John Jewkes, David Sawers, and Richard Stillerman: The Sources of Innovation Reading Summary

This article, written back in 1969, starts off by making the important point that technological progress, even if it is well known among people, cannot entirely be statistically valued. Professor Jewkes of Oxford University also poses the question as to whether or not the technological advances of the 19th century were any more important than those made in the 20th century up until that point. There will never be a mathematical way of measuring the importance and influence of different technologies, especially considering some went through many more stages than others. However, there are ways to practically value the impact different technologies have had economically on businesses and even the everyday social lives of people in many cases.

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The technological advances of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries had different impacts on the people of the times and sometimes did not occur as frequently as many people think, says Jewkes. He discusses how in many cases, an entire community of individuals would set out to push the boundaries of innovations and come up with inventions as a collective group. The only issue was that the public, not the inventors, was mostly likely to decide whether or not said inventions were more “important” than others. Professor Jewkes brings up a very important point of discussion in that these technologies from the past few centuries did not necessarily come out of advances in the areas of “pure science”. Instead, he proposes that the opposite occurs where many advances in the modern technology of an age can lead to innovations in science as well.

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If you would like to read up on some of the arguably most important/influential technologies of the 20th century or how different types of modern technology have impacted humanity over time, please check out the links down below.


Short Research Paper #3: Television Rules the Nation

Television has no doubt been an extremely influential technology across the globe that transformed the way people perceive the outside world. However, it has also become a major form of media that has been involved in controversy since the first televisions rolled out up until the present day. The history of television is quite interesting with its roots in old school projectors and having to rely on signals transmitted by satellites orbiting the planet. Now everybody who grew up in the 1990’s has fully witnessed the change from big, chunky televisions to smooth, higher resolution flat screen t.v.’s. Yet, despite all this, televisions started out much smaller than chunky, “grandfather” style t.v.’s and only had three or four channels that were all in black and white. Actually, it has been almost 55 year since the fist satellite was sent up for the sole purpose of transmitting a televised signal across multiple countries.

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Television has been an incredible tool for the expansion of culture through music, films, and t.v. shows but it has also caused issues across the board for various reasons. First is that the media, aka news sources, have become so politically charged that it is almost impossible to receive 100% legitimate facts anymore. Also, television has become a staple for multiple generations now as they grow up and that has led to problems with the images that children are exposed to. Not just in the realm of violence or sex, but body image for women and what it means to be masculine for men have all been reoccurring concerns for future and current young people.

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All in all, television has become so concrete in peoples lives that we had to create divisions within the Federal Government just to regulate what is allowed to be shown publicly. Scientists had a hunch early on about the negative effects from watching too much of it and we now know that too much television is bad fro you physically and can damage your eyesight due too much blue light exposure. So its both a give and take, just as there are pros and cons to most types of mass produced technologies, the same goes for television. Despite the many ways the television has brought humanity together and revolutionized the entertainment industry, it has brought new concerns and controversies along with it.

Summon Sources:

  1. Cotlar, Andrew D. “The Road Not Yet Traveled: Why the FCC should Issue Digital must-Carry Rules for Public Television “First”.” Federal Communications Law Journal 57.1 (2004): 49-80. ProQuest. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.
  2. Lotz, Amanda D.. Cable Guys : Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century. New York: NYU Press, 2014. Ebook Library. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.
  3. The First Television and Telephone Satellite Launched 50 Years Ago Techversary]. Chatham: Newstex, 2012. ProQuest. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

     Additional Resources:
  5. Just for fun, Daft Punk: Television Rules the Nation/Crescendolls Live-