be engaged only in manipulating these machines and move on to other lighter and intellectually challenging tasks. For the production of steel, for example, no human being will need to stand in front of the hot furnaces. The movement of molten steel, hundreds of degrees Celsius hot, will be managed entirely by the machine intelligent robots.

Greater automation would call for more information. In other words, large computers will be needed to handle a large amount of data. The trend today is to move towards a parallel computer architecture where multiple tasks are being partitioned into smaller pieces of work for the individual processors to handle independently. This technology will change the nature of software and control in automation’ and robotics through detection, identification and tracking. The required innovations for sensing and vision will come by means of electronic magneto energy, infra-red, ultrasonic, or Xrays.

It is also feasible in the next 50 years to develop solar paint. Household rooftops, painted with this invention and connected with two leads to the electricity supply line, will generate enough electricity through solar power to meet the needs of the household. Motor cars painted with solar paint on top will generate enough power for locomotion. Window glass has been developed with electronically controlled liquid crystal displays to turn it into a glass with built-in Venetian blinds. New electronics will also supply that-screen TVs that will be hung in living rooms like a painting, and a cordless telephone in the wristwatch. The future also promises a voice-activated typewriter with a built-in text processor.

Fibre optics also may revolutionize communication. computer surveillance and controls. Fibre optics will become available in every home as a normal telephone wiring. They will then be able to receive high-resolution graphics and high bandwidth pictures. Superconductors offer yet another exciting opportunity. With the right kind of superconductors, at normal room temperatures, it will be possible to have unlimited bandwidth without any energy loss for unlimited power transmission. It will also have unlimited applications for transportation, particularly for mass transportation in urban and metropolitan areas.

Biotechnology will have a major impact on agriculture, health, environment, process industry and pharmaceuticals. By manipulating genes, biotechnology will be able to create living organisms to perform the desired task. The first genetically engineered micro-organism to receive a patent award was developed by an Indian-born scientist at the General Electric in the US. This engineered bug was designed to eat oil spills by multiplying itself and thereafter integrate into natural elements. Because it had ethical implications, the patent case for this organism was settled at the Supreme Court in the US.

Technology in the next few decades will give a new direction, new solutions, and new hope to millions. If one can grow vegetables and food crops faster, better and bigger, hunger may no longer be an issue in this world. If we can increase rapidly the green cover substantially, and clean our rivers and reduce human waste, ecology may no longer be an issue. If we can provide communication to everyone at the lower cost, with greater accessibility, ignorance may no longer be an issue and networking people and information may become practical and profitable.

Based on Perestroika in the Soviet nationalities and the recent awakening in Eastern Europe, coupled with overwhelming support from the Western world, the next 50 years are bound to be encouraging and exciting. The globalization of technology and markets will have an immediate impact on technology applications and utilization in the socialist world, affecting the lives of millions there. This will further fuel growth in technology, strengthen the process of modernization and industrialization the world over. Based on the role of electronics and biotechnology, coupled with the new alignment of the socialist and capitalist world, two sets of trends will emerge one, technology having a direct bearing on products and services; and two, a general trend in which technology has indirect implications on world politics and development.

Technology trends would have ten dimensions, as follows:

First, the trend towards miniaturization. The new technologies will move towards miniaturization of products of all types. This will be incorporated with sub-micron microelectronics and micromachining. These products will include micro cameras, television, tape recorders, scanners, controls, radio, telephones and many others with greater capacity to combine the new functions and features. Through micro-miniaturization it will be possible to mass produce products wit I p precision, automation and with minimum raw materials. This will save a lot of world resources in packaging storing and distribution. These micro products of the future will provide better; performance than their present counterparts at a lower cost and lower power.

Second, the scope for increased productivity and efficiency. The new technology will increase productivity and efficiency at all levels in an organization to manage scarce resources and eliminate waste. The future system with being designed to do a thing right for the first time to reduce scrap and save time and energy. Many new productivity tools will be developed to overhaul the present discipline. These tools will require information, communication, computer, controls, robotics and many new technologies. They will also require a change in the work attitude and environment.

Third, the focus on cost reduction. The new technologies will focus on continuing cost reduction and increasing product affirmability. All those who specialize in value engineering a product will extend the life cycle of a product through cost reduction. By keeping costs low some of these new products and services will find applications in the lower middle-class homes and in developing nations. Cost-effective technology will make it possible to reach masses and solve problems related to basic human needs.

 Fourth, the substitution of materials. In the next 50 years, many new materials will be invented to substitute the present natural resources with greater strength, lower weight and increased durability. Many new synthetic materials will find use in agriculture, food, furniture and factories. Some of the new materials will be produced through recycling of waste. All this will reduce the pressure on the ecosystem to support the present pace of development and sustain the ever-increasing population.

