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In this new age of development we take simple things like a telephone, a
refrigerator, or a car, all for granted. We live in a world of luxuries and
comforts compared to the average person in the 19th century.
Lets say you were born prior to 1945. Just stop and consider the changes you
might have witnessed. You were before television, before penicillin, frozen
foods, Xerox copiers, contact lenses, and the Pill. You were before radar,
credit cards, split atoms, ball point pens, dishwashers, air conditioners, and
before man walked on the Moon. You never heard of F.M. radio, tape decks,
electric typewriters, artificial hearts, yoghurt and blokes with earrings! In
the 1940’s, Made in Japan meant JUNK, and the term making out referred to how
you did in an exam. Pizzas, Instant Coffee and McDonalds weren’t heard of. In
your day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was something you mowed, Coke
was a cold drink, Aids were people who helped others and pot was a name for
something you cooked in. People made do with what they didn?t have!
Today?s world is growing ever dependant on technology. The telephone for example
is something we all take for granted. Every house is expected to have one and if
we find there is no phone, we seem to think that it is abnormal. The question,
however is, why is the telephone the cornerstone of modern life?
The telephone allows us nearly instant connections – between friends, families,
businesses, and nations – enable communications that enhance our lives,
industries, and economies. Truly, the telephone has brought the human family
together. With remarkable innovations, engineers have brought us from copper
wire to fibre optics, from switchboards to satellites, and then the Internet.
Initially a tool to link research centre computers, the Internet has become a
vital instrument of social change. The Internet is changing business practices,
educational pursuits, and personal communications. By providing global access to
news, commerce, and vast stores of information. The Internet brings us together
and adds convenience and efficiency to our lives.
The radio and television were the major agents of social change in the 20th
century, opening windows to other lives, to remote areas of the world, and to
history in the making. From the wireless telegraph to today’s advanced satellite
systems, engineers have developed remarkable technologies that inform and
entertain millions every day.
Not only has human ingenuity brought us tools to communicate with, it also has
provided us with transport. From horse-drawn carts to cars, steam engines to
electric trains and canoes to the luxury liners of today. Today you can go from
Europe to America in 4 hours on the Concorde. In 1900, the same trip took 7 to
10 days by boat. However, the motorcar is one of man?s finest creations. The
automobile may be the ultimate symbol of personal freedom. It’s also the world’s
major transporter of people and goods, and a strong source of economic growth
and stability. From early Tin Lizzies to today’s sleek sedans, the automobile is
a showcase of 20th century engineering ingenuity, with countless innovations
made in design, production, and safety.
Have you ever thought how water has changed your life? How often does society
take water for granted? Today, a simple turn of the tap provides clean water – a
precious resource. Engineering advances in managing this resource have come
leaps and bounds and introduced water treatment, supply, and distribution
systems. This has changed life profoundly in the 20th century, virtually
eliminating waterborne diseases in developed nations, and providing clean and
abundant water for communities, farms, and industries.
Yet all this technology cannot help us from the pollution and destruction we
cause to our planet. Computers can only standby as global warming takes an
effect, forests get cut down and the sea polluted. But ironically humans are
able to create such, such great things but are unable to save our world.
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