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Technology Quiz - Questions and Answers
We are keen to refine and expand this quiz.
If you can suggest improvements and especially if you want to offer additional questions and answers with supporting information, then we'd love to hear from you.
The supporting information is designed to prompt thinking, curiosity, exploration, debate, learning, etc. We welcome your views and input.
This quiz is about technology and how we think about it; how technology relates to leadership, governance, work/life balance, innovation and development, and also to societal wellbeing and the wider world.
In this respect this quiz also connects with the aims of Businessballs.com to establish a world-leading user- friendly set of resources for understanding and improving mental health, wellness, wellbeing, happiness, etc.
Technology is a major part of work, life, society, and increasingly and rapidly impacts on our world and future.
All this forms part of Alan Chapman's work, alongside ongoing involvement in the redevelopment of Businessballs.com, and specifically his project The Festival of Life and Death ('FoLaD') – see www.festivaloflifeanddeath.org
The Festival of Life and Death is a hugely ambitious project to reduce suicides globally, by promoting better awareness and treatments, and by also addressing and reducing societal causes.
The initial focus is enabling a global festival on 8th September 2018 – a free 'open source concept' - empowering communities and society everywhere in changing how we think and behave towards mental illness and suicide, societal and lifestyle factors, attitudes and stigmas, and assumptions about how to live well. Technology is a major part of this.
All technologies – from fire-making to social media – can be for good, or for harm. It's up to us, how we use technologies, and relate to technologies, and everything that technologies produce.
Technology Quiz - Questions
- 'Hobby horse' was the first 'mass production' name of which invention, 320 of which were made in 1819?
- Widely used in Africa, Opera Mini is what sort of innovation: Crop irrigation; School singing; Electric kit-car; or Mobile web browser?
- The fundamental computing unit, a 'bit', is a portmanteau (combination) of which two words?
- Which Ancient Greek genius is credited eponymously for establishing the triangle theorem that that “the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides”?
- “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity...” is popularly but almost certainly falsely attributed to: Einstein; Gates; Zuckerberg; or Trump?
- What unit of length equates to c.5.9 trillion miles?
- Stannic, Ferric, Cuprous, Plumbous refer respectively to what four technological elements?
- What iconic Danish play technology launched in 1949 has made over 400billion units?
- What now attracts bigger viewing audiences than soccer: Cricket; Basketball; American football; or Computer gaming?
- Roughly how many years ago was fire-making technology devised: 10,000; 50,000; 100,000; or Over 500,000?
- In 2018 Facebook's Oculus team launched a 'new unit of time' (1/705,600,000 of a second) for sound/video editing called a: Tick; Nick, Flick, or Lick?
- What sort of wheel was the first to be invented, about 7,000 years ago: Cart; Spinning; Potters; or Catherine?
- Who of these is considered by many to be the greatest science and technology thinker in history: Michelangelo; Raphael; Donatello; or Leonardo?
- What is the name of the IBM computer that eventually controversially beat chess genius Gary Kasparov in a rematch in 1997?
- Horse height is counted in what very old unit of measurement? Heads; Hands Feet; or Legs?
- In December 2017 the UK's Institute for Public Policy Research 'Think Tank' forecast what % of UK jobs could be automated by c.2030/40: 5%; 12%; 26%; or 44%?
- Marc Benioff, founder/CEO of $4bn B2B cloud services corporation Salesforce.com, at Davos 2018 became another senior internet expert to liken platforms like Facebook to: Fire; The Wheel; Religion; or Cigarettes?
- Name the space telescope successor to Hubble, to be launched in 2019?
- Where did multi-billionaire Elon Musk put his Tesla sports car with mannequin driver in February 2018: Harrods window; The Mariana Trench; The White House lawn; or Outer space?
- The technologies TMO, VAR, Hawk-Eye and Cyclops feature in: Traffic; Warfare; Sport; or Surgery?
- Fentanyl is part of what societal crisis of technology and business in the USA, also emerging elsewhere: Steroid; Rheumatoid; Opioid; or Hemorrhoid?
- Put these inventions in order, oldest first: Gun&Cannon, Barbed wire, Electronic digital computer, Light bulb, Compact Disc/CD, Glassware, Magnetic compass, Soap, Ballpoint pen?
- In the context of emerging medical technology that relates to the brain, BCI (sometimes referred as BMI) refers to what; brain contribution immersion, brain computer interface, brain connection immersion, brain computer interface?
