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  • Subject area(s): Engineering
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  • Published on: 7th September 2019
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Throughout all of recorded human history, advancements in present time technology have immensely shaped society, and through this created a better future for many generations to come.  Before we discuss the advancements themselves, we must ask, what is technology? Technology, a word from the start of the 17th century with a Greek etymology, means “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area” (Merriam Webster). Whether incrementally, or taking a leap of an innovation no one before had ever imagined, the last half a century gave us advancements we cannot live without. In fact, our personal lives highly rely on the technology people have developed. From the first digital camera to cloning, we have undeniably created incredible things. Technology has affected many areas, including entertainment, engineering, communication, and medical science. The way we do even the simplest of things are dictated by our technology. Items that only existed in the science fiction world and vivid imaginations are now everyday things most of us have in our house, and even in our pockets.

Entertainment in the 1970s gave us some of the most famous musicians of all time. After the 1960s gave us The Beatles and began the British Invasion, Pink Floyd, an English rock band from London, became internationally praised because of their progressive and identifying psychedelic music. In 1973, they got a Grammy for Alan Parsons engineering work on  The Dark Side of the Moon, they hardly earned any money from the aforementioned album but it worked wonders on their career. Another very famous artist from this time was Queen, also a British band from London. In 1975 and 1977 they released their most famous songs, Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You, respectively. The music video for the latter song was considered ground breaking in the terms of visual editing. This led to many other music videos being produced and help promote the song in question.

Movies during this time were also a common form of entertainment. Star Wars, a franchise by George Lucas which is still famous today, introduced CGI to the movie world.

This decade also brought many innovations in engineering. A camera is something most of us use consistently, however, it did not exist until 1975, when Steven Sasson built the first digital camera using a charge-coupled device image sensor while working for Kodak. Although our phones can do the most complicated equations, this would not have been possible without the first pocket calculator. We can thank the Japanese company Busicom for introducing the first model that relied on a chip (http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/articles/units/history-of-the-calculator.php).  It was called the Mostek MK6010 that had all four functions plus a decimal point. This paved the way for many more mathematical tools to come in the future. Moving on from the calculator, the 1970s were also the start of data transferring. Floppy disks, now “antiques” you can find at thrift shops, were introduced commercially in 1971. A floppy disk is a storage medium that could be read by a floppy disk drive.

Communication was greatly impacted in this decade as well. Email, something we all rely on for school, work, or just connecting to other people, was made commercially available in 1976 (http://www.nethistory.info/History%20of%20the%20Internet/email.html). Truly, there are very few inventions that have changed society as much as the email. In late 1971, a computer engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent the first message from one machine to another (https://www.cs.umd.edu/class/spring2002/cmsc434-0101/MUIseum/applications/firstemail.html). In the early 1970s, rotary telephones were still being used. However they were quickly replaced by push button phones. By 1979, the touch tone phone was gaining popularity with telephone subscribers. Though steadily losing their popularity being replaced by phones and email, telegraphs were still often used. In  the 1970s, 69,679,000 telegraphs were sent )https://eh.net/encyclopedia/history-of-the-u-s-telegraph-industry/).

Lastly, the 1970s had two major advances in medical science. Genetic engineering began in 1973. Although DNA structures were discovered in the 1950s. Scientists discovered just how much they could do with this information in the 1970s. This caused many benefits. They could now increase the amount of certain antibodies for treatment by using special cells (http://www.discoveriesinmedicine.com/Enz-Ho/Genetic-Engineering.html). In 1970, Raymond Damadian, M.D., discovered the basics behind magnetic resonance. This is the ground at which all of the advancements in MRI scanning began.

The 1980s began a whole new era in music. Michael Jackson, dubbed the King of Pop, began his career and took over this decade as well as the next three to come. His talents singing, songwriting, producing, dancing, and acting charmed people all around the world. Many artists followed in his style, hoping to become as successful as him.

Then came our decades, the 2000s and 2010s have caused a major dependency on technology. In the years preceding, many technological advancements existed because of a necessity. In the present time, we now invent things for many other reasons. In fact, very few inventions are now created for a need. With more innovative minds than ever before, our generation and the future ones will live in a world where everything is simplified by technology. It will get to a point where tasks will be reduced to technology doing everything for us. As stated by Mark Kennedy, “All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.”

Entertainment has been said to be ruining our generation. Such a statement is not entirely unjustified. Many people consider these to be useless, and wasting time. Others consider today’s music, movies, and video games intriguing and identifying of the people who enjoy them. However, entertainment lies somewhere uneasily in between these two opinions. Many musical artists today decide to rise above the mundane and do bizarre things. They venture into new creative forms of amusing us, which should never have been explored and leave us scarred instead.

Engineering has brought

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