R/€ = 15.10Change: 0.02
R/$ = 13.29Change: 0.11
Au 1154.55 $/ozChange: 10.40
Pt 977.00 $/ozChange: 24.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
May 25, 2012

The downside of technological advances

Industrial|Training|Manufacturing|News Media|Particular Manufacturing Plant|Print Media|Technology Advances|Technology Subjects|Digital Cameras
© Reuse this

The advance of technology is generally good and beneficial, but all technology advances have social consequences.

At times, a technological advance could be confined to a single factory and the impact, generally, may only be on the people in that particular manufacturing plant. However, at other times, technological advances can have a much wider impact on the population.

Take the advances in the news media as an example. Today, news collection for TV and radio, as well as for the print media, is so good that it has a significant impact on the population. Most people do not even realise what is actually happening to society. Consider TV. I make videos on industrial and technological topics. These range from corporate marketing videos and training videos to general- interest videos for TV. I got into this business when I used to see videos on TV about technology subjects in which the script had been poorly written because, clearly, the scriptwriter did not understand the science of the topic.

I met up with a film-maker and we started to make films together. I wrote the scripts and arranged the technology issues to be filmed, and he did the rest. At one point, we had our own weekly TV show for a year and a half. In those days, the camera was a film camera, and it was large. The cameraperson always used to say that the downside of the job was carrying the bulky camera. At times, the cameraperson would have to climb a ladder or a sandy mine dump with that heavy and bulky camera. Alternatively, we would want to film in some small, confined space. It was almost impossible for the cameraperson to run with the camera on his shoulder and film at the same time.

After we had filmed for a day or two, we had to wait a couple of days for the film to be processed at a laboratory so that we could see what we had ‘in the can’.

We now have digital cameras, with no film, so one can now see immediately if the shots are correct, and if they are not right, one just does it again – immediately! There is no waiting for lab processing. Further, the cameras are now tiny by comparison. It is easy to hold a broadcast-quality camera in one hand. It is easy to run with a camera.

This means that a cameraperson can run with a camera rolling to ‘get the action’ and can also crawl into almost any space with a camera. These modern developments make it possible to film all these TV reality shows in which a cameraperson has to follow people around on a remote island or travel with an army unit inside an army tank, filming all the time.

Thanks to the digital nature of the recording and because of modern telecommunications, a news cameraperson in the front line of a battle can have the images transmitted back to the TV studio to be broadcast on the same evening’s news bulletin. At times, a live feed can be rigged up so that the public watch in real time.

This means that the public can see, for example, what is going on at about the same time as the President or Prime Minister of a country. So, the public develops an opinion on the matter by the next morning, well before a President can call a Cabinet meeting to decide how to present the story to the public.

The situation has moved ahead even further – TV channels now invite any members of the public to take pictures or video clips with their cellphones, and then to email them to the TV studio from anywhere in the world. You can put a cellphone in your pocket, which means that people can get into places that a cameraperson of the past, with a film camera, could not even have dreamt of. Radio and print media can also now get news from almost anywhere in the world almost instantly.

There is a good side to all this – the public is informed. But the bad side is that, if the public is given a slant that is not totally accurate, then public opinion is shaped and starts to influence government reaction and policy. These resulting reactions and policy inclinations could be wrong.

So, considering the general broad front of technology advance, as technology advances, there is more and more of an onus on the technology people who invent and develop it to consider the potential public consequences, both good and bad, of what they are doing. Scientists and engineers have to consider the potential social consequences of their work; they can no longer work in an ivory tower and leave the social consequences of technological advances to others to worry about.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Dr Kelvin Kemm News
One regularly sees in the press various comment about the world environment conference to be held in Paris in December.  It is known as COP 21, which stands for ‘the Twenty-First Conference of the Parties’.  COP 17 was held in Durban, and I was a delegate there, so I...
Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has just returned to earth from the International Space Station (ISS). He returned with two other crew members of the ISS. By the way, Russian space travellers are called cosmonauts, but Americans and other Westerners are called...
I was invited to present an informal seminar to the Humansdorp Business Forum. It was most successful and I was really impressed to find a turnout of 120 people.  It was an evening function in the Grill and Co restaurant, in the town of Humansdorp. There was a...
Latest News
Robinson Ramaite
Updated 22 minutes ago Coal mining and trading company Wescoal intends to raise R81-million equity capital to further develop its flagship Elandspruit Colliery as well as fund other growth options. To date,  JSE-listed Wescoal has self-funded growth projects from its own operational cash...
Updated 1 hour 43 minutes ago Dr Danie Cronjé will retire as Sappi chairperson at the end of February 2016. He was appointed to the board in January 2008 and took up the position of chairperson in March of that year.
Updated 2 hours 21 minutes ago Continuous product development changed the fortunes of Korean car makers Hyundai and Kia, and Indian car maker Tata Motors wants to see the same happen to its brand. Tata Motors passenger vehicles president Mayank Pareek says the group will launch two new models a...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 28 minutes ago In their private capacity, most individuals are well aware of the benefits and game-changing nature of mobile phones and tablets, as well as the associated application software (apps) available for these devices. The manner in which individuals interact and network...
BUSINESS LEADERS PANEL Adam Craker, Ivor Chipkin, Alan Hosking and Allon Raiz at the 6th IQ Business Active Growth conference
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
ASHER BOHBOT EOH’s corporate goals were originally aspirations, but the company is relevant and is making a difference in the territories it operates in
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96