The computer was born and raised in the hands of the armed forces, popular in the hands of the consumer economy, its pioneers and its members, but, its great value may prove not military or commercial.
"Computers were first applied to complex mathematical issues, for which the military wanted to find appropriate solutions, such as explaining the turbulence caused by atomic explosions, or predicting the launch of artillery shells," says John Young.
These agencies were subsequently placed in civilian tasks involving the management of amounts of information, such as calculating the payrolls of large companies, or scheduling answers for statistics questionnaires.
A quarter of a century, computers have been seen as strange machines that only geniuses understand and occupy.
But computers have changed, so has the role they play, are no longer the preserve of the professional category, and have begun to achieve their purposes as regulators in the age of information glut.
In any case, the environmental and humanitarian costs of their production and use, and the costs paid for computerizing the world, should be taken into account. These devices have become the main consumer of electricity in industrialized countries.
The computer industry, which has grown so rapidly that it has become one of the largest and most powerful industries in the world, has its environmental implications. If these machines are to help us establish a sustainable society, all these environmental problems must be addressed.
One of the reasons for the attention and production of computers is that both computer technology and the computer industry have evolved at staggering rates. Computers are heavily concentrated in industrialized countries. The computer industry, including programmers, is estimated to be worth $360 billion worldwide per year.
The computer sector is distinctly different from traditional industries; its small size and high value make shipping cheaper when transported at long distances; and the widespread use of computers in international communications has given manufacturers the flexibility to locate production.
A computer is a free technical cannon, a device with enormous potential to change environmental and economic health for better or worse. It is noticeable that we understand little about the ecosystems of our planet or about the millions of species of organisms that make up these systems.
Computers offer an enormous ability to collect, store and organize information, which can help us understand the global environment through surveillance and modelling.
One form of industrial control is the follow-up to pollution, i.e. the identification of toxic substances being released, anywhere, in what quantities and by whom.
In addition to being able to provide an effective means of storing and retrieving information, computers can speed up and facilitate the collection and facilitation of such information.
A wide variety of environmentally important data are still few. According to a study by the World Resources Institute, there is no global control of cross-state pollution flows, ultraviolet radiation or acid rain.
In addition to computer capabilities, they help design a wide range of products, with low environmental impacts. Computer networks provide vast resources and comprehensive, reliable and inexpensive information at the reach of ordinary citizens.
It allows people to scrutinize large sets of environmental data, in search of the information they want.
The production of computers is not as clean as green attitudes suggest. The electronic industry uses a large number of toxic or environmentally endangering substances, many of which leak into workplaces and the environment. Computers have also not reduced the environmental impacts of those who use them.
The environmental effects of computers have had physical effects on those who use them. Thousands of people now suffer from wrist infections. Staring at computer screens for long hours also causes vision problems. This is in addition to injuries associated with spending long hours in front of a computer keyboard.
In conclusion, I say, from the outset, man has been and continues to be a tool maker, and the importance of any tool lies not in its technical charm but in how it is used.
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