Information Technology: Trick or Treat?

Information Technology: Trick or Treat?

There’s always lots of discussion about populations as they experience the migration from agrarian, through industrial, and to information societies.  The migration is typically precipitated by some technology trigger.  The steam engine is purported to be the trigger for the migration to the industrial society and information technology the trigger for the migration to the information society.  Clearly, we can see the economic and societal benefits of technology.  But, is it always a good thing? Sometimes there are unintended consequences.

As a technologist, I of course may have a bias that favors information technology.  But, as a CIO, one has to consider the value and benefit that information technology provides for an organization.  Just as with the Halloween tradition of trick or treat, we may anticipate the treat of technology candy, but without the requisite benefit and value, we may be tricked into something that proves detrimental to people, processes, and perhaps to society.

Luddites hated technology.  But, history suggests that their disdain had more to do with the political ramifications of those technology advancements.   In this case, technology was invented that put large masses of people out of work by automating their jobs with the weaving machine.  Many people were economically devastated and plunged into poverty, ruin and starvation because of this technology trigger.

Another example, whether fact, fiction, or folklore can be found in discussions surrounding the lost city of Atlantis.   Atlanteans were supposed to be a technologically advanced society.  Though the legend says those technological benefits provided the means of creating a utopian society, careless use of technology ultimately became the means that brought about the destruction that sent them to the ocean floor.

Some theories attribute ineffective use of technology as a factor that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.  The Romans had many technological advances particularly in weapons, engineering and medicine.  But, as they continued to grow and expand the empire, they failed to leverage their technology to feed and care for the people in the newly acquired territories. 

Today, with Web 2.0 technology such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter we are able to use technology to substitute for face-to-face interactions.  We send text messages and email in lieu of human interactions; we are avatars and not flesh and blood; and we have telecommuters and geographically dispersed workers who have minimal person-to-person interactions.  As humans, we experience things with all of our senses.  Overuse or over reliance on this technology tempts us to forget our humanity – sincerity, love, honesty … mercy – these feelings are not transmitted by mere emoticons.   And technology has not (yet) provided the means of smelling the sweet aroma of the rose or feeling the warmth of a loving embrace.

As a service provider, I had a major lapse in customer service that required a serious apology.  We were able to repair the situation and restore the faith of our customers, but it required getting on a plane, and facing the irate customers face-to-face with a simple message – I’m sorry.  Then and only then, were we able to rebuild trust to get us past our egregious mistake.

The trick or treat here is not that technology is bad or good.  But, if we ask for the treat from our technology “candy”, we might get tricked into some unintended consequences. Keeping an eye on those potential consequences and perhaps learning from history can help us understand limitations or dangers and avoid detrimental outcomes.

Linda Cureton, CIO, NASA

8 thoughts on “Information Technology: Trick or Treat?”

  1. Ms. Cureton.

    Certain technologies can be really dangerous. Internet is addictive, time consuming stopped, and deprives them of personality, giving opportunity for the expression of many philosophical aberrations. On the other hand, enhances the sharing of ideas, and expedites communication. It’s good, and acceptance by society is natural. This can cause the loss of some jobs, but usually the company adapts over time, still suffering, for a period. What is generally more efficient it must be fitting us in the daily dose and only regular to avoid losses, if any. It is an eternal construction.

    What can not let the technology is useful, for it becomes imperative. The human bean can not refer to technology as the only or best alternative. Mainly in information technology, I believe, the person can not fully computerize their actions, to submit to a computer command or mistakenly believe that by simple keypad commands on a computer can solve all problems, social order and discipline or bureaucratic. As a data repository of information technology is very good, but can not replace the exotic range of actions, alternatives and multiple person. Nor can become a single track, enslaving.

    Moreover, technological advances are necessary for us our glimpse of its easy to create, and deliver us from the tedium of the caves. Good technology can wreak havoc on that then becomes old and obsolete, but it’s like a new color in the rainbow that we always seek to see. There is much worthless, useless and harmful technologies. There are good and useful. Once left for the person to make their good choices and good uses. Yes, any technology depends on the use of man. If he does good or evil use. The technology, the thing, not guilty of anything. The fault is uniquely human. As I said, God invented the stone (others say it was such a Big Bang), many have homes, castles and windmills, while others used a stone to throw in the minds of others. Thus, the technology is only harmful if it is a misuse.

  2. Hey Linda,

    First off this post addresses a growing issue of technology taking the place of face to face interaction, and you raise some good points about us becoming to dependent on technology and losing the face to face.

    However at the end of the day I believe it boils down to having proper balance between technology and face to face interactions. Especially in a web 2.0 world. With that said if it was not for the technology people would be limited in how they can organize, communicate, and connect with people all over the world.

