"The Wright Brothers, Howard Hughes and the founder of Boeing have several things in common with each other. They are all innovators that brought on early adopters. The Wright Brothers led the way into flight while others that followed continue to improve the way to travel farther and faster than ever before. Not all advancement in aviation has led to intended results."
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My initial understanding and appreciation of technology came from paying close attention to how my father viewed technology, while the military introduced me to cultural diversity.
My earliest memories of technology started in the early 1980’s when my father bought his first computer. I believe it was a Tandy computer. My father had to program this device, while using the television as a monitor. I was drawn in (an early adopter) by my father’s excitement over this new device he claimed would save him time with log notes and important documents. However, he did not realize that he would spend more time programming the machine to do what he wanted than actually accomplishing his intended goals.
After a few months or so, Commodore came out with the Commodore 64 which was a huge step forward from the Tandy. The Commodore 64 allowed my father to accomplish his goals for log notes and accounting. The rapid technological advancement of computers in the 80’s paved the way for high speed computers of the late 90’s along with the internet. Jerry (my father) was always an early adopter for technology and still is today.
I grew up in a small town with no cultural and ethnic diversity. The population of my town (Port Hope, Michigan) was approximately 300 people. Technology was limited to what how much farmers could produce in a good year with the equipment they had. Wealth was measured not by how much money a person had, but how much land they owned. My friend Dan bragged about his newly acquired forty acres of land and a brand new International Harvester. His new found wealth was the talk of the town. Today, not much has changed in this small town. There are no stop lights, ATM machines, and cable television, not to mention cell phone reception. The need for these items does not exist as people prefer personal banking (to keep the gossip going). Farmers and construction workers spend twelve to fifteen hours a day outdoors, and therefore have no time for cable television or internet.
I left Port Hope, Michigan in June 1988 and went off to the Marine Corps where they opened my eyes immediately to cultural diversity. My first duty station was Okinawa, Japan. I spent thirteen months there and traveled to five other Asian countries. The customs and traditions were much different than the United States, but the technology in stereo systems and other electronics blew the doors off of what we would get back home. The economy in Japan at the time was extremely competitive to other wealthy countries. The connection between the have’s and have not of the world is education and existing reproducible resources.