- What is the test, named after a well known computer scientist, that determines whether a machine exhibits sufficient intelligence to be indistinguishable from a human; The Turing Test, The Benson Test, The Enigma Test, The Espy Test?
- What law states that the processing power of integrated circuits doubles every year; Gordon’s law, Moore’s Law, Feynman’s law, Einstein’s law?
Technology Quiz - Answers
- 'Hobby horse' was the first 'mass production' name of which invention, 320 of which were made in 1819? Bicycle (The bicycle is a great example of wonderful healthy technology that inherently improves the quality of human life. In fact it has health embedded into its design, and it's difficult to find any fault with the concept at all. The first ones were even made out of wood..)
- Widely used in Africa, Opera Mini is what sort of innovation: Crop irrigation; School singing; Electric kit-car; or Mobile web browser? Mobile web browser (Opera Mini is an Android browser that is particularly effective on low-specification phones, and it is being adopted widely in developing nations, especially Africa. This raises a technology issue known as 'leapfrogging', whereby societies/countries adopt a relatively advanced technology without going through prior technology stages. For example much of Africa has no need to establish hard-wired communications infrastructure. This can be beneficial, but also can be unhelpful. If leapfrogging allows damaging or polluting technologies to be leapfrogged, then this is helpful. But if leapfrogging causes societies to move to an advanced stage without creating essential basic infrastructure, experience, capability, knowledge or skills, then it's unhelpful. We see the leapfrogging effect in other ways, for example, children all over the world who can use a smartphone, but they can't use a pencil and paper. We might argue that Google causes young people to leapfrog the ability to use books. Similarly the use of satnav is causing people to leapfrog the ability to read a map and navigate by thought, which is actually linked to memory function of the brain, and like any brain function unused, will cease to work well. Our use of the memory generally is being leapfrogged by the information technology age. Leapfrogging to modern technologies can be very beneficial, but we must consider whether we are missing crucial learning, or compromising other necessary human and societal capabilities in the leapfrogging process. If we teach others we must consider teaching the basics, as well as the modern technology-assisted ways.)
- The fundamental computing unit, a 'bit', is a portmanteau (combination) of which two words? Binary Digit (Incredibly a computer can basically only count 0 or 1. These are the two binary digits. Binary means two. Of course a computer system does this millions and millions of times very quickly in a binary numbering system, rather than using the obvious decimal system. It would have seemed very illogical to most people before modern computing was invented that computing would not be based on decimal numbering. This is one very strange thing about many transformational technologies: they are counter-intuitive. Transformational innovation in a way demands a rather unusual or odd brain, or certainly a very radical unconventional style of thought and creativity. The binary numbering system is very ancient indeed. It's interesting that the genius innovation of computing took one of the oldest counting systems and allied it with the most advanced form of electronics to create a technology that's changed the world, almost or perhaps as much as fire and the wheel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_number)
- Which Ancient Greek genius is credited eponymously for establishing the triangle theorem that that “the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides”? Pythagoras (The hypotenuse is the side opposite the right angle of a right-angle triangle. The theory was probably known before Pythagoras, but he is considered to have clarified/established and first effectively 'published' it. The theorem is fundamental in all sorts of modern engineering and construction; and DIY, for example designing a simple lean-to frame adjoining a house. Some things never change. We can marvel that this wonderful present-day technological theory is at least as old as the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who lived c.570-495BC).
- “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity...” is popularly but almost certainly falsely attributed to: Einstein; Gates; Zuckerberg; or Trump? Einstein (The point here is that modern technology is helping to bring education and improvements to the world better than ever, but it also carries risks, and we are responsible for checking, as we must check anything else - especially new technologies - that could be wrong or unhealthy, rather than accept unquestioningly, and without seeking evidence or reliable referencing, or testing, etc. Seemingly the 'Einstein quote' is taken from a 1995 film, Powder, written/directed by Victor Salva, starring Sean Patrick Flanery and Jeff Goldblum, whose dialogue features something very similar to the quote, and which also suggests the Einstein origin. You can check for yourselves if you are keen to know for sure. I am grateful to the quoteinvestigator.com website run by Garson O’Toole. Libraries of pre-internet and/or other recent high quality reference books are good sources for cross-checking important historical and scientific matters. The internet can certainly be used for intense scrutinization, but very carefully and creatively so, because the nature of the web is for wrong information to be copied widely and to appear mutually supporting, when it could be wrong. As with any checking, we must consider the authority and reliability of the source, and use sources that are independent of each other, and as close to the origin as possible.)
