Technology and the Future, Who's In Control?

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, August 1996

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Technology significantly shapes the way we live today, and is no less of a significant influence than religion or government for determining how we will live tomorrow. The interesting aspect about the influence of technology is that it is controlled by a much larger group of 'leaders' than religion or government. These 'leaders' include both individuals and businesses, together known as the consumer. The consumer controls what will be on the market by making the demand for it. Any computer software store holds the evidence which makes that demand a reality. The evidence is the overwhelming amount of IBM software compared to Macintosh software. The reason for this ever-increasing gap of products available for an IBM-compatible computer and those available for a Macintosh is that the consumer demands software for the IBM, not the Macintosh. This example shows how technology available in the future will be a direct result of the demands consumers put on the computer companies today.

The two demands which will have the most impact on what will be produced are the needs for affordability and for a user-friendly product.

Consumers want a product at an affordable price, whether it is for at home or for their business. However, new technology, especially in the area of computers, is usually not affordable. The consumer has the power to make it affordable, by demanding that product. For example, a personal computer ten years ago sold for about $3,000.00. Now, because of the demand consumers have made in the last ten years, a new personal computer can be purchased for around $1200.00. Consumers also have the choice to buy a used PC, in which case they will pay around $600.00 - $800.00.

The reason this drop in cost has occurred has to do with supply and demand. Supply...