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AVSC 2180 Lesson 14 - Lesson 14 A Brief History of...

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Lesson 14 A Brief History of Technology The taming of fire and the domestication of animals were two of the great technological advances of history. Fire provided the first measure of control over the environment and the domestication of animals, leisure time, partial release from the daily struggle for sustenance. When comparing technological advances of the Twentieth Century with progress for most of recorded history, as we know it, historically technical innovation has been sluggish at best, particularly in light of recent advances in computer technology and telecommunications. In less than the span of one generation, technical advances eclipsed the discoveries of thousands of years. What does that mean to you today and tomorrow? A history of airline computer applications provides a foundation for understanding the proper principles for designing, developing, implementing and managing evolving technical science. The pairing of diverse forces, electrical, mechanical and chemical; yield technologies that far exceed the mathematical equivalent of 1 + 1 = 2. Actual results more accurately approach 2nth, where n is a constantly increasing factor. Consider the following chronology: In just 100 years flight technology progressed from the Wright Brother's flights of less than 200 feet at 10 feet off the ground, to a cross Atlantic flight; followed by ultra sonic flight and the first privately funded space flight. These accomplishments occurred in 2% of recorded history, if you estimate there is roughly 5,000 years of recorded history. If you estimate that fire was first used for somewhere between a million and nine hundred thousand years; the progress of the 20th Century exceeds 99.999% of technical progress with respect to transportation, since man first walked upright. The history of flight is an amazing saga. But, the history of information and telecommunication technology staggers the imagination in terms of the speed of progress. As we have learned over the course of the past semester, the information age began in earnest during the last half of the 20th Century. Several factors fostered early development of computer and telecommunication technology. The aviation industry contributed significantly to technical development in two diverse areas, military and commercial. Military interests focused on timely, accurate information exchange that provided rapid defensive deployment measures. Business interest focused on timely, accurate information that would improve operating efficiencies, customer service and meet consumer demand. The commercial aspects of innovation increase intercourse between diverse peoples, transcending culture, language, political and religious barriers. If there is any hope for conflict resolution in our world, certainly the wise application of new technology offers or provides a foundation for the sustenance of that hope.
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