With the onset of globalization and innovation of technology, trend of the life has shifted bringing more changes, both good and bad. This paper will be answering various issues concerning the influences of globalization and technology.
New Technology and Globalization
1. Dr. Muqtedar Khan once said, “The great sense of insecurity that terrorism now inspires in the US economy and the government, the two most important forces behind globalization, has resulted in a reassertion of sovereignty by the US and other nations” (GlocalEye, 2008).
When the idea of globalization came into reality, US and other great nations were focusing on the improvements of economy, political ties, and humanitarian works, alleviating poverty, and aiming to create the whole world as one place to live in. The international community was never bothered so much with international terrorism. But not until Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center in New York City was smashed by two airplanes and the Pentagon as well. That very moment, the whole world was shocked and dumbfounded. Death toll increased everyday. Billions of dollars were lost. Thousands were paralyzed by the dreadful experience. The whole nation was filled with sorrow and the whole world cried in grief. The very symbol of America’s capitalism turned into ashes while its emblem for global power belittled and threatened. The attack was concluded as a war against democracy. It was also concluded as a threat to US national and global security. That very moment changed America.
At that very point, people were filled with questions and long had they found the answer; it was an act of terrorism. Right after that unforgettable and unwanted event, the US government maximized their efforts in search for who, why, when, and how of the event. Finally, they were able to trace the perpetrators. It was the Al- Qaeda. Like US, many other nations condemned the Al- Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, and many others. As America changed its usual course, so did the other nations. A single event was turned into a global concern. International leaders jerked into global meeting, looking into measures to combat terrorism. The great nations joined their hands to wage wars against terrorism because the 9/11 was considered as a crime against humanity (Nassar, 2004, p. 10).
The 9/11 attack shifted the focus of administration’s into countering terrorism. The national defense, military and civilian police, and naval forces were strengthened. Budget for national defense was increased right after the attack. Surveillance was actively conducted in all borders. All became vigilant. In addition, the port of entries was strictly monitored and all persons coming in and out of the country were checked and their visas were scrutinized. The security measures were indeed heightened and on its maximum alert.
All possibilities of terrorist activities were halted and investigated. Privacy of individuals was also invaded because of mandatory taking of personal information of suspected individuals. All banks were alerted to trace for suspicious transactions which may be used to fund terrorist activities. T he privacy of individuals in making deposits, withdrawals, and transfer was investigated by the banks. Flow of communications was also tracked for possible information that may lead to the perpetrators. Unfortunately, the 9/11 paved the way to an intensified discrimination against Arabs and Muslims as they were associated with terrorists, Al Qaeda, and Saddam Hussein. Unfairly, they were subjected to rigid examination and investigation before they can travel or transact in banks. These were assesses as a result of US insecurities on terrorism.
Globally, the 9/11 has also influenced the international community through US foreign policies. This has also resulted in the unfinished war against Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, and Afghanistan in order to suppress the main source of terrorism. Many countries, like France, Japan, and other allies of US supported the war by sending their troops in the war, without any second thought. US also founded many military exercises in their allied countries like Philippines. Moreover, serious sanctions were waiting for countries that will violate terrorism policies or to support the enemies. At the height of the 9/11 issue, it can be observed that everyone was very eager to hound and kill the enemies.
Now, after almost seven years, Bin Laden was said to be suppressed while Saddam Hussein was killed. The death sentence and the actual killing of Saddam Hussein in the public’s eye were considered justified. Many rejoiced while many Saddam supporters angered. It may be considered that the fight against terrorism was successful. However, Iraq still remained hostile and its government is unstable while Afghanistan has been gravely destructed. Despite the effect of the war, terrorism is still remained as an active agenda of the government.
For the whole period, from the start of 9/11 attack and at present, it can be observed that security was the main issue and the main factor that has changed the history of US and other European nations. Each country reasserted sovereignty over governance and economy. Foreign policies were shaped focusing on curbing terrorism. The military force was being intensified. Millions of dollars were spent to intensify, improve, and upgrade their intelligence forces in order to ensure their success. Millions of dollars were also consumed to humanitarian works in the bombarded nations. The economy was also seen to have suffered much because of the war. An international trade where a great percentage of profit comes from was also perceived to have been compromised because of policies against terrorism. The airlines’ profit has been affected due to the mandatory implementation of anti- terrorism measures. Travels also lessen. Moreover, the 9/11 brought the US and other European nation in the state of paranoia
Through the war, the US and other great nations have also asserted their sovereignty over enemies. US, most especially, acclaimed sovereignty by leading the course of the International Community into the suppression of the terrorists. Japan, for example, was moved to possibly change its laws by ignoring the Constitutional mandate not to use its defense to external wars for it actively contributed military power in the war in Iraq. Other super powers like France and Germany also strengthened their foreign policies on terrorism. Other allies and friends of US, as well, have drafted laws specifically countering terrorism. They are indeed united with one cause. Terrorism was eventually a global concern.
