“Necessity is the mother of invention. ” I have heard or read this statement several times in the past. Whenever the subject of discussion is technology and innovation, someone always mentions this statement or something similar to it. In Jared Diamond’s discussion of the history of technology, he brought to light some inconsistencies with regards to such statement. Furthermore, Diamond highlighted some common misconceptions regarding differences in technological advancement in various parts of the world.
I do agree with Diamond that a need for something is not always the driving reason why things are invented. I realized that people are often content with the stuff that is available to them. Most people make do with what they have. A good example that I thought of after reading the said chapter were mobile phones. Before the invention of mobile phones, there was no perceived need for such devices. People were more than content with using phones in their houses or using payphones when they were out of the house.
However, when mobile phones were introduced in the market, people began to realize that there was a need for it. Although not everyone jumped on the bandwagon right away, sooner or later, people began accepting mobile phones as an integral part of their life. As such, today, people see mobile phones as a necessity rather than a luxury. Thus, Jared Diamond made an interesting point when he contradicted the statement, “Necessity is the mother of invention. ” Another important idea that Diamond brought up is that continental differences do not dictate the advancement of technology.
Not all inventions sprout from modernized or highly-industrialized societies. Indeed certain societies continue to utilize outdated practices or tools but this does not mean that the people of the said society are not capable of coming up with inventions. Moreover, not because certain societies are delayed in making use of newly developed technologies means that people in the society are capable of innovation that people in other societies. Diamond was right by pointing out that brilliant minds are not determined by what continent they are in.
The primary reason why inventions are most commonly found in industrialized societies is because such societies are more open to change and are more conducive to the development of technology. The principle of adapting new technologies being dependent on continental differences is completely inconsistent. Going back to the example of the use of mobile phones, it is interesting to note that a third world country leads the whole world in the number of text messages or SMS sent every day.
In 2002, Pertierra et al reported that the Philippines is heralded as the text messaging capital of the world with more than 100 million text messages sent around the country every day. Text messaging is a relatively new technology that was only recently adopted by Americans. However, the said technology has long been part of Philippine society, a society which is by far less industrialized than the American society.
From this example, it is clear that Jared Diamond was correct to point out that continental differences do not define where technology is developed and adapted. Necessity is not the mother of invention. Jared Diamond made the truth behind this statement evident and I agree with it completely. Works Cited Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel. 1997. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Pertierra, Raul, Ugarte, Eduardo, Pingol, Alicia, Hernandez, Joel, and Dacanay, Nikoy. Txting selves: Cellphone and Philippine Modernity. 2002. Manila: De La Salle University Press.Sample Essay of Custom-Writing