Andrew Weiner, PC Consultant's Fan Box

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Are computers really necessary

Are computers necessary in today's society ? Well the question should be two fold. An additional question should be posed. Can you live with out technology ? Well the answer is Yes to the actual article question and NO to the secondary one.

Consider all that computers either do directly or indirectly to enhance or other wise help and make our lives easier. Lets take lives basic necessities; food, water, energy and money. When you break down what computers mean to those industries, and how they control even the smallest task that we don't see, you will always conclude that computers, whether evil or not, are a necessity that is here to stay for good.

In terms of Food, they control the processing in plants that give us our canned goods. They stamp the cartons/jugs of milk so we know when it will go bad. They put us in touch with the manufacturers or growers of the food we eat so we can contact them.

Lets look at water plants. Computers control the plants that pump water into our house. Computers control the flow that goes through the turbines to create energy that powers our homes and workplaces. Computers even test the water we drink for purity and bacteria.

If you are not living by candlelight or do not own your own generator or solar panels, than the conglomeration we know as "The Electric Company" powers our homes. Computers run the plants and monitor the flow of power through the wires above our heads. Meters can now be read electronically, without a meter reader coming to your home.

And Money.. How could we live with out money. While some of the giant printing presses may have some manual overtones to it, the scanning and judging of the plates are done by computer. The rate of printing is done by computer as is the color mixing. Computers count the money as well. Now that you know how they use computers to print and count it, how are you going to get your money ? Well, bank orders are taken online by central banks or the Federal Reserve system. They intern ship that money via armored courier to a holding vault. Orders come in automatically to the courier who will deliver it within days. It is delivered to your local bank and signed for on a PDA that transmits data back to the armored courier. Now, can you just walk into the bank and say "gimmie the money!"? No, you need to withdraw it from your account which, again is controlled by computer, as is the ATM machine you go to late at night for some extra cash.

One other necessity that was forgotton was a Car. In 1971, a car was controlled by switches, and nuts and bolts. In 2009, the bolts are on he mechanical parts, but the brains are a computer. It tells the fuel injector how much gas to spit out, it controls the timing, and even the speed if there is a governer attached. If you have a GPS, guess what ? Its a computer. Satellite radios are controlled by satellites and computers.

We haven't even touched of how computers help our personal lives. This includes but will never be limited to, dating, meeting people, conducting meetings, communication, writing, and even research. Think of what you use computers for at home. Try logging out for 24 hours. It can not be done.

Needless to say, we are ruled by technology, and thanks to Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard who are credited with building the first computer in 1939, we are always wanting more.

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