- What unit of length equates to c.5.9 trillion miles? Light-year (Alternatively c.9.461 x 1015 metres, or 9,460,730,472,580,800 metres exactly. Or roughly 5.878625 trillion miles. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) defines a light-year as the distance that light travels in vacuum in one Julian year, 365.25 days. It is difficult to understand this sort of distance, especially many light years, or millions of light years. The symbol for a light-year is 'ly'. Kly = a kilolight-year, 1,000 light-years. Mly = a megalight-year, 1,000,000 light-years, and Gly = a gigalight-year, 1,000,000,000 light years. While that seems like a bigger distance than could possibly exist, consider that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, and so light reaching us from the earliest known galaxies has been travelling for more than 13 billion years. Therefore when that light began its journey to us the radius of the universe was about 13.7 billion light-years and its total diameter was double that, i.e., roughly 27.4 billion light- years wide. This is to say that if you could travel at the speed of light it would take you 27.4 billion years to get from one side to the other, or around it, if it is more like a big balloon, and crucially if you had set off 13.7 billion light years ago when the universe first appeared. But of course you could never do that, probably, and so setting off now, you'd have also to consider that the universe has been growing since it first came into existence, i.e., for the past 13.7 billion years, which means that today it's believed to be easily more than 150 billion light years wide. That said, even at the speed of light, whenever you set off, you would be travelling so slowly in relation to the distance and the rate of expansion that by the time you were halfway there, it might easily have doubled or more in size... and so you'd never actually get there.. probably.. Incidentally planet Earth is about 93 million miles from the Sun. It takes light about 8minutes 19seconds to reach Earth, which equates to a distance of about 0.000016 of a light-year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-year)
- Stannic, Ferric, Cuprous, Plumbous refer respectively to what four technological elements? Tin, Iron, Copper and Lead (Scientific names, typically used in compound terms, from Latin origins. These metals are ancient fundamental components in human technology. They can be used to make healthy helpful things, and they can be used to make dangerous things... just like any most technology building blocks. The metals are also a finite resource. They can be mined with care, or not. They can be processed and manufactured into things carefully or not. They can be disposed of when things get broken or replaced carefully or not, notably recycled or in landfill... just like anything else we make and use, or choose to replace.. It's up to us.)
- What iconic Danish play technology launched in 1949 has made over 400billion units? Lego (Lego is loved and used by adults as well as children, and is an example of a simple yet brilliant technology. Just six Lego bricks can be combined in over 100 million different ways. The concept encourages discovery and creativity, physical practical interaction, scientific and constructional exploration and learning, social involvement, 3-dimensional sensory engagement, display, sharing, artistic expression, and countless other benefits that are good for people.)
- What now attracts bigger viewing audiences than soccer: Cricket; Basketball; American football; or Computer gaming? Computer gaming (Computer gaming attracts truly vast audiences among young people, in live stadiums and auditoriums, and especially online/video media. Youtube gamers are the new superstars. We are now seeing a significant societal shift in spectators and the markets for traditional physical sport, as younger generations flood to play and watch digital virtual games, rather than physical sports. This has begun to have massive impact on the economics of soccer, which in 2018 saw major unsold TV rights for the first time in the modern age. TV money, leveraged by advertising audience levels, has largely fuelled the explosion in soccer markets/values of the past 30 years. As this change unfolds it will be very interesting. More concerning is the effect on lifestyle, whereby spectating has become more static than ever. Exercise, sleep, physical/group social contact, and being outdoors are all absolutely crucial for individual and societal health, especially for children and young people. All these vital wellness aspects are already badly neglected by young people, which is partly why mental illness and suicide are rising fastest in the youth demographic. The trend towards even more neglectful lifestyles, as encouraged by computer gaming, is something we should question more seriously. Certain countries have already legislated/limited online gaming access for young people during late/night-time hours. This is another example of a technology industry that is unable to understand and moderate its potential for harm. For many people, online gaming - rather like alcohol, sugar, fat, salt, social media, gambling, and motorbikes - do much more harm than the justifiable enjoyment to be had from moderate use.)
