Technology And Society Essay, Research Paper
As technology speeds ahead seemingly faster than light, our society and social structures are not keeping pace. The American government has grown large and inefficient. There is a push toward Globalization, as geographic societies are disappearing, a growing indifference in a new intellectual age. All of these are causes of the inability of society to adapt with current technology.
Our Government has grown to try to meet the demands of a constantly changing culture. In the process, is has become large and slow, bogged down with politics, and paperwork. With technology, we are now faced with another growing problem. One faced by many businesses today as they have become large, unwilling, inflexible, inefficient, and slow. The ones that restructure and adapt the fastest survive and prosper. In his book, ?Business @ the Speed of thought?, Bill Gates says, ?The successful companies of the next decade will be the ones that use digital tools to reinvent the way they work. These companies will make decisions quickly, act efficiently and directly touch their customers in positive ways.?
In 1965, Gordon Moore made an observation that later became ?Moore?s Law?. This law simply stated means that the capacity of a chip doubles every 18-24 months. In short, growth of technology is exponential. At such speeds, how can our legal system possibly keep up with this onslaught? For example, the Supreme Court hears more than 7000 cases per term, and that number increases yearly. Without some internal change of rules and procedure, the court system will continue to be overloaded with work, and will continually fall behind. Bill Gates suggests a ?Digital Nervous System? is needed to give an institution the flexibility to adapt.
The increasing trend toward globalization is quickly eroding the physical requirements that used to be necessary to define a culture and ideas of a society. As technology improves, communication increases to an extent that the formal definition of a society begins to fall apart. The Americans, Europeans, and every other social group are becoming the social group of the World.
Technology such as Global communication, the Internet, and Mass media are creating a ?Global society?. This means that the existing societies that are defined by geographical boundaries are becoming subcultures within the global society. Personal cellular phones now offer free long distance. The Internet allows people in our society to communicate freely when it comes to business, communication, etc? without regard to boundaries. For example, the Internet now offers a Personal computer to phone conversation anywhere in the world for no charge. The proliferance of mass media allows cultures to interact and establish bonds. The rate at which this globalization occurs is increasing rapidly.
The values of people in our society are becoming indifferent as technology removes us from the ?physical acts? of a crime. There are legal debates over copyright infringement, as well as other moral and ethical battles. Online gambling is becoming popular, but still illegal in most of the United States. Gambling companies locate their businesses outside of the United States to avoid laws that prohibit such activity. This means that companies are creating socially acceptable ?loopholes?.
Software piracy has exploded on the Internet, companies or individuals can host a website with illegal software that anyone can download at temporary locations. These locations change daily to make it harder for the ?software pirates? to be caught. Other copyright issues are coming from the music industry, specifically over MP3?s. Napster was hoping to avoid prosecution by avoiding storage of the illegal software.
Cary Sherman, general counsel of the Recording Industry Association of America, says Napster has ?come up with a very clever way to be involved and get the commercial benefit of facilitating piracy without touching the stolen goods themselves. They?re providing all of the means for the exchange of stolen goods, but they avoid touching it?.
In conclusion, America needs to reassess its size and efficiency, and then create an infrastructure capable of responding to the high demands of an Internet culture. If the Government does not create a more efficient way of dealing with technological advancements and crime, the transgressions will increase in frequency and severity. Unless the American Government advances to the current technological culture, than our place in the Global economy will fall.
29 January 2001
Looking at the book, chapter overviews, Bill Gates
The Justices? Caseload, The Supreme Court
Sailing around the letter of the law, Bruce Haring, (USA Today)