    This applies not only to personal relationships, but also business relationships as well. I think customers and consumers on all levels have a much more powerful voice because of these technologies, which in turn encourages businesses and service providers to deliver a better quality product and experience.

    It also allows for relationships to be established and developed through other mediums other than, conference calls, or hopping on planes. By being able to leverage social media sites, like twitter, facebook, youtube and many others.

  3. I love your analogy. It really makes sense. I 100% agree that technology like anything else has two side, good and bad. For example you can use the internet for with honesty and integrity or you can use it to make money ripping people off. Its up to us to make use of the good side and ignore the bad part. Thanks.

  4. Using your Halloween analogy, candy satisfies a craving and should not be denied, but too candy is not good for you. The key is to find the right balance.

  5. the sun is hot think of a screen lasers or some kind of sun repellent build up of a grid or screen the sun to weaken beams think cheese grader or satellites with synthetic clouds

  6. The question I continue to ask myself is – will my grandchildren need face to face interaction to establish real relationships. As more and more “relationships” are established via virtual worlds, will there be a time when this interaction is sufficient and we don’t need to jump on a plane? Certainly 5 senses virtual reality is not that far off, so you will be able to smell the rose or feel the sea breeze. Will we someday not need to “press the flesh” with real flesh?

  7. I may as well say that the cosmic background radiation

    Cosmic background radiation

    Technology Definitions
    Chinese name:
    Cosmic background radiation
    English name:
    cosmic background radiation
    No significant separation from the sky of the isotropic source of electromagnetic radiation. At different wavelengths of radiation have different origins, and with non-cosmological origin.
    Respective disciplines:
    Astronomy (a subject); galaxy and the universe (two subjects)
    Wikipedia card
    Cosmic microwave background radiation (also known as the 3K background radiation) is a whole universe filled with electromagnetic radiation. Features and absolute temperature scale 2.725K blackbody radiation the same. Microwave frequency range is. Cosmic microwave background radiation in the thirty years after the Big Bang. Big Bang theory that the explosion occurred when the universe when the temperature of the beginning of the universe is extremely high, and then slowly cooling, arrived about 150 million years now some still remained after the thermal radiation of about 3K.


    Cosmic background radiation is isotropic from the space microwave background radiation, also known as microwave background radiation. The early sixties the twentieth century, American scientists Penzias and RW Wilson, in order to improve satellite communications, the establishment of a high-sensitivity horn-type antenna system. In 1964, they used it to measure radio strength of the gas halo. To reduce noise, they even remove the bird droppings on the antenna, but still can not afford to eliminate background noise. They believe that the cosmic microwave wavelength of 7.35 centimeters noise equivalent 3.5K. In 1965, they revised 3K, and this discovery made public, for which won the 1978 Nobel physics prize.
    Microwave background radiation, the most important feature is a blackbody radiation spectrum, at 0.3 cm -75 cm band, can be directly measured on the ground; greater than 100 cm in the radio band, the Milky Way itself is the ultra high frequency radiation from the river cover outer space radiation, and therefore can not be directly measured; in less than 0.3 cm wavelength, due to the interference of Earth’s atmospheric radiation, to rely on balloons, rockets or satellites and other means can be detected in space exploration. Tens of centimeters from the 0.054 cm band until the measurements indicate that the background radiation temperature near 2.7K blackbody radiation, commonly called 3K background radiation. Blackbody spectrum of phenomena show that the microwave background radiation is within the scope of a great event space. It is only through the interaction between radiation and matter in order to form a black body spectrum. Space as the density of matter today is very low, minimal interaction of radiation with matter, so we must be observed blackbody spectrum originated in a long time ago. Microwave background radiation should have a ratio of distant galaxies and radio sources can provide a more old information. Another feature of the microwave background radiation is a very high degree of isotropy. This has two aspects: first, small scale isotropic. To tens of arc minutes in a small range of radiation intensity fluctuation is less than 0.2-0.3%; followed by isotropic on large scales. Different directions along the celestial sphere, the radiation intensity fluctuations less than 0.3%. Isotropic description, in all different directions, in all a very far apart on the sky between the link should exist with each other.
    In 1948, U.S. scientists Alfred (Ralph Alpher) and Herman (Robert Herman) predicted that the Big Bang radiation generated residual series, as the universe expanded and cooled, and now it has a temperature above absolute zero is about 5 to open , or 5K (absolute zero is equal to minus 273 degrees Celsius, that is -273 ℃). But their predictions have not attracted widespread attention.
    But years later, in 1965, Bell Labs, New Jersey, two radio engineers Arno Penzias (Arno Penzias) and Robert Wilson (Robert Wilson) was very surprised to find that cosmic radiation field, when they are calibrated to track a satellite and a very sensitive radio antenna. Meanwhile, in nearby Princeton University, by Robert Dick (Robert Dicke) has led a team of scientists independently re-discovered the Alfred and Hermann predictions made earlier, and started to design a probe devices for the search of the big bang residual radiation. They heard about Bell Labs, which sets the receiver can not clarify the existence of the noise, and immediately be interpreted as the residual radiation from the Big Bang. It is equivalent to the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum wavelength of 7.35 centimeters of a radio wave signal; If you assume that it is heat radiation, so it has the energy to the temperature corresponding to the 2.7K – which Alfred and He Mann estimates very close to inspirational. It is called “cosmic microwave background radiation.” The existence of the cosmic microwave background radiation, to the Big Bang theory of strong support.
    In my opinion;
    I; cosmic microwave background radiation is not from our little product of the Big Bang. Because we know; our little universe 15 billion years ago the big bang has ended early, and used the big bang is a very short time. Microwave is a straight line again, and its propagation speed is equal to the speed of light, according to Einstein’s theory of relativity, no object or information can exceed the speed of light velocity. This means that; our little Big Bang already generated when the microwave the way a straight line from the center of the big bang over the survival of our planet to the universe of space launch out and never looked back. Big Bang’s microwave duration and our little Big Bang is the same as used for a long time, so we can receive from our small universe, the microwave generated when the big bang.
    II; if received from the Big Bang of our generated when a small microwave, then it should not be the microwave intensity is uniform in all directions, should be directional, the direction should point to our little universe, the center of the big bang point. So the cosmic microwave background radiation is not from our little product of the Big Bang.
    III; then the background from the isotropic space radiation, also known as the cosmic microwave background radiation is how to generate it? Only one source; This is the big black hole in the universe, big bang is happening! Because black holes form small universe in the Big Bang universe is not only our patents, but the universal and random. To our survival on Earth as the center point of view, a large black hole in the universe is uniform in all directions the Big Bang occurred. This can explain the cosmic microwave background radiation is isotropic the.
    Note; the universe – is a broad universe.
    A small universe – that narrow the universe. It is produced after the Big Bang a black hole of space range.