- Roughly how many years ago was fire-making technology devised: 10,000; 50,000; 100,000; or Over 500,000? Over 500,000 (Actually by Homo species before Homo sapiens. The technology to make fire enabled our ancestral development more than any other. Fire enabled protection, warmth, migration, and cooking and drying/preserving meat, enabling brains to develop bigger because of protein consumption levels. But fire is dangerous and it can hurt people and societies. Just like many other technology developments throughout history and into modern times.)
- In 2018 Facebook's Oculus team launched a 'new unit of time' (1/705,600,000 of a second) for sound/video editing called a: Tick; Nick, Flick, or Lick? Flick (Traditional industry-standard units of time are frames-per-second and kilohertz/kHz, which are usually subject to decimal points and often very many decimal numbers. There is a mathematical logic to the Facebook innovation, because 705,600,000 is neatly an exact fraction of lots of other bigger fractions used in sound/video editing, such as 1/8, 1/16, 1/24, 1/25, 1/30, 1/32, 1/48, 1/50, 1/60, 1/90, 1/100, 1/120, and 1/44.1 (44.1 being sample rate audio kHz) etc., which using traditional units produce unhelpfully long or recurring decimals. Incidentally a nanosecond is a 1/1,000,000,000 of a second, i.e., a billionth of a second,. A 'Flick' is about 1.4 times longer than a nanosecond, or put another way, a nanosecond is about 0.7 of a 'Flick'. A nanosecond would also be subject to lots of decimal places and very long numbers in sound/video technology, hence the Flick opportunity, seen by Oculus/Facebook. This question and answer illustrate the detail by which modern life is increasingly managed, and the pressures - alongside the benefits - of competitive market forces. A great deal of modern life and 'innovation' is about optimization, to make work and production more accurate and efficient and less expensive, typically driven by businesses seeking to be more competitive than each other. We could ask ourselves: Does this ultimately make us happier? And where will it end?.. because it is probably impossible to continue optimizing things indefinitely.)
- What sort of wheel was the first to be invented, about 7,000 years ago: Cart; Spinning; Potters; or Catherine? Potters (First as a 'slow wheel', without an axle, and later with a central hole and a stick through it. I wonder who thought of that and what people made of that discovery, besides more pots more quickly. The axle wheel for carts emerged a few hundred years later, especially with the domestication of the horse. Fascinatingly the design of the first motor cars was basically to replace the horse by an engine, and retain the settee construction behind it. It was a while before some bright sparkplug realised that a car no longer needed to be designed like a cart towed by an engine, and could be redesigned altogether. We see this assumption effect in other innovations, for example the QWERTY typewriter keyboard still used today for computers and screens, whose origins and international variations were actually to avoid key jamming. The fact that we still use the QWERTY keypad layout is powerful example of an inertia and habit passed down through the generations, and retained by industry, that makes innovation obvious to a three-year-old completely elusive to every adult on the planet. Did you know that the longest word that can be typed on the top row of the QWERTY keyboard is 'TYPEWRITER'? Legend says that this results from the ease with which the manufacturers wanted its salesman to be able to type 'TYPEWRITER QUOTE', which is not true, probably. We will perhaps all adopt voice technology one day when it can at last be perfected or made as quick as typing, or have microchips and transmitters installed in our brains at birth, so we can communicate freely without any separate devices, which I suppose would mean fewer lost children in shops, etc., although a chip in the brain is no guarantee they'd come home on time for tea or bed, unless some sort of remote control function were to become the norm. Spinning wheels were invented in India about 3,000 years ago, when they were basically wholly useful to society, but much later they were developed to such an impactful technological degree, along with other textile factory machinery in the 18-19th centuries, that caused wrecking and violence by workers, shootings, hangings and deportations. Interestingly the real Ned Ludd, whose reported 1779 rage against the machine, in a simple loss of temper rather than revolt, is the origin of the term 'Luddite' [meaning originally a machinery wrecker, and now meaning someone who resists new technology] was born and worked as a weaver in Anstey, Leicester, the founding home of Businessballs. The Catherine wheel [nowadays a type of circular spinning firework] was the name given to the 'breaking wheel', basically a cart wheel to which a person was tied and tortured, after the legend of St Catherine of Alexandria of Roman Egypt, who apparently shattered a breaking wheel (c.305) with the touch of her hand when her captors tried to tie her to it. So she was then beheaded. This might be fake news. Catherine's martyrdom later inspired Joan of Arc incidentally. Breaking wheels were still in use in the 1700s, when crowds would come to see victims being thrashed and beaten to death, for entertainment. At some point some people in government decided that popular appeal need not determine how law be made, and the 'breaking wheel' public entertainment practice was ceased, which is a lesson for the modern age. Sometimes leadership has to step in and protect people from themselves and the 'free market'. It's interesting that modern cars use essentially the original cartwheel technology, although modern engine-powered cars have become one of the most damaging technologies on Earth, in terms of virtually everything, except for emergencies. Cars cause natural resource depletion, pollution, waste, environmental harm, bad air quality, accidents/fatalities, and the epidemic of obesity and poor health. Modern cars have also enabled and encouraged community/family fragmentation and isolation, commuting stress, road building, and the oil and petrochemicals industry, etc. A horse and cart is in every way more healthy, as is a bicycle, but humans like convenience, especially when it's all shiny, travels at a ridiculously unnecessarily fast and dangerous speed, and is marketed to appeal to our less sensible motivations, which are in truth impossible to satisfy with a car, no matter how fast and shiny it is. Cars and their related industries are very big business though, and employers, and of course now, albeit to a lesser extent than we mostly think, a vital part of the modern world, and there's no reverse.)
