TECH 393 * Technology in World Civilization

TECH 393 – Technology in World Civilization
Department of Engineering and Design
Eastern Washington University
Winter Quarter 2013
Project 2 (55Points)
For this project, please pick either Option A or Option B.
Write your answers to the following questions in Short Essay Format. Be sure to include
reasons and facts as required to support your answers. Total length of response for this
assignment needs to be a minimum of 2 full pages; maximum response is 3 pages. Use MS
Word or its equivalent.
Option A.
The “computer revolution” is here. The changes these machines are bringing to society are
profound, if not revolutionary. Moreover, like many previous revolutions, the computer
revolution is happening very quickly. The computer as defined today did not exist in 1950.
Before World War II, the word computer meant a human being who worked at a desk with a
calculating machine, or something built by a physics professor to solve a particular problem,
used once or twice, and then retired to a basement storeroom. Modern computers - machines that
do a wide variety of things, many having little to do with mathematics or physics - emerged after
World War II from the work of a dozen or so individuals in England, Germany, and the United
States. The "revolution," however one may define it, began only when their work became better
known and appreciated.
These perceptions, which lay behind the widely held belief that computers would never find
more than a limited (though important) market in the industrialized world, came mainly from
looking at the new invention strictly in the context of what it was replacing: calculating machines
and their human operators. That context was what limited the pioneers' vision.
Whenever a new technology is born, few see its ultimate place in society. The inventors of radio
did not foresee its use for broadcasting entertainment, sports, and news; they saw it as a telegraph
without wires. The early builders of automobiles did not see an age of "automobiles"; they saw a
"horseless carriage." Likewise, the computer's inventors perceived its role in future society in
terms of the functions it was specifically replacing in contemporary society. The predictions that
they made about potential applications for the new invention had to come from the context of
"computing" as they knew of. Though they recognized the electronic computer's novelty, they
did not see how it would permit operations fundamentally different from those performed by
human computers.
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Assignment: Your challenge is to imagine the dynamics of an emerging technology.
First, pick a current emerging high technology trend (innovation, invention, or gadget) that
would utilize some new application of knowledge or scientific discovery. Then discuss, using
your own opinion, what the ultimate uses of that technology might be? How will the impact of
that technology affect civilization and life as we know it? What differences will it make? How
might the evolution of that technology change social, political, and economic conditions? What
beneficial effects or harmful effects will result? Look into the future and imagine the changes
that might result from the use of that new technology.
Option B.
Historically when we talk about the effects of technology upon society, we speak of the golden
spike, Kitty Hawk, UNIVAC, the horseless carriage, The Bomb – events somewhat removed
from our personal knowledge and experience. But during the 19th century and early 20th century
important interactions between technology and society took place closer to home, indeed in the
home, at play, and where we work. This technological revolution, transformed our daily lives in
a myriad of ways, new ideas led to new inventions, new technologies and to new products and
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” proclaimed Charles Duell, director of the
U.S. Patent office, arguing in 1899 for the closure of his department. It seems he was wrong. The
U.S. Patent Office is still busy, in fact busier than ever. (There still seems to be plenty of new
Assignment: Answer the following two questions. Here is your opportunity to be creative
and invent:
1. Innovation is nothing more than finding a better way to do something. Choose an
everyday job that you dislike, but must perform, and be innovative in discovering a new
way to accomplish the same task.
2. If you had the resources and the time, what innovation, invention (technology) or gadget
would you create? Why?
Text Size: All of the text in this assignment needs to be set in 12-point size. Please resist the
temptation to mix and match point sizes. If you doubt your applications intentions, just select all
of your text and insure that it is in 12-point size.
Double Spacing: For this class select all of your text and set it for double spacing. This includes
the name block, title and body of your work. This allows space for marking up or making notes
while I am reviewing what you have written.
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Margins: One-inch margins mean one (1”) on all sides. The only text that ends up on the outside
of the one-inch margin is the page number.
Name Block: Place the name block in the upper right corner of the page. In this class, the name
block only needs to be on the first page. Put your name first, then the class title and then the
date. Example:
Your Name
TECH 393 Technology in World Civilization
February 7, 2013
Title: All homework assignments have a title. Please place the title just below the name block.
The title for this assignment is “Project 2, Option A or Option B”. Please don’t make me guess
which option you chose.
Spelling/Grammar Checking: Remember to do your spelling and grammar checking before
turning your assignments in. When doing the spelling/grammar checking keep in mind that some
words such as mush and must, woods and words, or here and cow, will not be caught by either
check. To correct these problems, you will need to proofread your work.
Paragraphs: The first word of the first sentence in a paragraph needs to be indented. At the end
of a paragraph, do not insert an extra blank line. The indentation serves as the visual clue that
there is a new paragraph.
Page Numbers: Any homework that has more than one page, needs to have page numbers on it.
Please place your page numbers on the bottom of the page. In MS Word, use the footer selection
and place the page number in the bottom center or bottom right of the page.
Opinion: When a question asks for your opinion, its answer is exactly that – your opinion. Feel
free to use your own opinion.
Stating the Question before Answering It: While some reports require that you state the
question before your answer, please refrain from this in this class.
Short Essay Format
Short essay format is a format that requires at least 2 paragraphs for each answer. Please
remember that a paragraph is not just one, two, or three sentences in length.
Saving & Naming Your File for Blackboard:
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When you save your file, make sure that your name and the project number are included in it.
Due time for blackboard turn in is 11:59 PM on the due date.
Because of problems with Blackboard, please use only letters and numbers in the file name.
Due Date: February 7, 2013.
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