At present, the ghost of the bombing still lingers and the threat to security still haunts each nation and the war still continues. Even if the mourning of the victims have pacified, the major purpose of governing is still focused on fighting terrorism. Economic globalization as has been initiated by the World Trade Organization has shifted to geopolitics on terrorism led by subsequent bomb threats in other parts of the world (GlocalEye, 2008). Terrorism became the major enemy of the global nation (Nassar, 2004, p. 5). And once again, history is repeating itself. On the bases of democracy, sovereignty is being reasserted by US and other super powers, making terrorism as a legal ground. The economy and the government, being the backbone of globalization were affected by the insecurities of US as caused by the bombings.
2. Jeremy Kiplin once said, “When all forms of communication become commodities, then culture, the stuff of communications, inevitably becomes a commodity as well” (Suck, 2008).
Communication is basically defined as “the process of transmission of information of an originator to a receiver by means of the use of a message that it goes from one to another across a channel” (Mind Graph, 2008). Communication is indeed essential to express thoughts, ideas, feelings, or anything to other. It is also a means to build understanding in a culturally diverse world, as well as the medium to educate. Moreover, it is the medium that binds the people within a community or culture. Furthermore, it is a channel that passes the belief, behavior and knowledge of the old age to the present age.
In the olden age, the forms of communication were quite complicated and require effort. Through the use of a float or gong, the entire tribe would already be alarmed or informed of impending enemies. A dance was also a form of expressing love to a young woman. In the Inca civilization, the means of transmitting a message between cities was done through chasqui (Crystalinks, 2008). Chasquis are young men who relay the message to another by running a kilometer away until he reaches another chasqui in a post, and then, the latter would also run to another chasqui until the message reaches Sapa Inca (Crystalinks, 2008). Among the deaf and mute, expression of their feelings or thoughts is done through a sign language.
Then, at the onset of modernization, the forms of communication improved. The telephone that was introduced in 1876 made man able to talk to someone miles away. Use of telegrams and letters were also introduced. From there, communication was made easy. Information was flowing in all directions freely and without many barriers. Distance was not a problem. Anybody was open for any current events or for impending disaster through the radio. Through print media, television, and radio, communication was made more interesting, entertaining and the eagerness for more information intensified. People were actively informed of various things about other people, places, things and everything without a price. People’s knowledge has increased and awareness to governmental activities heightened.
Then, the innovation of technological gadgets came. Computers, palm tops, beepers, pagers, cell phones, internet, and other communication and information transmission gadgets came into evolution. Communication was made even more improved and the flow of information has even been made boundless. Today’s communication trend has really been dependent on technological gadgets. The internet, most especially, has shifted the normal transfer of information into an easy, accessible, limitless, efficient, and effective process. In just a click of a mouse or a browse of a website, various kinds of information are offered for a particular search. A degree can also be earned through the internet, offered by various universities. Business has also been done without hassles. Shopping can be done online while money can be transferred just a click of “enter”. Other transactions were made easy through the use of internet. Even in the remotest place, access to any information was made easy. These things are actually serving various purposes, good and bad, confidential and public, etc.
Today, it seems that all forms of communication are becoming a commodity. This is so because all sorts of communication have a tag price. The communication channels being used now, like cell phones, fax machines, computer, pagers, etc are subjected to trade or carries a price. In order to improve the communication of people, big manufacturing companies started to produce these gadgets. In addition, the channel for information flow such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines, etc also carries a price. More than that, a conversation is also subjected to trade. Every message sent cost a penny. An hour of conversation over the phone is billed by communication companies. Also, every log in or use of internet to check emails, surf for information, doing research, shop, transact, and others requires money for the connection. Thus, social interactions and activities cost money. These were the creation of the sprung of Microsoft, Dell, and other major cell phone companies such as Panasonic, Samsung, among others.
Moreover, the mass media where information from different parts of the world is transmitted to different receivers are also subjected to trade. As Ben Bagdikian pointed out, the mainstream of news becomes heavily weighted by the political and economic interest it may bring to the corporation (Film and Television, 2008). Important facts and events may be compromised for economic gains. The people may not be informed well and the information may be controlled by corporations. Thus, the information that is transmitted to the people is limited and may not be accurate sometimes.
Furthermore, the innovation of to day is fully different from the old era. Before, people knowledge passed among people even without internet. They were also able to relay message even without cell phones. Businesses survived and profited even without computers, fax machines etc. People were entertained with radio and television. Interactions before were free, but today, it is very expensive. At present, forms of communication are being used as business and so the culture or the interaction, being a stuff of communication also becomes a commodity. Today, people found it hard without these new technological gadgets. Socializing was impossible without cell phones, beepers or pagers. Entertainment was not limited to radio or television but the need for Ipod and others were demanded. Exchange of knowledge was done through internet. In addition, people cannot access the news or answers to their questions without buying newspapers or surfing the internet through their laptops, computers, or handy phones. Interaction was difficult without all these communication gizmos. Trend has indeed shifted to gizmos. Indeed, all aspect of life requires these new communication forms are required and all these forms can only be acquired through money.