- Who of these is considered by many to be the greatest science and technology thinker in history: Michelangelo; Raphael; Donatello; or Leonardo? Leonardo (Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519. The others were geniuses too, famous like da Vinci for their paintings. Leonardo da Vinci was also a polymath, meaning a multi-talented generalist excelling in many disciplines, which in his case included painting and sculpting, maths and science, technology and invention, architecture, music, engineering, literature, astronomy, botany, writing, history, anatomy, geology, cartography, and more. He was born in Italy, 'out of wedlock', and had no special advantage, as we might imagine many great thinkers to have enjoyed. While many of his inventions were not published, his drawings show that he conceived the parachute, helicopter and tank, among many other ideas that could not possible have been made until hundreds of years later. This is vision. His art is extraordinary: the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, the iconic anatomical Vitruvian Man drawing for example. We can perhaps be inspired more by his technological inventiveness and passion for discovery and understanding things. This is something we can all do. We cannot all paint like da Vinci, but there is absolutely nothing that stops us thinking like him, if we choose to open our minds to learning, and if we lift the limits of our imaginings that life tends to impose. Leonardo didn't have Google and the internet. We do. We can learn anything we want, and really, we can become anything we want to be.)
- What is the name of the IBM computer that eventually controversially beat chess genius Gary Kasparov in a rematch in 1997? Deep Blue (Kasparov won the first series in 1996. The subject of computer vs human in chess is controversial because of the fine margins involved and the effect of playing conditions, rules, and transparency. Kasparov has said more recently that a computer should beat a human because chess is a 'closed system' of possibilities and subject to perfect programming and operation would never make a mistake, whereas a human is likely to. Computers do not get physically or mentally tired, whereas humans do. Kasparov knows what he is talking about; he was undefeated world champion for 20 years and is by considerable degree the best chess player in history. Significantly this question illustrates that a computer, extending to Artificial Intelligence, is only as clever as its programming by humans. We can wonder at the potential for computers to learn and reprogram themselves, while remembering that ultimately this capability is also dependent on human programming in the first place. Artificial Intelligence is already very clever indeed, but is some way from being cleverer than the human brain, in all aspects of brain function. The perceived threat to civilisation from Artificial Intelligence and computing power is reasonable, but from the perspective of how humankind has come to depend on computing in the management of life and systems, rather than the notion that computers will evolve to be a competing force against humans. Artificial Intelligence is a tool - a technology - just like fire, it needs using carefully. Artificial Intelligence per se will not compete with and displace human civilisation, but computer technology could lead to a situation that civilisation is ended, or humans replaced by some sort of hybrid homo/computer species, due to human choices of how we use computing technology in future years. The signs are not healthy from a homo sapiens standpoint, because we seem so determined to merge computing hardware and software with human existence. The use of a computerized artificial limb, connected electronically to an amputee's brain and nerve system is a fabulous use of computing technology. So is a computerised heart pacemaker. But the societal behavioural effects of social media and other decision-making apps, or arguably the habitual unnecessary use of satnav, are more worrying ideas. If humankind's thinking becomes depending on or controlled by computerised systems, especially when we put Artificial Intelligence into the mix, whereby computer systems evolve without embedding health and responsibility and human checks and interventions into the system evolution, then we will become Homo-computers quite soon. Incidentally navigation and walking are related to memory. Use it or lose it.)
