The introduction of smart phones is important, because it spreads computing power to a much larger user base.
To what extent is science driving technology, and to what extent is technology driving the science?
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The advent of smart phones is an important one both socially and technologically because smart phones combine three of the most significant technological achievements of the past 20 years into a single device: the internet, the miniaturization of high speed computing power, and the effective portability of both. Mobile phones used to be telephones with weak, limited computers attached to them. Now, smart phones are basically portable computers that just happen to have phones attached to them. I would guess that actual phone use is one of the least used features of the average smart phone today.
At this point, science and technology are inextricably linked. But I feel that science is still ultimately driving the technology. Smart phones could never have been invented without some serious engineering, chemistry, physics, and computer science work. Technology is certainly a very important tool used in all branches of science. I cannot even imagine how scientists accomplished their work in decades past using equipment that is literally primitive by today's standards. But I don't feel that technology is truly ruling the work of modern science.
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