3. Information age and globalization are coeval and interrelated. This is so because centuries ago, the evolution of new technology was predicted by many experts and has also been written in the Bible. So did the concept of globalization. The idea of globalization was derived from various events in human’s history such as the circumnavigation, the Great Depression, expansion of world trade and investment, capitalism, the French revolution, and the two world wars. The apprehension of information age was also brought about by remarkable events in history, such as epoch of invention age, military computations during the wars, development of machines, and period of industrialization.
Meanwhile, information age is defined as the period beginning around 1970 and noted for the abundant publication, consumption, and manipulation of information, especially by computer networks (Free Online Dictionary, 2008). This also refers to the present era of technological innovation. According to Roland Robertson, “globalization as a concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as whole… both concrete global interdependence and consciousness of the global whole” (Waters, 2001, p. 4). In short, it is creating the whole world into a single place (Woodiwiss, 1998, p. 28).
In addition, information age and globalization are coeval because they were both introduced in 1990’s. More than that, they are intertwined because one cannot exist without the other (Burbach, et. al., 2001, p.51). While globalization denotes the expansion of the capital, production and markets on a planetary level, information age refers to the technologies that facilitate the globalization process (Burbach, et. al., 2001, p.51). Moreover, the expansion and the increasing production of the computers, communication networks, digital technologies, and other activities of information age provides the basic framework of the occurrence of globalization (Burbach, et. al., 2001, p.51). Concurrently, the persistent advancing of globalization generates an ever- increasing demand for these new technologies (Burbach, et. al., 2001, p.51).
Today, the economic, political, and social aspects of life have been potentially influenced by information age and globalization. The creation of UN, WTO, OPEC and others are the genesis for creating one place and one rule that each nation has to follow. In economy, the nations adhered to globalization by lifting the barriers, such as taxes, on the smooth flow of free trade. Exports and imports were lax. Investments grew even more. Business opportunities rapidly increased. Money transactions were widespread. Communication was frequent. Millions of jobs were also created through the free trade. And because of a wider avenue for economic improvement, competitions among countries and businesses heightened. Life was changed and everything moved rapidly. However, all of these cannot be facilitated without technology. With all the rapid and increasing transactions brought about by globalization, man cannot handle all the work and the need for machines was recognized. Then new technology also began. Eventually, computers, fax machines, ATMs, telephones, cell phones, etc. were introducing. These technological gadgets have made works that man hardly handles. They make the work of man easier, efficient, effective, and faster. Companies have shifted to newer technology in the manufacturing of their products in order to compete and able to supply their increasing customers. These technologies introduced were able to produce more than a man can with assurance of its quality. Now, technology plays a dynamic role.
Another example of the interrelation of globalization and information age as an effect of free trade is the adherence of all industries to particular international policy like the ROHS or the Restriction on the Use of Hazardous Substances (ROHS, 2008). In the said policy, as an effect of growing environmental concern, a restriction on the use of hazardous substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, among others on electrical and electronic equipments was imposed (ROHS, 2008). Compliance was even made mandatory for the manufacturers. In order to implement such global policy, a technological gadget purposely to trace or test the presence of the said substances in the products has to be introduced.
Globalization and new technology have also influence the international community politically. Through the globalization, policies that deals with governance, internal and external, of each nation have to coincide with the agreed protocol, like appreciation of human rights, condemnation of extrajudicial killings, abuse of authority, among others. More than that, the information exchange between political leaders has intensified. All the barriers that may impede the political affairs of the leaders were eased by the new technology. Information gathering and exchange was made uncomplicated. For example, in the global war against terrorism, each nation have a systematic way of tracing the terrorist, they also have the common way of investigation, and the access into each others files can be done without much difficulty.
Socially, globalization and information age are interrelated in affecting the life of every individual living in this world. New innovations, technological gadgets or new trends can hardly be made known to everyone without globalization. Through globalization, anything new can legally penetrate every nation while information makes the dissemination possible through new technological gizmos.
Furthermore, through globalization, each nation can find market in other nation and these can only be made possible through new information innovation. In addition, the internet, as a stuff of information age has increased the awareness of each nation about the status of the poor nations. Through information age, an opportunity was opened for developing countries to gain access to knowledge and services from around the world that was not imagined centuries ago (Globalisation Guide.org, 2002).
In this era of globalization, new information age, indeed, plays a vital role. Information and essential international policies cannot be easily transferred without the new technologies. Globalization has also drastically improved and advanced the technological knowledge of the latecomers as well as new information age was introduced through globalization (Globalisation Guide.org, 2002). Globalization can never materialize without the information age. Information age, as well, cannot reach even the remotest place without globalization. With all the above stated, globalization and the new information age are therefore, interrelated and coeval.
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