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Technology and Culture

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Norbert R.O. Pintsch


What has technology to do with culture? a question asked by many professional technology fans. A more exact consideration will however reveal, that culture is the larger dimension and technology is just a part of it. In different eras, some areas have been more influencial and in others less. This way of considering things in itself testifies to a technical way of looking at things. Technical way of thinking is characterized by representation in a manner, the roots of which are to be found in mathematical calculations. There, where abstract thought cannot be explained due to missing power of imagination, we make use of drawings in order to achieve clarity in understanding. It probably never happens that a development process runs as a straight line, rather it is more like a chaotic structure in which now and then a certain regularity becomes visible, which is lost once again after a certain period of time to once again appear as a logical pattern at a later time (see illustration below).

Cycles and developments are gladly represented by parabolic curves. Either something develops itself to a climax to later on once again fall to a flat level or a tendency is shown for something to rise and sink (see illustration Below left).


This form of diagram often gives the impression of a continuous process of development in a wave form. A break from this cycle is displeasing. And still, recognizing a break in pattern, we still arrive at a hyperbolic diagram, which apparently reflects the reality more precisely. It helps us to follow well the development of the economic element of the culture: a "positive" development reaches its climax, to break at a maximum point and fall to the ground. Even in a positive icreasing tendency, the negative image has to be overcome, in order to arrive at a zero line from where to grow into the positive once again (see illustration above right).

The economic impact of virtual money is well recognizable, when we consider it from a mathematical perspective.

Well known from the game theory is the chess model: the Persian king allows his boredom to be covered by development of games. The developer of chess pleased the king so much, that he was given one free wish. The developer only wanted 1 corn on the first field, 2 on the second, 4 on the third and so on.
The king soon lost his laugh (see formula) because required number of corn were not available any more..

Z = Sum _N=0^N=63(2^N)

"Sum of N=0 till N=63
over 2 times N. As x^0=1, the summation begins with a corn.

The result:
On field 64 there are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 pieces of corn,
written in a compact way:
9.22E+18 (corn).

The sum of all corns from field 1 till 64 is:
18,446,744,073,709,551,616, written exponentially as 1.84E+19 (corn).

Contrary to chess game, the virtual money economy has unlimited number of fields.
Take the case of Issa. If he had given his son 1 Rupee for investment, after a period of 2000 years and using the interest rate formula, the quantity of total money in circulation today would not suffice to pay him out. Apart from that, Issa would still have an immense transport problem (see calculation).

K_N = K_0 ( 1.0 + p )**N

N = Number of years (these are all the years from 0 till 2000, i.e. total 2001),
K_N = Capital after N years,
p = Percentage / 100, at 5% means p=0.05.

The result:
K_N(N=2001) = 25.106.573.148.442.298.897.434.214.700.000.000.000.000,00 prs,
said differently:
2.51e+40 PKR.

The interest alone in the year 2000 would be:
1.195.551.102.306.776.137.973.057.843.000.000.000.000,00 PKR, i.e. 1.20e+39 prs.

If paid in 500 PKR note of 1.12gm each, this would be a mass of 5.6224 * 10^34 kg, i.e. 9412079817.9 times the mass of earth.***


Both the examples in respect of the virtual economy confirm the correctness if the hyperbolic diagram (according to KP Friebe****) indicating the necessity of the break-up. The reality confirms the correctness of the assumption. The increase in numbers is so massive, that only break-ups, i.e. the impoverishment of one group of players in real life keeps the process going on. An indication of and outdated system, not repairable any more.

The possibility to represent the social development as described above by way of a formula is therefore understandable and is shown as follows (see Formula with Legend).

C = f {N* + c * [ PRE < - > paste ] }

C = Culture
N* = Nature
c* = Civilization
P = Philosophy
R = Religion
E = Education
< - > = Inter-dependencies
p = Politics
a = Art
s = Science
t = Technology
e = Economy



It is said that a diagram says more than a thousand words. An indication at the same time, how much more can be read out of a diagram.

A diagram is supposed to clarify and simplify. Changes are possible only if we are conscious of the volume of simplification, otherwise uniformity remains. Consolation remains the fact however, that even a uniform process will be followed by a large number of people.

***A similar example is described by Douglas Adams in his novel "The restaurant at the end of the universe" / "The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy".

**** KP Friebe is a German cross thinker, who was lately director of a technology foundation in Germany.

***** Culture originates out of the developing nature and the civilization, which is characterized by ideal and material elements and their inter-action.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, April 28, 2010,

1 Comments:

At 17:55, Anonymous Vinnie said...

Great explanation of the emergence of Technology from Culture .

 

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