Week 3 Technology and Modern Culture

Week 3 Technology and Modern Culture - Technology and...

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Technology and Modern Culture The Computer | Biogenetically-Engineered Food | Cell Phone Technology The Computer Modern culture has been dramatically changed by such technological innovations as the automobile, the telephone, and arguably the most significant, the computer. Just think of how journalism has changed with the advent of each new technology. The telegraph was the first reliable network to provide quick transmission of information to newspapers. The Mexican-American War of 1847 was the first war to rely on this technology, and newspapers quickly responded by providing daily reports from the front. Newspaper circulation increased dramatically and remained the leading source of news for most Americans through the 1920s. But the arrival of the radio began to challenge this overall supremacy. Newspapers in the '30s feared that the advent of radio news would drive them out of business, so they refused to let them read from their papers until after the papers had hit the streets! Eventually some journalists drifted to the AP (Associated Press) and UP (United Press) or joined newly-created news departments at the radios themselves. By the end of the decade, radio was seriously challenging newspapers as an important source for news. Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow began their careers as the first generation of radio journalists. Radio became the voice of America during World War II and reached its peak during the '40s. But television began to challenge radio’s supremacy in the early '50s. Both stars and advertisers deserted radio for this new technology. Journalists like Cronkite and Murrow also switched to TV. And now regular broadcast news is challenged itself by alternative news channels like CNN, CNBC and a myriad of blogs and Internet sites that are available 24/7 to anyone with access to the Internet. Technology has empowered new amateur journalists, who can even record and edit their own news stories with inexpensive camcorders. But as Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” These new “journalists” often blur the line between truth and reality, and there is no ethical board to challenge their version of the truth. As we have seen earlier, the computer has ushered in a third great technological revolution. Noted by Morton Winston, “it is clear that computers, communication satellites, and ubiquitous, global, high-capacity communications technologies such as the Internet are already profoundly changing the way we live, play, and work.” The first successes for the computer were in payroll and recordkeeping. Then computers became more efficient, which allowed businesses to better predict supply and demand trends. This paved the way for globalization in industry. But the real revolution in computers came with computer applications which made all the resources of the computer available to the ordinary consumer. In the 1980s the Apple II made the PC available for
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Week 3 Technology and Modern Culture - Technology and...

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