Fifth, standardization. In the future, more and more attention will have to be given by the world community to implement standards for performance, interface and safety. This is one area where technocrats will have to work together to benefits customers. Globalization of markets will need global standards.

 Sixth, the necessity for time management. Time management will be the biggest challenge for all who are engaged in business and administration. In a knowledge-intensive environment, time will become a precious commodity. Many in the advanced nations will find that they will have every luxury at their disposal but not the time to enjoy it. Keeping pace with increasing specialization and ever-growing knowledge will demand considerable time from individuals and experts. Time management will become a major preoccupation of future professionals, managers, leaders and others. ‘

Seventh increased comforts. The new technology will further increase comfort for millions. It will make life softer for many with new jobs, new tools and new products. Human comfort will be one of the key market areas of focus in the next few decades. As income levels increase, the comfort level will also increase simultaneously. This will change the nature of work at home and also in offices. Many will work from home with sophisticated information tools. For others, routine homes tasks will be preprogrammed for robots to handle. This will leave more time for leisure. People will reduce the number of working hours and thus there will be more leisure and comfort.

 Eighth, the growth in the leisure industry. The leisure industry is already a multi-billion dollar enterprise. It will grow manifold and create millions of new jobs. Leisure will lead to luxury. What seems to be a luxury today may become a necessity in a few decades. The telephone or a car, which was a luxury not too long ago, is now a necessity for almost everyone in the Western world. These products will also become a part of basic necessities in developing nations in the future.

Ninth, the increase in automation. Technology will increase automation substantially. Automation will take over almost all the routine pre-programmed tasks, especially hard tasks, from human beings. People will then find more time for knowledge and action. Automation will be common at home, work-place, banks, railway stations airports, hospitals, etc. People will be required only to assist and inform. With a voice-activated typewriter and a voice mailbox, for example, all routine, forms will be filled verbally and electronically for easy access and retrieval.

Tenth, the pervasiveness of technology. The essence of these technology trends related to miniaturization, productivity, cost reduction, -standards, and automation will make many technologies pervasive. People will learn to live with high-tech and feel comfortable with new products and services of the future. This will enhance availability with mass merchandising and mass distribution. As more people feel comfortable with new technology, more technology will be sold. As more technology is sold, more people will learn to live in a new environment and adjust to new thinking. This will have an indirect impact on development and politics.

Technology also has an indirect bearing on world politics and development. Because of technological developments, there is a fundamental change in people’s perception of the world over. People are realizing that the world’s political weather has changed in the last decade because of communication and consumer technologies. Government control is now seen as a problem and not a solution. People’s participation and privatization are being encouraged everywhere. They are now prepared to define a fresh role of government and solve their problems locally with a sense of the new community values. The events in Eastern Europe have convinced them that it is time to look for new ideas and move beyond narrow interests to global interests. Everyone is accepting, encouraging, and enjoying democracy and liberalization. It is recognized that without releasing the energies of free enterprise and the free market, necessary goods and services cannot be provided to satisfy people’s aspirations.

People are positioning for the next century when new activism and social change through globalization will become the realities. They are looking for ways to engage government, business and labour in projects to solve problems and expedite development. This movement is gaining momentum all over the world.

Forces of market, incentives and entrepreneurship have now gone far beyond the US and the Western world and are active in the socialist and developing nations. People are beginning to recognize that government is not capable of solving all the problems and they have to solve their own problems. This can be done only by local initiatives and local skills. Many are now looking at self-interest with public purposes in mind.

In the next 50 years, the world will be covered throughout with the democratic spread. The demand for democratization has already started in Africa. Having tasted and accepted the power of democracy, people want their voice to be heard no matter where they are. The dictatorial system, a legacy of the past, will crumble to give power to the people.

Simultaneously, Westernization will increase all over the world. The concept of modernization, industrialization, democratization and Westernization will be integrated to promote Western culture in Africa, Asia, South America and other parts of the world. The western influence will be seen in the popularity of the English language, music, dresses, products, services, entertainment, etc. Even food habits will be affected, besides the thought process. All modern metropolitan cities of the world will promote Westernization. In traditional societies, Westernization will take roots through modern media and consumer products. These societies, in the next 50 years, will have very little of their own culture left in the form of art, craft, song and dance. They will almost be like tribal cultures, found only in isolated pockets and remote corners. Everyone in traditional societies will be looking forward to the good life provided by Western technology and products without really being aware that these will also bring along with them Western values and Western lifestyle. Through westernization, the world will be integrated faster into one monolithic world community.

