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JerseyBoy

Do You Feel the USA is Lagging Behind in Technology?

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Obviously the United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries on the Earth but after reading endless articles about the iPhone (deciding whether to get one or wait) it got me thinking about the state of technology in our country. In other countries (primarily in Europe and Asia) your cell phone acts as "your life in your pocket" and you can do virtually anything with it: pay bills, monitor your running speed, unlock your car with it, etc. Here in the US we've just finally gotten around to having our phones equipped with an MP3 player and a full fledged internet browser. The iPhone comes with a new feature known as "Visual Voicemail" that is causing a lot of hype but compared to other countries it's just a common part of their phone. I know in Japan you can go to an electronics store and purchase a phone and then go to the carrier of your choice and they'll activate it for you. You're not stuck with the same phone for two years and buying it through the carrier. So do you think the US is lagging behind in technology due to corporate greed and cheapness or that we aren't "ready for it yet?"

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Just from a simple side of things, Japan and Korea are well ahead of us in robotics and other technologies. For example, video game consoles get released over in Japan before they do the United States. Phones seem to be far more advanced over there as they are in America. That's a very simple start of explaining things, but, I never been to Japan so I can't really say more than that.

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Well, we are losing in the advanced cell phone war, but we win hands down in military technology. Our medical technology is superb, and I don't think it can be surpassed by any country. We value national security and health very highly, and in the technology sector of these industries, it shows. I think (in general) Asians are more in tune with gaming and other modern technologies (that are really cool I might add but aren't that useful) than Americans, even though we do love our Xbox's, Wii's, and PS3's.

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I am not sure what "ahead" is. Sure they have fancier cell phones. They also don't have anywhere near as decent land line phones as we do. More importantly, just because a feature is offered, is that needed? Is it a matter of there simply being little need to enable your cell phone to tell you how fast you are running? For that matter, technology isn't how fancy and exciting your gizmos are - in fact I think that is a sign of a less mature status in technology - novelty is still new, where as for us, and perhaps especially more in Europe, we have become quite tired of all the change.

I do think the Us is behind technically. But I don't think it is measured by the features on our cell phones, how many buttons are on our car's dashboard, or how many heat settings out toilet seat has. I think it is measured by how well products compete in the global market, and how well our products do against other countries products. And I think our big failing is that we value business operations and stock performance over product development, engineering, and innovative thinking.

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I am not sure what "ahead" is. Sure they have fancier cell phones. They also don't have anywhere near as decent land line phones as we do. More importantly, just because a feature is offered, is that needed? Is it a matter of there simply being little need to enable your cell phone to tell you how fast you are running? For that matter, technology isn't how fancy and exciting your gizmos are - in fact I think that is a sign of a less mature status in technology - novelty is still new, where as for us, and perhaps especially more in Europe, we have become quite tired of all the change.

I do think the Us is behind technically. But I don't think it is measured by the features on our cell phones, how many buttons are on our car's dashboard, or how many heat settings out toilet seat has. I think it is measured by how well products compete in the global market, and how well our products do against other countries products. And I think our big failing is that we value business operations and stock performance over product development, engineering, and innovative thinking.

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In that case, though, I don't think it is the technological level of the US. We had picture phones back in the 90's. They failed. I think the difference is different interests I think they realized that Americans really had no interest in those features. When it comes to technology, in some ways we are quite jaded now - we see them as much as marketing gimmicks as real technological advances. We are more value conscious over here. I think that is a different thing than being technically advanced, which is about being able to understand, use, and innovate technology.

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One should note the I-phone was engineered and is manufactured by Foxconn of Taiwan. I doubt there is a place left in the USA where a similar phone could be built in a reasonable amount of time.

The USA is lagging behind because it has its priorities wrong. We sensationalize celebrities and sports figures and hold them up as heroes and deride anyone, especially in school, that takes an interest in science, math, physics, etc anything needed to do basic technical work. Go to almost any American highschool and you will find a disproportionate amount of resources devoted to football and very little towards encouraging students to get technical degrees. They know who won American Idol, they don't know who Van Braun might be. This has been pretty much been going on since the moon landings ended, so there is now a generation of adults out there who do now appreciate technology except in a material sense. So strike 1 is we are not training our kids to do technical jobs anymore.

The USA is also lagging behind because they have started outsourcing millions of technical jobs to India and China in search of short term corporate profits. This really means that we are also transferring all of the technology to support these processes to these countries and training people there with high technology. IBM invented the basic architecture for the PC that most people use today but they sold the entire business to the communist Chinese a couple of years ago. Where do you think the engineers who will build on this 25 years of American experience are located now? So strike 2 is we are giving all our technological base to competing countries and are no longer investing in it here.

The USA is also lagging behind because technical jobs in this country have become a thankless job subject to incompetent and technically ignorant management who constantly threaten this base with layoffs, job changes, and reductions to menial jobs. And while companies are laying off tens of thousands of workers each year, they are also urging the government to increase the quote of H1B visas so that low paying technical people from 3rd world countries can come here to do the same work. So strike 3 is that for the technical people we still have, they are leaving the field to pursue other jobs.

We all know what 3 strikes mean. (we should since sports are so important now)

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metro, you hit that one straight out of the park (more sports). I just can't believe how many kids are not interested in science or engineering anymore. They basically don't want to work for it.

Now that I think about it, "I don't want to work for it," may be the root of the problem...

BTW, back when I was a missile engineer, I had a supervisor who worked for von Braun back in Huntsville. He said the man was brilliant, and motivated those around him.

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The USA is also lagging behind because technical jobs in this country have become a thankless job subject to incompetent and technically ignorant management who constantly threaten this base with layoffs, job changes, and reductions to menial jobs.

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Yes, in this day & age it is much "cooler" to be dumb and just coast through life rather than work hard and be smart. Some children do have interests in engineering but don't to work for it as it would take too much energy and knowing that most parents will bail them out. I think it is rather sad that we have most technology jobs being outsourced to foreign countries for the sake of saving a dollar. It makes me wonder what jobs will still be available in this country in 20-30 years?

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I agree with monsoon and would add that in America, quality has been replace with profit.

As for the hype with the I-phone, I don

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But that is just it. In America, technology is trumped by wow factor. We no longer get excited over new features or new technologies - we get excited over new interfaces and new form factors. And I am not so sure it's that kids today are lazy, as much as technology and science is a lot less exciting to them than business, sales, and sports. It's that sports thing again - action and competition - we don't like the hard facts stuff as much as physical strength and winning.

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