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The effects of technology on modern industrial society.

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Introduction

English A2: Persuasive essay Fred Lafaire The effects of technology on modern industrial society Having ushered in the 21st century, one can only gaze upon our achievements in awe especially when one considers the fact that mankind was once tittering on the brink of extinction. How did we get this far? Some would say it would be because of our opposable thumbs. Others would credit God and Creation. And still others think it was just a matter of luck. Regardless of what one believes in, it's safe to say that we are here today because of technology: The practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area. The discovery of fire helped our species' predecessors survive the Ice Ages and make considerable leaps in the food chain. The discovery of literacy furthered our understanding of the world around us and served as a springboard to other breakthroughs. The list of remarkable discoveries and inventions goes on and on and it goes without saying that they brought blessings and curses. But I believe that public opinion is not as critical of technology as it should be. I am of the opinion that we are far too quick to note the benefits of a new technology whilst disregarding any possible hazards it may bring. But before I go any further I wish to make it clear that this essay will steer away from the well-known ethical arguments. ...read more.

Middle

Super bugs have already been created due to the use of antibiotics. The time may come when our strains of penicillin and penicillin derivatives can no longer keep up to the rapidly mutating bacteria. In the long run, the use of antibiotics may have been more detrimental than helpful in that it ended up strengthening bacteria that could possibly bypass our natural defences. Food The advent of plastics and refrigeration along with the use of preservatives has made it possible for people to store food for longer periods of time. Foods can also be made more nutritious through careful breading. Moreover, an array of technical advances has attributed to unprecedented food yields. However, many of the preservatives, taste-enhancers, and hormones used may be doing a good deal of damage to our bodies. Controversial additives such as aspartame and aluminium are found in many items people eat each day. Another additive called acrylamide is known to be found in some baked goods and potato chips. In rats and fruitflies, it causes cancerous changes, at concentrations 1,000 times higher than those found an average diet. On another note, the mass-scale production of food needed to feed the rising population, another side-effect of technology, requires vast tracts of clear land. This has led to massive deforestation in the Amazon, desertification in Sub-Saharan African, soil degradation, salinisation2, and even climate changes. Eroded or mineral-depleted soil simply cannot be replaced overnight. ...read more.

Conclusion

On another note, domestic security systems have seen quite a few changes in recent years. Homes can now be outfitted with sophisticated motion detectors and anti-hacking software. Yet despite that, burglaries are on the rise in developed countries like England and the Netherlands. Technology has also greatly changed people's security during times of war. Though some governments now have "smart" bombs, the wars of today affect civilians more than the wars of yesterday. I remember my old history teacher saying that while Napoleon and Wellington were embroiled in the battle of Waterloo, the actual citizens of Waterloo carried on with their lives. Nowadays on has to worry about cluster bombs, depleted uranium, or of becoming "collateral damage". In short, technology has affected practically every aspect of our lives. From the food we eat to the satisfaction from life we may get. While I do believe that the curses of technology outweigh its blessings, one can't deny that technology is here to stay and that no one can single-handedly stop it. One need not wage a war against it but rather see to it that it is kept in check whenever the possibilities outweigh the risks. Sources: http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/World/IceAge.CP.html http://washingtontimes.com/world/20031123-111643-5150r.htm www.wordiq.com http://pubs.acs.org/journals/crtoec/ http://monographs.iarc.fr/htdocs/monographs/vol60/m60-11.htm http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=480364 http://www.panix.com/~clays/Una/ http://www.commondreams.org/views/050200-104.htm 1Mutually Assured Destruction - The doctrine of a situation in which any use of nuclear weapons by either of two opposing sides would result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. 2 Salinisation - The accumulation of salt in water or soil. ...read more.

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