Each and every day, people are inspired with new technological ideas that will better today’s world and make life simpler. The days of scouring the library to find that one book with that one quote that was said by that one author…thank goodness there is a much quicker and more informative process! We live in a world with technology at our fingertips. Thanks to the ease of internet browsing that I am lucky to have access to, I was able to discover numerous more answers than I was intending and also extend on the subject with new questions. Throughout my research I found myself visiting multiple sites (Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, about.com, Google, etc.). As I followed the technological trail of the past and contemplated the future with the technical advancements that are to come, I realized the importance of technology and how our quality of life has improved thanks to it. It started with therapeutic ultrasound, which led to continuous wave Doppler, which in turn led to Doppler imaging, which in turn led to pulsed wave and now we have reached the stage of 4D ultrasound. The intricacy of a machine with the ability to visualize the inside of the human body and diagnose an issue is mind boggling. The progression to me is nothing short of amazing.
About 85 per cent of my “thinking” time was spent getting into a position to think, to make a decision, to learn something I needed to know. Especially with the technology we have today, sometimes it’s necessary to weed out the stuff that doesn’t hold any context to what you need to learn and research. While the osmosis process can prevent unnecessary information from entering, it can also prevent me from getting a complete idea of what I’m reading. Despite the fact that there is a voluminous literature on thinking and problem solving, including intensive case-history studies of the process of invention, I could find nothing comparable to a time-and-motion-study analysis of the mental work of a person engaged in a scientific or technical enterprise. Man’s population and gross product are increasing at a considerable rate, but the complexity of his problems grows still faster, and the urgency with which solutions must be found becomes steadily greater in response to the increased rate of activity and the increasingly global nature of that activity. Whether it is an oak tree or a sunflower, it is something that is a lot more complex than its original state as a seed.
“Ultimately, it’s not that we use 10 percent of our brains, merely that we only understand about 10 percent of how it functions.” The entire effect of an individual on the world stems essentially from what he can transmit to the world through his limited motor channels. It seems that he’s [Licklider] aware that men’s own imperfections actually serve as a strength; that we are the ones who lead computers to where we want them to go and not the other way around. As we discussed the man-human relationship, I realized that while computers are very compatible with us and make our lives much easier, I also came to the conclusion that computers will never surpass humans because of maintenance requirements and the necessity of the human mind for progression of technology. The computer’s capabilities are constantly changing and improving, however, it has always taken the human mind to conspire that change and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. My final conclusion was that while we may use 100% of our brain, our mind will never have reached full capacity.
The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers—conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial. KLT extended on that topic by discussing the fact that while computers are a blessing in some ways, they could also be a disservice to humans by replacing many of the seemingly minute jobs that kept many in the world employed. Sure, I know how and could enter every single line of data and equations into the Excel spreadsheet, however, the amount of time I would save if I were to copy and paste, etc., could be better used for “thinking time” or formulating an answer. It is so fascinating to read the words of someone from fifty years ago and realize that what he is describing is something that has been created and is used by many people on a regular basis. Curious minds all thinking aloud…it’s a great experience! No matter the endeavor, one must always have a foundation––a rock––that is solid and can support the rest of the organization, no matter how simple or complex.