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The effects of inventions and discoveries on man's activities

Updated on August 26, 2012


Man has come a long way that we often so easily forget the stages we have crossed before we got to this current age of civilization; the precursor of which are the numerous inventions and discoveries of the past ages. It can be argued but it is a fact that the difference between the past and the present would make it difficult for most people to survive in the past. This is because man has so much based his daily activities on the inventions and discoveries available to him that survival would be difficult, if such inventions or discoveries are abruptly removed.

For instance, can we imagine what would happen to many people or even to the world economy, at large, if for any reason there is a sudden failure in electric power supply; generators ceases to work and lose of communication via telephone and computer system; not only was there a power failure but also fixing or tracing the cause of the problem proved difficult for many years. We know that communication is not only a part of many people’s life but also a great part of many sectors like the banking sectors among others. It is also important to note that some people are living on a life-support system. Can we now imagine how man and his activities would be affected?

The writer never thought of the effects inventions and discoveries has on man until he found himself in a position where he could not make phone calls, or use the internet to communicate to people or send e-mail messages. That was an incident of less than six hours yet it was not easy for the writer to handle because of the urgent need to send information. It was in such situation that the writer realized that there were times in human history when man lived and survived without electricity, telephone, computers, cars, airplanes among others. Then he asked, himself, why was it difficult for him to manage without communication just for a short while. It can rightly be said that, in the past, man lived by and depended on what he had at that time so his activities were based on what he had on ground. Then as time passes, inventions and discoveries were made to boost and help man to do better in his various works/activities. In as much as, in the past, man might had not depended so much on the things available to him as means of survival compared to the present situation yet we can agree that in all generation man, at least to an extent, depended on what he had around him for his survival. But the difference may that unlike in the past when man mostly depended on nature and other natural things like land for planting/food, inventions and discoveries did not only give man new ideas and made things easier for man but also increased man’s dependency on them in that man would find it difficult to survive if such things are abruptly removed from him. The most important difference between the past and the present is that a lot of bridges have been built between man and his fellow man and between nations in that the kind of mini isolation that existed in the past have been reformed into a large society by the agents of globalization. This major difference between the past and the present tend to explain why man no longer depends solely on his immediate environment for his survival.

Lastly, it seems there is nothing man can do to reduce his dependency on most of these things but the events of the time like greenhouse gases, the lose of biodiversity, and environmental degradation seem to suggest that man needs to make an urgent adjustment in some aspects of his activities to enable him continue to live in a healthy environment and once again move towards regaining the lost harmony with nature. However, there are some inventions and discoveries which are now an integral aspect of man. These include electricity, communication, and the internet. Especially now that man depends so much on the internet and most of man’s activities are done in the internet world.

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