- Horse height is counted in what very old unit of measurement? Heads; Hands Feet; or Legs? Hands (This ancient technological measurement system is based on the width of a hand being 4inches, or nowadays also 10cms. It's used widely in the English-speaking world. The use of the hand in this context dates back to biblical times and prior, like many other measurement units based on body parts, and other natural things such as a grain, and was standardized in England in the 16th century. The hand remains a modern unit of measurement, for a given application, and there is seemingly no great need to change it. There are many such examples of technologies and systems we do not need to change, although many are changed, and commonly for reasons that do not really serve us well. As ever we need to consider when change is actually necessary, especially if change is likely to be unhelpful or unhealthy.)
- In December 2017 the UK's Institute for Public Policy Research 'Think Tank' forecast what % of UK jobs could be automated by c.2030/40: 5%; 12%; 26%; or 44%? 44% (This equates to nearly 14 million jobs. The Bank of England carried out a similar study in 2015 and estimated 15million jobs to be liable for automation. These will be in the lowest earning demographics, and the poorest people in society. Senior workers able to retrain would benefit from higher productivity. The most senior people and investment communities would not need to retrain, and would benefit even more. Think what this will mean for society. Think what this will mean for equality. Think what this means for young people. Think who will benefit from this and who will suffer. Throughout history humankind has hoped and expected that technology advancement will make life easier, with more leisure time, more wealth for everyone, and a better quality of life for us all. But that is not what has happened. Technology advancement, combined with poor regulation and governance, and the globalized economy, has produced increasing inequality, mental and physical health problems greater than at any time in history, and prospects for children that are worse than for their parents. We need to think about all this very carefully, and take more of an interest and active purpose in challenging inertia and assumptions. Leaders have a particular responsibility to look beyond profit and short-term considerations. The world is changing faster than societal education and governance can adapt. And so we need to find new ways to innovate and develop solutions to these fundamental questions.)
- Marc Benioff, founder/CEO of $4bn B2B cloud services corporation Salesforce.com, at Davos 2018 became another senior internet expert to liken platforms like Facebook to: Fire; The Wheel; Religion; or Cigarettes? Cigarettes (The point Marc Benioff was making is that big business and technological development have produced a product that is designed to be addictive and can be damaging to health and society in many ways. The developers and corporations responsible for the product are not sufficiently responsible for the consequences of their design. Leaders and development geniuses do not intend to do harm, but they do. Society and users are mostly not aware of the risks either. And regulators and governments and educators are very late and acting much to too slowly in understanding the risks and applying necessary control to the producers, and information and help to users. Benioff might arguably have a separate aim in criticizing competitors to Salesforce.com, but he is not alone, and many critics have no competing aims, instead simply an insightful awareness of the problem, which is supported by all research, especially statistics about mental illness and stress in society and young people especially. Social media is much like any other new popular technology in being potentially helpful, and potentially harmful, like fire. Tobacco and cigarettes are basically 100% harmful of course, whereas Facebook enables a great amount of good, as well as bad, but the analogy is still appropriate – in that society needs protecting from big business innovations that contain great health risks.)
- Name the space telescope successor to Hubble, to be launched in 2019? James Webb (James Webb, second administrator of NASA, integral to the Apollo program. The telescope is an extraordinary example of technological development and production. Its mirrors are 18 hexagonal segments which must open out to a span of 6.5 metres in space in sub-zero temperatures. The tolerance of accuracy is 20 nanometres – basically atomic degree. The telescope mirrors are eight years to build and the entire equipment must work right first time, a million miles from Earth. The mirrors will collect photons 13.5 billion years old from the beginning of time. Humankind can create such wonderful technology, and yet we cannot stop a million people taking their own lives every year due to our crazy world, and over 2 billion people lack safe drinking water in their homes.. https://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/)
- Where did multi-billionaire Elon Musk put his Tesla sports car with mannequin driver in February 2018: Harrods window; The Mariana Trench; The White House lawn; or Outer space? Outer Space (Musk, a self-made technology genius, is so wealthy, ambitious and visionary that he can pursue opportunities beyond global, which is fascinating in itself. He is South-African, b.1971, Canadian and American, and dropped out of university to become an entrepreneur. His initial fortunes were made in software development sold to Compaq, and online payments technology which became Paypal, sold to Ebay. Musk founded/funded the Tesla electric car corporation. His old Tesla car was used as a quirky test cargo instead of pointless ballast for the trial launch of the largest rocket launch ever, called Falcon Heavy, part of Musk's SpaceX development, seeking to extend humankind's colonization of other planets. The Tesla car and space-suited mannequin driver, plus a few other oddities, including David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' song playing on a loop, symbolises creativity as central to entrepreneurialism. Musk dreams very big dreams. The sort of dreams that children and teenagers are told not to be silly to have. We could muse as to the need perhaps to fix the existing world, before we try to inhabit and export our human chaos to other worlds, but as with any technological advance, it is within our own hands and choices whether to do good things or unhelpful things using human invention. Musk is also an inspiration for other people in this world who are from mixed immigrant 'ordinary' broken family backgrounds (because that's his upbringing). If he can do it - fly his own electric sports car to outer space on his own biggest-ever-rocket-in-history - then anyone can..)