    Little knowledge; black hole of time required to identify the big bang. Because black holes Big Bang microwave duration and our little Big Bang time spent for the same length, so we can record a black hole big explosion microwave duration of the method to calculate our little Big Bang time spent.
    china beijing wanghaoming 王皓明

  8. Hack universe full image

    Primer; LHC knocked mini version of “Big Bang”

    According to the British “Daily Mail” reported on November 9, scientists with the European Large Hadron Collider (LHC), to lead ions to nearly the speed of light collision, successfully created a mini version of the “Big Bang” , produced a temperature of 100 times the sun’s core temperature of the fireball, also means produced quark – gluon plasma. In the early Big Bang, it is this quark – gluon plasma fills the entire universe. Scientists said that the research will be used to explain the beginning of the universe was born 13.7 billion years ago, the material formed.

    It is reported that lead ions into the collider began on the 4th, at 0:30 on the 7th of lead ion beam to detect the first collision, at 11:20 on the 8th of lead ion collision experiments to obtain stable conditions required for the experiment started . Now, the experiment successfully created a mini-version of “Big Bang.”

    ALICE (LHC of a detector) of lead ion collision experiments of scientists, physicists, David Evans, University of Birmingham, said they were excited for this achievement, the highest ever obtained experimental temperature and density. This process occurs in a safe, controlled environment to produce a hot and ultra-dense sub-atomic fireball, the temperature more than 10 trillion degrees Celsius, the temperature in this form the nucleus of protons and neutrons will be melted, generate quark – gluon plasma.

    CERN Director Rolf Hoyle explains why so much energy produced is due to lead ion contains 28 protons, so the two beams of lead ion beam was accelerated, a single beam of energy much higher maximum proton beam energy, reaching 287 trillion electron volts.

    British theoretical physicist John Ellis since 1978 as the European Organization for Nuclear Research Center, he wrote that, strictly speaking, LHC does not reproduce the big bang, but it does successfully reproduce the very short after the Big Bang time, the case of small-scale universe. Experiment will study the early evolution of the universe to provide new clues; also the basis of theoretical physics provides a new way, including some from the string theory point of view.

    Scientists hope that by studying the quark – gluon plasma, can enhance their understanding of the strong interaction, strong interaction is the existence of the four fundamental forces of nature, one which not only clinging to the nucleus together, and 98% of them responsible for the quality. In addition, the study of quark – gluon plasma, but also help scientists study the state of the universe and material changes in the beginning of the process.

    LHC live in Switzerland and France border area 100 meters deep underground circular tunnel, the tunnel total length of 27 km. Scientists hope to achieve through the collider high energy particle collisions, simulated with the initial state after the Big Bang environment similar to in-depth study of the origin of the universe and the various characteristics of elementary particles.

