Computers and Internet
Impacts 1: Caveman Engineering
- Prehistoric housing
Stone Age structures were made from structures inside caves with the walls made from stones or clay blocks packed together. They shelters and structures gradually evolved with the construction of pit houses between the 5th-12th centuries AD. It is believed that a majority of people lived in pit houses or sunken feature buildings. They were used for a variety of purposes such as celebrations, rituals, storage of food and shelter during extreme weather (Bradley 22).
- Stone tools & early metallurgy
Old pit dwellings used materials such as mammoth bones, stones and metal. Gold has been cited as the oldest form of metal and was used for decorative purposes as opposed to structural purposes. Neolithic communities started by using copper from 7000 BC to make sickles and knives. They provided effective alternatives to stone products that were prone to damage. This was preceded by discoveries of other important materials such as iron ore to develop iron products during the Iron Age.
Impacts 2: The Age of Superstition
- Pyramids of Egypt/Central/South America
Before the end of the 3rd Egyptian dynasty, the nobility in Egypt were accustomed to burying their dead in mastabas-low lying brick structures that differentiate the nobility from commoners who were buried under piles of rocks (Henzel 18). Kind Djoser was the first to come up with a step pyramid as his selected site of burial upon death. Subsequent kings such as Sneferu, and Khufu outdid one another to develop the Pyramid of Medium and the Great Pyramid respectively (George 17).
- Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the most magnificent structures visible from space. The bridge was developed using tamped earth, wood, bricks and stones and built from east to west along the northern border of China in a bid to protect the Chinese Empire from external aggressors. The wall was built in separate parts from 7th BC with the most important sections being built in the 220-206BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Bricks were preferable to stones because of their weight, which enabled the rapid development of the Great Wall (DuTemple 11).
- Roman Road
Roman roads formed an integral part of the Roman Empire’s goals for development. They were built from around 500BC as the Roman Empire expanded and consolidated new territories in Europe. The roads were developed based on the need. Some were made from leveled earth; others were made from level earth that had graveled surfaces; others were made from rectangular blocks from stones or using polygon lava blocks (Thomas, Meyers, and Edlund-Berry 32).
- Roman Aqueduct
The Romans used aqueducts to source for various uses such as latrines, public baths, domestic use and fountains in the urban areas. The aqueducts were built using conduits from concrete, brick or stone and on inclined slopes to aid the movement of water through gravitational pulls. The aqueducts used distribution tanks, sluices, and sedimentation tanks to control the supply of water to the urban areas depending on the need and demand. By the 3rd Century AD, the Romans had perfected the development of aqueducts for regulation of water usage in water-extravagant cities.
Impacts 3: Industrial Age (1700-1970)
- Modern sanitation –drinking & wastewater
Techniques for collection of wastewater have been enhanced as a result of new technologies for moving effluent from homes, industrial areas and offices into treatment plants. Similar techniques are also applied in the distribution of clean fresh water for domestic, framing and industrial purposes. Modern techniques were necessitated by the need to eliminate contact between people and effluents, which has been associated with water borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
- Steam engine & railroads
Due to the need for rapid movement of people, goods and minerals such as coal, gold, copper and iron, there was need for rapid means of transport given that seafaring was limited by its slow pace and unpredictable weather. Steam engines or steam locomotives produced pulling power via the steam engines as a result of the energy and heat produced by burning of coal. They were initially developed in the 19th Century in Britain and used for rail transport up to the 20th century. They were later replaced by diesel and electric locomotives.
- Internal combustion engine
An internal combustion engine involves the movement made by combustion of fuels in the presence of an oxidizer such as air within a combustion chamber. The force created by combustion and high temperatures from burning of the fossil fuels results in the movement of components in the engine.
- Highway systems
Interstate Highway systems were first developed in the United States in the year 1966 based on a presidential directive. The development of interstate highways was influenced by the need to meet traffic demands of the population because of high numbers of car ownership and increase in population. In addition, development and growth was enhanced by the development of the interstate highways (Wyatt 41).
- Nuclear energy
Nuclear energy is formed as a byproduct of exothermic processes of nuclear activity. It is vital for the generation of electricity and heat. Varieties of terms are used in this field to refer to nuclear activity such as nuclear decay, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion (Wyatt 27).
Impacts 4: The Post Industrial Age
- Computers & internet
Computers are devices that are programmable to execute both logical and arithmetic operations in an automatic manner. Computers have evolved into complex and superior gadgets that can be used for various logical activities. The computers provided avenues for the development and growth of the internet. The internet is defined as an interconnection of networks and users through network signals irrespective of individual user location.
- Modern green building
With increasing concerns on energy consumption in urban centers due to inefficiencies in buildings. There is a shift towards developing structures that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly given that concerns on costs associated with energy and building using conventional methods.
- Wind/solar energy
Wind and solar energy are two primary forms of renewable energy that have gained prominence over the years due to their respectively reliability and appropriateness with respect to the growing concerns on environmental degradation and pollution from fossil fuels (Smith 23). They are inexpensive and efficient as opposed to fossil fuels that are susceptible to market conditions such as inflation and deflation.
Bradley, Richard. Ritual and Domestic Life in Prehistoric Europe. London: Routledge, 2005. Print.
DuTemple, Lesley A. The Great Wall of China. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2002. Print.
George, Charles. Pyramids. San Diego, CA: Reference Point Press, 2007. Print.
Glancey, Jonathan. Architecture. London: DK, 2006. Print.
Henzel, Cynthia K. Pyramids of Egypt. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co, 2011. Print.
Höcker, Christoph. Architecture. Hauppauge, N.Y: Barron’s, 2000. Print.
Ruiz, Teofilo F. The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2011. Print.
Smith, Trevor. Renewable Energy Resources. Mankato, MN: Weigl Publishers, 2004. Print.
Thomas, Michael L, Gretchen E. Meyers, and Ingrid E. M. Edlund-Berry. Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture: Ideology and Innovation. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012.
Wyatt, Lee T. The Industrial Revolution. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print.
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