Controlled By Computers Essay, Research Paper
Computers seem to control our lives. It is hard to live without a computer, and no matter how hard you try to remove yourself from computers, they always affect your life. Many people think it is good that computers make things simple. “The Jetsons” was a cartoon where computers controlled the world; their maid was a robot while a computer guided the family to do simple tasks, such as showering and styling hair. It seems that the Jetsons world would be an ideal world to live in, so looking at where computers are headed today the future seems bright. Computers make it so that you can control your heat, air conditioning, pay bills, receive bills, buy groceries, listen to music and watch movies, all without leaving the comfort of your desk. But how would one get the money for this? Computers, once an expensive item, now can be attained by anyone. There are places offering free computers, computers on monthly payment plans and very cheap computers. Once you have one of these computers, you can then get a job where you work from your computer. After working your Internet job, you can deposit your paychecks directly into an Internet banking account. If you manage to save enough money, you can buy that car you have always wanted, but why buy the car if you never have to drive it? Some people drive places to meet people, but now it is so that you can meet someone online. To most people that conjures a picture of typing messages to someone and never meeting them face to face. Now there are camcorders you can attach to your computer and microphones so you can talk to the person in real time and see them face to face, or screen to screen.
In the year 1999, the country went into a frenzy because of computers. Bomb shelters were being built in backyards. People were stocking up on non-perishables for several years; generators increased in sales and TV talk shows featured people who bought a ton of toilet paper. This was not the result of a cold war, but the result of a small computer bug called Y2K. Y2K became a feared term. People rushed to the stores to buy Y2k compatible things, the president asked the whole country to remain calm if something happened because of Y2K. Y2K was only a computer bug that caused certain operating systems to crash because the programmers neglected to let “00″ be recognized by the computer. The programmers worked
hard to fix it, although many people went to bomb shelters on December 31, 1999.
The only thing that went wrong was that a few people had videos 100 years over due.
The frenzy over Y2K only proves that this nation is very dependent on computers.
The non-occurrence of the world ending did not sway the nation from computers, but instead caused computer usage to become more widespread. Computers seem to be very reliable, so people do not consider that something could go wrong. When things do go wrong, people go into frenzies. When a printer is temporarily disabled in a lab, even if for only an hour, people will complain as if the printer had been broken for a year.
A man was once revoked of his license for excessive DUI’s. After a trip to Puerto Rico, where the computer system is not connected to the mainland’s computer system, he was able to procure a license. The United States had to honor Puerto Rico’s license. If his request for a license was put through “snail mail” and there was a waiting period while paperwork was fumbled through, maybe another drunk driver would have stayed off of the road.
It seems that it would be dangerous to depend on a machine to control a bomb that could destroy the world, but the US uses a computer to control the “doomsday machine”. There have to be codes and keys to control the machine, which are overseen by a computer, but what if the computer were to fail. Some may say that a person is much lest trustworthy and less dependable but a computer is not dependable either. On the Naval Air Station, in Fallon, Nevada, the love bug virus was downloaded unto a sailor’s computer. Soon the entire base was disabled and shut down for a short while. Suppose the love bug virus had been made to shut off controls for the practice bombs dropped, an American base would be destroyed and possibly, a war would start. If all the electricity went out, the world would be destroyed, simply because computers control everything.
A college student would not be able to function in college without a computer. More and more often papers are required to be on disk, written in a certain computer program, just to be graded. It is considered normal for an assignment to be required to be written in a certain font and printed, which can only be done with a computer. Typewritten work is sometimes accepted, but printed work is the norm now. In a typing class, students were able to cheat during typing tests by copying and pasting; therefore, their learning was decreased. Colleges communicate with each other through email, and each college student is provided with an email address.
Computers are slowly starting to mask our own skills by making people rely on computers if for nothing more than time. Time is now based upon a computer. People keep time with computers. The time equation was figured out by hand before computers, but a computer confirmed it. Time is a science; many sciences are based upon computers. Scientific knowledge and its advances are largely based on computer calculations and analyses. Many great minds did not use computer; among them are Albert Einstein and Socrates.
In the long run, computers will inhibit humans more than help them. Humans tend to simplify any kind of work as much as they have to, and computers seem to be the tool to simplify it all for them. Computers are depended upon much too heavily by man.