    Through the above information, we can draw the following conclusions; 1 – neutrons can be broken and further broken down into quark – gluon plasma. 2 – neutrons break down into quark – gluon plasma will also release enormous energy and extremely high temperatures. 3 – With the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to the neutron collision, can make the neutron burst and further broken down into quark – gluon plasma. So, in the huge squeezed and they can make the neutron burst and further broken down into quark – gluon plasma.

    So that we can spell out the full map of the universe.

    The universe there are many black holes exist, they are the seeds of a big bang, black holes continue to absorb these substances in the universe, constantly expanding forever, until it reaches a critical point of the Big Bang will have a big explosion in the universe . Like us to produce a small universe. These black holes continue to absorb a large universe of substances, and some were black from the other substances produced by the Big Bang, such as galaxies and so on. That is one continuous big bang black hole, while the material continues to generate a black hole aggregate.

    Because the universe in the large aggregate material produced black hole by continuous absorption of the material in the universe expands. Under great pressure in the hole, the black hole center of atoms (atoms are neutrons, protons and electrons) are constantly compressed into neutrons Mission (volume ratio of neutron atomic large lot size.) With the continuous expansion of the black hole, the center of the neutron group has continued to expand, when the black hole big bang expansion reached a critical point occurs when the black hole big bang!

    Big Bang black hole neutron critical point is under great pressure in the hole, making the neutron burst and further broken down into quark – gluon plasma. And neutrons in the decomposition into quark – gluon plasma will also release enormous energy and extremely high temperatures. This group of neutrons in the center of the hole will be in this great energy and high temperature under the effect of a chain reaction, neutrons break down into the new new quark – gluon plasma, and further release of new giant energy and new extremely high temperatures. This burst of neutrons into a geometric rate of growth, the produce of the tremendous energy and high temperature is also geometric rate of growth. So the Big Bang to Black Holes And so began!

    After the big bang black hole, our little universe, the formation of slowly. Among them, the black hole and neutron group substances in some of the big bang black hole is collapsing out the formation of the neutron stars and white dwarfs, in which the formation of high levels of neutron neutron neutron formation of low white dwarf, in the collapse of the regiment or less large and small blocks, of which high levels of child quality is greater than the neutron neutron star bound to low levels of white dwarfs. The black hole in a large number of quark – gluon plasma was formed after the collapse of a cloud of hydrogen atoms, hydrogen atoms aggregate to form stars, clouds slowly. While other elements have begun to slowly form. At this time the planets and asteroids, small bodies began to form clumps.

    When the black hole big bang, the material in the same volume, the quality of the collapse of a small initial velocity will be greater than the quality of a large initial velocity, so that neutron stars and white dwarfs in the big bang black hole, its collapse will be less than the initial speed hydrogen atoms out of the initial velocity of collapse, that is, the majority of neutron stars and white dwarfs should now be concentrated in the center of the explosion from the black hole near the place, and the star should be mainly concentrated in the center of the explosion from the black hole far away . (Note; star main components are hydrogen atoms. Now the theory that the universe; stars are clouds of hydrogen atoms from the free polymer formed.)

    Big Bang black hole produces a lot of small universe. We are now living on a small universe, for its continued expansion in the go. In the expansion process, the small universe of space will continue to become bigger. As an explosion-like collapse of a neutron star, white dwarfs, stars, planets, asteroids, small bodies, clumps of gas in the nebula, and so the process of expansion, met other black hole, the black hole will either be absorbed, or, and the formation of galaxies, black holes – such as the Milky Way and so on.

    Slowly the creature appeared, man there, so there is time.

    Now we know; the universe is composed of matter and space, there is no time, time is a product of human beings and the universe is irrelevant. We also know that the universe is balanced, stable, and if the big black hole in the universe continue to absorb only the material universe, rather than the big bang approach to substance spit out so much material in the universe will balance and stability was broken, so that the big bang black hole is certain! However, the universe was not created by the big bang, so I introduced a new concept; (a); the universe – refers to the broad universe. (B); small universe – that narrow the universe. Professor Stephen Hawking has said that the universe is where we are a small universe, it is produced after the Big Bang a black hole of space range.
    The universe is not created by the black hole big bang, the universe is the universe, the universe, where there has been neither produced nor destroyed! Little Big Bang universe is generated by the black hole, it is the generation and destruction. It can be said; small universe is time.

    Our small universe will continue to expand forever, we humans also with the small universe expanding universe of space away from our future? It is not known, may day, our planet will encounter a black hole and is sucked into a black hole to go to the end of our human history. May one day our sun will run out of energy to the end of our human history. Another possibility is that our human depleted resources on earth, destroyed our ecological environment, in which the end of our human history.

    Here, told each of us; should carefully consider how we should live!

    china beijing wanghaoming 王皓明

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