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Idea of progress : How does the money impact the Idea of Progress?

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The Idea of Progress

I am going to talk about the notion of the Idea of progress. First of all, I would like to give a brief definition of this notion.

In my opinion, the Idea of progress can be studied from different aspects, first it can be defined like the idea that the world and the society can change positively thanks to sciences, globalization and evolution. However, the Idea of progress can sometimes be influenced by external factors such as money and others personal interests … So that’s for why the idea of progress is still debate between those who consider that it’s beneficial and those for whom it’s dangerous.

Afterwards, in order to illustrate this notion, I have chosen to talk about the impact of the money in the economic and technological progress.

        So, I’m going to attempt to answer to this question: How does the money impact the Idea of Progress?

        To answer this question, I will present three documents which we studied in class during this year. First of all, we’ll see the impact of the money on globalization; initially we’ll see the positive effects of globalization and later the negative effects. In a second time we’ll see the impact of the money in the technological progress thanks to two documents. The first one illustrates the control that money has over in the light bulb industry, and the second document is the history of the movie: The man in the white suit.

I-Globalization the essential help to implement the Idea of progress

        First of all, the aim of globalization is to benefit individual economies around the world by making markets more efficient, increasing competition, limiting military conflicts and spreading wealth more equally.

  1. Positive effects

So, globalization has a lot of positive effects, indeed it encourages and maintains good relations between countries, it prevents conflicts and wars, it helps countries to develop.  But we also notice in the document that we have studied in class that globalization effects the world in two areas: jobs and culture.

The positive effects of globalization on the culture is that people can discover new and different culture so they can test new tastes and different foods. For example, due to globalization a Filipino can drink a Coca-Cola with his Bic-Mac while those two companies are American and hamburger isn’t a local meal. To continue those two companies when they had opened their local branch, they employed natives so they contribute to the economic development of the country. Moreover, the jobs area received a lot of positive change thanks to globalization. The workers are able to successfully compete globally and have seen an increase in their salaries, the exchanges are better.

  1. Negative effects

Besides globalization has a lot of negative effects on culture and jobs area too. First, it destroys local business because they have less clientele furthermore it doesn’t support local suppliers. In the jobs area there is a lot of competition between foreigners and people who work in factories or in the service industry because a foreigner will do the same job for less money.

So, globalization has negatives and positives effects, and to sum up it help to develop different ideas but sometimes those ideas can be stopped by different reasons we’ll studied this later.

II- Money impacts on technological progress (light bulbs)

a. Obsolescence (light bulb)

Secondly, we studied an extract of a journalist article. The article’s author is Clement Wong, it has been published on September 12th 2012. This article deals with the planned obsolescence and explain how the companies made a light bulb conspiracy and how it impacts the technological progress.

So, first, in the twenty century, light bulbs were manufactured to last a lifetime with a very long-life span. They were produced to last 2.500 hours in 1924 and 1.000 hours in 1940. But the journalist explains that now they only last 10,000 hours but without continual use. Later the journalist explains what is the Phoebus Cartel and how they literally change the world of light bulb. The Phoebus Cartel was founded in January 15th 1925 in Geneva. It was an association of Osram General Electric and other electrical companies. The objective was to continue to sell light bulbs without raising prices and maintain economic stability. The aim was to control lighting manufacture and sell more incandescent light bulbs by reducing the life of light bulbs. This is literally programmed obsolescence. Programmed obsolescence is when a product is deliberately designed to have a specific life time. This is usually a shorter life of the product before it is completely worn out. It was very ingenious of Phoebus Cartel because if a product lasts for years, the business would not be profitable since people would not continue buying light bulbs. The bulbs were the first products in which programmed obsolescence was used. This will be followed by a long list of companies that are also do planned obsolescence: Apple, Epson … So here we have studied a perfect example of the impact of the money on technological advancement.


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