Globalization will be further enhanced, because of miniaturized products, lower communications costs, faster jet travel and networking of knowledge and resources. Globalization will spread to all developing nations well. It will also include financial services without the present foreign exchange controls. The future world will have, within less than 50 years, a free flow of financial instruments with convertibility everywhere.

The world community will also realize that national development cannot be smooth without de-govemmentalization and de-bureaucratization. Private initiative in building trade, business, technology, distribution, marketing. and even infrastructures will be encouraged everywhere. This will increase the flow of products and services and bring about a vibrant economy and an entrepreneurial drive to work for improving the standard of living for everyone.

In a technology-driven world, individualism will increase. People will worry more about their own problem and prosperity. The ‘ME’ generation will flourish with pride in individual initiatives. Large families will break up in favour of small independent families comprising working couples who are concerned mostly about improving their own standards of living. This process of democratization, globalization, Westernization and de-governmentalization will breed a new generation of young individuals who will be more open, more innovative, and self-centred. However, they will be more concerned than the present generation about the community and the environment. They will enjoy their individualism while accepting their own responsibility for the community at large.

These general trends based on technological prosperity will impinge upon issues related to population, literacy and environment. World population will continue to grow from the present five billion to level off at about nine to ten billion, and then begin to decline since there will be large numbers of small educated families with no more than two children per couple. By then, female literacy will have been achieved and infant morality reduced substantially, even in rural communities small families will become the norm. By then, modern farming methods, bio-fertilizers and biotechnology will produce enough food for ten billion people with perhaps fewer resources and less land area.

Because of the process of democratization and individualism, coupled with mass communication, the predicted population explosion will not take place. Perhaps, 200 years from now world population will return to the present level of five billion. It would have been best if we had the population of the 1790s and the technology of 1990s. Unfortunately, the world population is out of pace by 200 years with world technology. Perhaps, after the next 200 years population will be in pace with technology.

In the interim, millions may starve and suffer from floods and other natural disasters due to lack of technology and mismanagement related to the delivery and distribution system. The population in the western world is already on the decline. As prosperity increases, the population stabilizes or starts declining. This has its own dynamics of creating pockets of an ageing but healthy population. This will create a shortage of young working people to push an economic engine in many nations. One likely result of having aged and decreasing populations in developed nations and increasing young population in developing nations is large-scale migration from the latter to the former. It is estimated that only one per cent of the world population lives outside their nation of birth. This may change to five per cent in the next 50 years, with open borders in Europe and other regional alliances.

Technology-driven development will also increase world literacy. With new communication technologies, exposure to television and concern of people, the rate of literacy will increase substantially. It is predicted that within the next 50 years, the world would have achieved close to full literacy. This will be one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Having attained full literacy, the enlightened world population will be able to deal with many social and developmental issues effectively.

Health, hygiene and education are related issues. As literacy increases, the concern I for child development, the role of women and environment will also increase substantially.

The environment is the only issue which will keep our world community glued together. Within the next 50 years, the environment will no longer be a .issue. Biotechnology with tissue culture and plant biology will help trees to grow, thus increasing the green cover. Environmental education and awareness will also increase with the modern media methods to help create concern in the community for a cleaner and safer environment, free of pollution and chemicals. For this, new technologies will be developed and new enterprises created to protect and preserve our common heritage.

While electronics and biotechnology will be busy delivering new products and services, health science will also expand rapidly. With the new knowledge of genetics and human engineering, it will be possible to extend life expectancy to 150 years. Increase in life expectancy will have implications on retirement, social security, working life and many other related issues.

So much for the good news related to the brave new world of technology of tomorrow. While there will be all-round development, however, the disparity between developing nations of the South and the advanced nations of the North will continue in the next 50 years. It will be a major cause of tension and turmoil in the world. Technology, which will be developed to bridge the gap, will also create further distance and disparities. Technology, which should be the only integrating power between North and South, will divide them further. Some technologies, which the South will need badly, will be prevented from crossing over to its borders. At some point in time, however, after achieving a minimum acceptable and respectable standard of living, the advanced nations will have to freely transfer critical technologies for the development of the South not for economic but for global considerations. Only then would the world be integrated to guarantee peace, security and prosperity for all.

To create a future based on the promises of the electronic and biotechnology revolution, effective management, entrepreneurship and innovations will have to be developed and deployed. Democratization and globalization will strengthen the innovative process. However, a new work environment will have to be created, to translate these innovative processes into products and services that can be delivered and distributed to people at large. This is the process of creating new wealth for the future world. And this is the challenge before the new world.

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