- The technologies TMO, VAR, Hawk-Eye and Cyclops feature in: Traffic; Warfare; Sport; or Surgery? Sport (TMO is Television Match Official, seen in rugby and many other sports. VAR is Video Assistant Referee, most commonly seen in soccer, eventually tested and introduced in the mid/late 2010s, when the need and opportunity existed in the 1960s. Hawk-eye and its predecessor Cyclops are computerised camera technologies used in line/ball adjudications, adopted in tennis in 1980, cricket 1992, and soccer goal line adjudication very much later, in 2013-15. It's fascinating that many sports, notably association football, have delayed so long in testing and adopting technology to reduce human error in refereeing, when the financial and societal consequences of human error can be so serious. This is ironic when much of society is victim in one way or another to the reckless promotion and unquestioning adoption of other types of technologies. The cause of late adoption of helpful technology, and also the cause of the unregulated use of harmful of technology, is poor human governance. There are critics of course of the introduction of technologies which interrupt match flow, or the regulation of anything that supposedly breaches human rights, but this is not a strong argument for the determined preservation of human error or abuse in any system when its consequences are so serious. We do not complain (much) at delays when an aircraft is grounded because technology discovers hairline cracks in an engine. Nor do we complain when technology takes a while in medicine to save lives. This is because the role of technology is immediately and obviously clear. When the role of technology is less clear, humans are prone to make wrong decisions about it. Human relationships with technology are characterized by inertia, short-termism, and urgent gratification or habit or addiction. At a governance and societal level we tend to resist the disruptive effect of technological change even if it will bring improved safety, fairness, decision-making, etc., and we also tend not to challenge or examine new technologies that appeal to our sense of inertia or short-term gratification, even if the effects are harmful. Big business knows quite a lot about this and so do governments, throughout history. Hence there is an enormous responsibility for aspiring leaders in all aspects of life to think very carefully about technology, and not to allow governance to be shaped by ignorance and apathy. Leaders have a responsibility to educate followers about technology (and any other important matters too), rather than basing decisions on the tolerance and acceptance of followers who do not understand what they are tolerating and accepting. In all this, transparency is crucial. Obviously people learn about things when there is transparency, whereas people remain largely ignorant when there is little or no transparency, and especially if there is misinformation, which is so often supported or produced by certain types of governance and leadership. Good leaders maximise transparency. Good governance maximises transparency.
- Fentanyl is part of what societal crisis of technology and business in the USA, also emerging elsewhere: Steroid; Rheumatoid; Opioid; or Hemorrhoid? Opioid (Wikipedia offers a helpful summary, Feb 2018: “The opioid epidemic or opioid crisis is the rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States and Canada beginning in the late 1990s and continuing throughout the first two decades of the 2000s. Opioids are a diverse class of moderately strong painkillers, including oxycodone [commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet], hydrocodone [Vicodin], and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. The potency and availability of these substances, despite their high risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as formal medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression, and may cause respiratory failure and death..” The fast escalating opioid crisis killed over 64,000 Americans in 2016; that's more than breast cancer, more than murders, and more than the entire Vietnam war. Big business is making a lot of money from this, and big business has caused the problem. Lifestyle is responsible for much of the need of painkillers, which is another problem of course, but here we see another example of the devastating consequences on society from the combination of a dangerous technology, poor regulation, and poor business ethics. We should consider also that the consequences are not limited to the 64,000 deaths.. the collateral damage arising from those deaths to society and economy is incalculable. The USA authorities made additional errors in losing visibility and control of shipments and availabilities of opioids, but without this compounding mistake, the risks and effects of opioids addiction and overdose are being seen in many other countries. Societies everywhere are using more opioids, and the default position of the pharmaceutical industry is to continue marketing and selling these drugs very determinedly.)
