A couple of weeks ago
I got a random call from a recruiter who happened to stumble upon my
resume somewhere in the deep realms of the Internet. He was
wondering if I would want to explore certain "exciting"
opportunities. I said that I might.
He then noted in passing that he was looking for "qualified
high-tech professionals" and started to ask questions about my
experience and skills.
But suddenly, he totally lost interest. You see, it wasn't just
any kind of technology workers he was looking for -- just those in
Getting the Terms
This seemingly irrelevant story brings me to the very subject of
this editorial. It seems to me that behind all the hype and
buzzwords, we have somehow lost sight of what technology stands for
and what it is supposed to bring into our lives. Perhaps, now that
the new Millennium is finally upon us, this age-old topic is worth
So, let me start with the basics. According to the Random House
Webster's Dictionary, the term in question is derived from a Greek
word technologia. One of the many broad definitions that are
given is that technology is "the sum of the ways in which social
groups provide themselves with the material objects of their
Incidentally, nowhere in the dictionary is it mentioned that
technology and computers are one and the same. Which makes me wonder
as to why this seems to be the prevailing perception of the modern
What's Hot, What's
Wherever you look, there is a large emphasis being made on the
Internet and telecommunications, while almost all the other branches
of technology are literally being ignored.
Biotech makes a little splash every now and then, but industries
dealing with "minor" things like deep space exploration, ballistic
missile defense, nuclear power generation, and superconductivity are
almost totally off the public's radar.
Pay a visit to TechNewsWorld.com, a sister
site of osOpinion which collects links to technology news from
around the globe, and you will see exactly what I mean. Even after
browsing through hundreds of stories, you will be hard pressed to
find a single mention of the latest mission to Mars.
Consequently, when the "high-tech sector" is discussed, you can
bet that Lockheed Martin will not make the list, but eToys.com might
as well. Very few people really know what Lockheed does, but one can
be sure that eToys has a wide selection of Barbie dolls at discount
Technology in the
These days, a lot of the "technology reporting" revolves around
the stock performance of various companies rather than their
products. None of the almost
3,000 breakthrough patents that IBM receives each year are ever
mentioned, yet a slight fluctuation in the company's valuation is
immediately commented upon. In the nation of day traders, few
actually understand technology, but everybody follows the Nasdaq.
And, as of late, it's not even the stock prices that are taking
the spotlight, but rather the endless string of lawsuits. Everybody
is suing everybody. Governments are going after monopolies, real and
imaginary. Companies file suits and countersuits alleging patent
infringement. Common folks read these stories with much interest
without having a slightest clue about the technical issues involved.
To top it all off, disgruntled shareholders of "dot-bombs" seek
legal action against companies claiming that directors have somehow
tricked them into buying the stock. I suggest that failed former
multi-billionaire CEO's of these struggling e-commerce outfits
should get together and countersue day traders for irresponsible
behavior. That would be the real judgment day!
As for technology … well, who cares about technology? Watching
stock tickers and reading legal briefs is a lot more fun anyway.