Why is the US Technically Advanced?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Creative One, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Creative One macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    #1
    Hi, I'm writing a paper for my American History class, and have been asked to write a short paper (two pages) on some perceptions of America. Throughout the long list, I have decided upon "Technically Advanced". Now, I just need to come up with three examples to support it's existence.

    Now, being a technology forum, I am looking for your views and ideas on why America might be considered a technically advanced country.

    Thanks.
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    One thing to look at is how many of the world's fastest super computers are located in the US.
     
  3. Creative One thread starter macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    #3
    That is true. So far my three arguments will be that there are over 4,000 universities granting degrees in virtually any field enabling the common man to have expertise in any field. And having over 50% of the worlds supercomputers allows for complex calculations that are impossible to man.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    It's amazing, given how absolutely stupid we can be sometimes. :)

    But I would say it has a lot to do with our history. When this country was colonized, people came here from other civilizations to a place with basically nothing and had to figure things out for themselves. That leads to a lot of ingenuity, which has probably stayed with us since.

    I would similarly guess that if humans were to begin colonizing Mars, we would eventually see amazing technical achievements coming from people there. Innovation comes from necessity.
     
  5. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #5
    It could also be argued that our society puts a higher value on financial success - and that drives technical innovation in the pursuit of wealth.
     
  6. Creative One thread starter macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    #6
    Brilliant guys. Lee and Dmr, I think your points could go well together as talking about Lee's point and gradually changing over into Dmr's.
     
  7. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #7
    They both have merit for sure.
     
  8. wvuwhat macrumors 65816

    wvuwhat

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    #8
    1. High sense of patriotism, leaving us wanting to be informed of current events. Our Internet allows us to be informed pretty much 24/7 leading to new technologies to streamline the source of news reaching the consumer faster.

    2. Economic success leads to grants, entrepreneurial experimentation, hobbyists getting their hands on technology that allows them to create.

    3. A relatively good quality of life allowing us to focus on technology as opposed to hunger, disease, and other things that are much more of an issue for other nations.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9
    Other thing to look at is US has located a lot of the founding computer companies from the earily 1900's. I think one big reason US got a very early lead in the computer age during that time.
    WWI and WWII the US had the advantage of not being war torn and not fighting a war on our home front and the US did not enter the war at first. This allowed for research on computers to start off.

    Europe was in a war so if it did not have pratical application right off the bat it was not looked at.

    Computers took off in the US for because the military wanted a faster way to calculated alterilly books. Europe it was WWI depression and WWII and rebuilding. US had depression but did not have to rebuild. WWII again US not war torn.
    After WWII US did not have to rebuild yet again so more research on computers.
    This just gave the US a HUGE advantage on computers which is why the US yet again lead the word in inventing the internet which is a very robust system. IPv6 was even planed on back then oddly enough as the inventors knew that we would need it in the future.

    All that gave and still gives the US a huge edge in computer R&D. Due to the early lead all the major companies started out here and still based here.
     
  10. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #10
    That is also quite insightful. You are absolutely right. We suffered very few setbacks then, due to geography. I think we have quite a few reasons we are technically where we are, It's obviously not just one thing.
     
  11. Creative One thread starter macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    #11
    So I'm gonig to speak with a few instructors tomorrow, but my likely plan is this.

    -Intro

    Body 1 : Settlers colonizing in America started from scratch, which lead to accelerated innovation, and therefore a faster industrial revolution.

    Body 2 : Talking about history, the fact that the US was never war torn during the 20th century, building on Rodimus Prime's ideas.

    Body 3 : US's addiction to information, dependence on financial success, and high sense of patriotism.

    Conc : Ideas?
     
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #12
    - Strong intellectual property rights (via patent laws). This allowed many inventors and innovators such as Edison to bring new technologies out without fear of confiscation or financial loss.

    - A large and varied single market for new goods. This gives the new technology a space to grow in and make profit for the inventor to continue innovating.

    - Competitive nature. Although not uniquely American, a strong competitive spirit contributes to continuous improvements in technology.
     
  13. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    #13
    Righto, America IS quite an advanced country, but truth be told after living in Japan things seem...stale.

    The internet speeds are slow comparing, things like "video calling" which has just arrived here has been in Japan for years and years, public transport can't begin to compare, the elevators here are even ********.

