Globalization and Technology: Connections and Communications Think: How do technology and globalization relate? Why is this connection important? Who are the main players? Who benefits most? Who is harmed the most? What is America’s role? (Orange County’s role) Everyday technologies—the fun part! How do technology and globalization relate? First off, technology requires an audience… It serves no practical purpose if there is no one using it! Example: perhaps you could talk about how wonderful it would be to give everyone in the world solar panels to generate free electricity from the sun. But then there would be certain groups of people that would have no such need for that technology--people living in areas with minimal sun exposure, or who would be better equipped with other energy supplying technologies. Technology requires specific audiences. The global landscape provides nearly an infinite array of unique audiences. Technology also requires human capital… That means that we need people who are “experts” with different technologies and are able to bring it to the rest of us Technology does not just appear out of air. It requires some kind of thoughtfulness, some kind of contemplation. It involves understanding that there are perhaps easier or better ways of doing certain things than other ways. Human experience provides numerous examples whereby certain thoughtful groups of people come to realize that some activities were more fruitful and beneficial than others. Experts emerge. In addition technology also needs constant refinement With improvements in the sciences, communication, transportation, etc. technology must always “keep up” Because there are infinite audiences out there, there are also infinite chances for improvement. With new knowledge over time and with new experiences and empirical evidence the global context will always provide technology with possibilities. Needs and solutions… Globalization Technology But how do technology and globalization relate? Audience Human capital Constant refinement These three components make technology and globalization a perfect fit for each other—globalization supplies new ideas, workers, creativity, and unique contexts for technology to flourish! Audience is provided by the global community. Human capital is provided by having access to the means of technology production (wealth, resources, higher education). Constant refinement is the process through which technology is being made more and more efficient over time. Globalization opens up countless doors of opportunity for technology! Unique situations Caribbean—there was a hurricane late in 2004 that caused severe damage. A major tech firm provided Internet connectivity in a truck, which drove around the islands to give people who were stranded from the hurricane a chance to get in touch with loved ones to let them know they were alive and okay. Unique situations Think about remote villages or cultures that have their own unique problems and goals that technology could solve. Maybe they don’t know about the benefits of crop rotation or even how nutrition works. Technology gives people new tools with which to improve life in some way. Why is knowing about the globalization of technology important? Why it’s important… Some countries are developing (or have developed) at a much faster rate than others This means that some are embracing technologies faster than others, and some are embracing certain technologies before basic needs are met—i.e. using mobile phones before treating basic illnesses and diseases Why it’s important… Technology is most notably associated with Western and developed nations: United States Parts of Europe Japan Why it’s important… Those that embrace more complex technologies have more power. War technologies (weaponry, intelligence, etc.) give certain countries more military power over others. Why it’s important… Those with more power are able to influence whose voice is heard and whose is silenced. This can be done through the use of weapons and war, through which movies and television are aired (and not aired). Dominant cultures have the ability to suppress less powerful ones. Scenario Scenario Imagine you are the ruler of a country. Your neighbor country still relies on sending mail by using manpower, animals, and highly dependent upon weather conditions. You, however, possess the newest and fastest technology—you can send emails and instant messages to anyone you want. Scenario Suppose you find out that there will be a very devastating earthquake in four days in your part of the world. All you have to do is send an email and broadcast a news alert on the TV to all of your citizens to warn them, but your neighbor must rely the postal system and manpower to notify its citizens. Who has more power? Why it’s important… There is the risk of “technological colonization” of the developing world Developed countries have better access to technology. Richer countries have better access to technology. Countries with better colleges and universities have better access to technology. Who are the main players? Who benefits most? Who is harmed the most? Main Players The website www.socialtechnologies.com identifies three tiers of technological influence in the world. World 1 asd •The wealthiest European nations (Western Europe) •United States •Japan World 2—the “vast middle”i asd •China •India •Russia •Brazil •Indonesia •plus several small countries World 3 - The worlds poorer nations asd •Many African countries •Haiti •Afghanistan World 1 Western Europe USA Japan World 2 Russia China Brazil India Indonesia Haiti World 3 African countries Afghanistan America’s Role America in your own back yard… Everyday Technologies Computers and the Internet Computers and the Internet Personal computers as we know it did not become feasible or popular until the 1990s—only 10 to 15 years ago! 1981: IBM Personal Computer IBM American company Basic statistics: 330,000+ employees, $96 billion (2004 revenue), largest IT company in the world Headquarters: Armonk, New York Computers and the Internet Since the 1990s computing technology has become smaller, more powerful, and more efficient. Laptop computers with wireless Internet access are the fastest selling niche in the personal computer market. Portability and connectivity! Computers and the Internet Technically the Internet dates back to the late 1960s with the Department of Defense in the United States in 1969. The Internet started resembling what we know today in 1991 with the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) by Tim Berners-Lee of London, England. The Languages of the WWW 25.40% English German French 4.90% 5.60% 56.40% Japanese Other 7.70% Implications for technological colonization. English is the dominant language of the Web. What kind of impact could this have on the emergent technologies of developing nations? Take home message… Technology has made living conditions and way of life much better for people around the world. BUT, not everyone has access to the newest or best technology. It is important to identify the “haves” and “have nots” Do you think technology gives people more freedom?