Some inventions changed the whole world, though not always totally for the better. The wheel and printing press are examples of inventions that are seen mostly as good, even though these can also be used for evil. The computer, like these previous inventions caused universal change, especially since it made the Internet possible. There is no area of our lives where computers are not involved. Many things that we now take for granted would not even exist without computers. It is certain that it would be a disaster if suddenly our computers ceased to function.
One of the most important changes that computers have brought is the Internet. This connects people all over the world, allowing the exchange of information and the communication among all people who have access to the Internet and can manage to write the same language or use translation software. It is understood that translation software is not perfect, so most people try to keep the communications simple. This world-wide communication is allowing people everywhere to connect and learn about each other. Social networks on the Internet have millions of members in most countries around the world. More than this it has actually been responsible for more than one political change, including the failed coup attempt in Russia in 1991 (Keller, Bill 1991) This method of instant communication is almost anarchistic, since nobody owns it and nobody can really control it.
Every day, there are dozens of things we do where hidden computers are involved. Phone systems, traffic lights, television and radio are all dependent upon computers. There is likely a computer on your person right now in your cell phone or your watch or PDA. This paper would take much longer without a computer, and the information for research papers is available to everyone through search engines and libraries. Government checks for employees, retirees and beneficiaries of various programs could not go out without computers. There are simply too many. Banking and investment is absolutely tied to computers. The use of credits or debit cards requires a computer. Trains and planes depend upon computers for routing and safety, Air traffic control screen are displayed using computers. Computers take care of many functions on planes, and can even fly them. Even our farmers are using computers for book-keeping, scientific planning and breeding programs for just a few things. There are simply few areas in life in a developed country which do not, in some way, involve computers.
Some things, like cell phones, GPRS systems and many new medical and scientific technologies would not even exist without computers. They depend on computers to function. In fact, none of these things could have been invented without a computer. Cellular technology depends upon digital processing for routing and also upon a chip with permanent programming inside the phone. Otherwise there is no way to track the phones or route the calls. GPRS systems depend upon the computerized processing of satellite information for positioning and digital processing for calculations, plus more chips in the retail product to process this into an image. Medical and scientific products range from Magnetic resonance image processing and expert diagnostic systems to the Hubble telescope and various space technology.
I cannot even begin to scratch the surface in this paper of the way computers have been integrated into almost every area of civilization. Not only have they made the world a very small place and connected the people of the globe, but the Internet has provided the opportunity for anyone who can get access to learn almost anything they wish. Globalization is proceeding at a dizzying pace, and we are in the process of creating a world culture that connects to all the different cultures. I chat with people from countries I had not even heard of ten years ago. Around the world, things like music, literature and art are being shared. Many of the creators are total unknowns, but now they have an audience, and the audience has them. This “information highway” is allowing the people of the world to know instantly what is happening in their part of the world and everywhere else. Knowledge is power, and we can hope that this power will change the future. The computer has given us the tools even to undo the damage of the industrial revolution. Perhaps we will use them in time.
Keller, Bill, 1991, SOVIET TURMOIL: A Coup Gone Awry/Behind a Classic Soviet Failure/A special report; GORBACHEV QUITS AS PARTY HEAD; ENDS COMMUNISM’S 74-YEAR REIGN: Plotters Who Had Handcuffs But a Poor Sense of History, 1991, Web.