    Just saying.
     
  14. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #14
    More or less what I was thinking.

    Perhaps it's marketing.
     
  15. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

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    #15
    I personally think its because the technical/research universities (MIT, Caltech) are well funded and aren't prejudiced against recruiting the best minds on the planet. Its also big on capitalism, people are encouraged to innovate/invent and make $$$$.

    That said there are countries that are more advanced...the US just appears to be the most 'popular' or 'public'. Japan is far ahead IMHO, German engineering is no slouch either.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #16
    Even the toilets in Japan are advanced.

    And the onigiri packaging? Fuggitaboutit. There is some crazy magic going on in that packaging.
     
  17. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

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    #17
    Don't confuse fancy consumer electronics with being a technologically advanced country. I am not arguing that Japan is not a technologically advanced country, it certainly is and is probably on near the top of the heap. I think the US has evolved into a country that has a pretty advanced infrastructure. Things that we consider mundane here. For example the launching of the space shuttle, the ISS, our defense infrastructure and the technology associated with that is mind blowing (how often do you think of GPS as mundane? We take that one for granted, don't we?).
    Also, keep in mind the major source of funding for the rebuilding of Japan after WWII. US $ and US technology provided the foundation for what Japan has become today.
     
  18. Queso macrumors G4

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    #18
    Some of it is down to the second-wave of industrialisation occurring first in the USA (for example large scale assembly plants). In the same way that the first-wave propelled Britain to become by far the most advanced country of its day the US lead in the second-wave gave it a significant advantage over other nations.

    More importantly it's down to the large government projects of the 20th century. ARPAnet, NASA, hydroelectric power, the Manhattan Project; all of these programmes resulted in a culture of intense innovation which spilled out into the universities and surrounding civilian industries.
     
  19. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #19
    The US may not have been 'war torn' in WWII, but did have significant involvement – and this involvement would have been a big push behind development of various technologies. Few things drive stuff to be invented and developed quicker than a war or two.

    Furthermore, the Allied countries benefited from the knowledge of former Nazi science chaps following the War – for example, German wartime developments in rocket propulsion helped greatly with the US space programme. And the Cold War period would have been a big motivation in developing technology too, as the US and its allies tried to stay one step ahead of those nefarious communists.
     
  20. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #20
    Of course, the vast majority of web services are run by companies in the US (google, yahoo, MSN, cnet, AOL -first few things to come to mind).

    I've heard various things about mobile tech but the consensus seems to be that we kicked their asses (iPhone, Android) in the smartphone world and while our cell network lagged behind for a while it's really catching up (WiMax, 7mbps 3g, LTE anyone?)

    Funny, one of my friends is a huge mobile phone nerd - in Japan he was actually complaining about how slow the internet there was.

    Hint: Prolly because he was trying to use those US-based services ;)

    I'll agree with the "lots of stuff is taken for granted" bit. Even our road infastructure - it aint much to brag about but then it is. XD

    Too bad we don't have that many autobahn quality roads.

    Final Japan vs US thought: You're probably using a Mac. Amirite? Not a sony? I'm using a Sony to type this. XD and I'd drop it for a similar mac laptop in a heartbeat if I could ;)
     
  21. Creative One thread starter macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    #21
    Okay, I have a good 2 pages of point form notes from you guys... Will speak with instructors today and tell you what they say.
     
  22. Statik macrumors member

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    #22
    Is your paper about the perceptions of America by it's citizens or the perceptions from the citizens of other countries? That could make quite a difference to your paper.
     
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #23
    Banana hammocks and the uroclub. It's ingenuity like that that keeps us on top.
     
  24. Creative One thread starter macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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    #24
    Since the report is very vague, I assume from other countries.
     
  25. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #25
    i don't think that the "ingenuity" of the settlers has a great part in it. for a long time 'innovation' was coming from europe, broadly speaking.

    it's only from last century that US has been more consistently identified with 'technologically advanced'. many good ideas in the thread, and you should also point to an abundance of natural resources coupled to "the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism", to say it with max weber.

    Oh, and patriotism? how does that has anything to do with being as technologically advanced?

    finally if the paper really is about current perception, maybe the entire historical approach is not very relevant
     

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