- Put these inventions in order, oldest first: Gun&Cannon, Barbed wire, Electronic digital computer, Light bulb, Compact Disc/CD, Glassware, Magnetic compass, Soap, Ballpoint pen? Glassware (2,600BC), Soap (2,500BC), Gun&Cannon (3rdC BC), Magnetic compass (1st C), Barbed wire (1867), Light bulb (1879), Ballpoint pen (1938), Electronic digital computer (1946), Compact Disc/CD (1979) (We are open to debate on some of these but broadly this is right we believe. The main point is that technological innovation is not a smooth straight line, nor very logical, and many things last for thousands of years, and other things are fleeting, and we need to consider what enables a technology, perhaps in a particular version, to endure for hundreds of thousands of years, whereas others in whatever versions are not sustainable, or are not fundamentally good and sensible. For example many technologists argue very reasonably that Roman concrete is superior and better in several ways than modern concrete – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_concrete. We can also point to old forgotten methods of healthcare and medicine. And transport, most obviously: for example bicycles and stairs are better than cars and lifts/elevators in so many situations and for so many people. A wind-up alarm clock is so much healthier than a smartphone next to your head all night. We can argue that the pen and paper is still much better and healthier and more creatively amenable than a screen. Technology is increasingly driven by commercial aims, and not by what works best. We can question all these things more than we do. It's important that we do, because our choices as consumers are in many ways more important than the choices and decisions of leaders and politicians and regulators. Every technology, good or bad, depends on a market of users and buyers to sustain it.)
- In the context of emerging medical technology that relates to the brain, BCI (sometimes referred as BMI) refers to what; brain contribution immersion, brain computer interface, brain connection immersion, brain computer interface? Brain computer interface (Brain machine interface) This is an emerging field within the neurotechnology industry which is itself within the medical technology industry. There are a few aims of the technology, one of the main ones includes a seamless integration of thought to a prosthetic device, allowing a person who has lost a limb to control a prosthetic one with their mind. More commercial applications would aim to control technological devices within the home (such as the TV, laptop, heating) with the brain. The research is in its very primitive stages as research into understanding the brain is more primitive than the technology available.
- What is the test, named after a well known computer scientist, that determines whether a machine exhibits sufficient intelligence to be indistinguishable from a human; The Turing Test, The Benson Test, The Enigma Test, The Espy Test? The Turing Test. The Turing test is named after Alan Turing who worked on artificial intelligence 10 years prior to the emergence of the field. The idea behind the test is that a human would evaluate which of two different conversations was with a human or a machine. All participants would be separated from another, and the conversations were limited to text to avoid the machines ability to render speech a parameter. If the evaluator could not reliably determine which response comes from a machine, the machine is said to be Turing complete. Turing is also famously known for working on a code breaking machine known as the Bombe which deciphered the German enigma code used to scramble German naval messages. Estimates of how many lives saved from his machine vary, but some argue it prevented two years of war, suggesting saving 2 million lives. Turing ended up marrying one of his Hut 8 colleagues Joan Clarke, but before marriage admitted to his homosexuality. A few years later he met started a relationship with another man named Arnold Murray. On 23rd January 1952 Turing’s house was burgled, and Murray admitted the burglar was an acquaintance. Turing reported the crime, and during the investigation admitted to his sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexuality in Britain was against the law at this time, and so during the trial Turing pleaded guilty and was given the option of imprisonment or a form of chemical castration. Turing chose the latter and was banned from carrying on with cryptographic consulting for the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ).
- What law states that the processing power of integrated circuits doubles every year; Gordon’s law, Moore’s Law, Feynman’s law, Einstein’s law? Moore’s law. Moore’s law comes from Gordon Moore who co-founded Intel and wrote in a 1965 paper about the doubling of the number of transistors on an integrated circuit and predicted the growth would continue into the next decade, and in 1974 revised the theory to state the growth would continue doubling every 2 years. This is one of the primary reasons behind the rate of increase in technological advancement. Recently however there has been a stall in the rate of increase due to the limit of how small transistors can get, and therefore the power of these circuits has plateaued. This is causing research into other ways to increase the speed of computers, including the potential use of the electron spin representing binary code giving rise to quantum computers that could be far more powerful than what we have today.
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