Technological Frontier

America has been a country full of optimism, perseverance, and freedom of ideas and beliefs. The frontier- a mental or physical area where much remains to be done- is a belief that has and still propels and influences America today. The technological frontier is probably the most influenced by the frontier belief. There is always room for better in technology. The technological advancements in the past 50 years outnumber the amount advancements from the beginning of time up to 50 years ago. Technological advancements have made it easier to for humans to live and adapt to their universe. Technology has expanded exponentially from the beginning of time until the 90\'s. In the 90\'s technological advancements have taken off at a higher exponential rate. For every frontier that appears to be complete, a new frontier has opened up and is unsolved. The frontier consists of branches that have branches themselves, resembling a tree. The frontier is far from ending, if there is an ending. During this rapid technological advancement period where we are trying to fulfill that long-term, near perfect technology, there have been short-term constraints in technology that have and will continue to open new branches in technology.

Engineers have been trained to discover new technologies that enhance human life by designing new products and things that make life easier and safer for everyone. Engineers are obligated to use their skills, intelligence and apply their knowledge to promote human welfare. An example of this has been the advancement of communications. Instead of sending a letter to a family member or loved one by pony express, now one can send mail in just seconds through e-mail. This technological advancement makes it easier and better to communicate that is satisfying to humans. These advancements in the long term will have small constraints, but in the short term there\'re broader constraints and limits. Email about five years ago could only be accessed through internet service providers such as: AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe, TexasNet, and institution accounts. Now email can be retrieved and sent over the internet without having these big name internet service providers. There are now services like Yahoo, Hotmail, Rocketmail, and Juno that offer free email accounts over the web for any one. Within the past few years, technology has allowed email users to send voice and video emails, which was impossible before. Email still has delays ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes when you send your email over the internet. Ideally, these delays still represents a very fast relay suitable for all practical purposes in email. Email can have more of a real time relay in the future. There is also the possibility of your email not reaching its destination, which we all have experienced at one time. Now we see less and less of our email not reaching our destination with the improvements of transmission lines. Higher bandwidths in these transmission lines allow for higher memory capabilities in our email. Email in the long run will be near a more real time instantaneous speed with the capability of higher memory.

The frontier myth can be seen from the beginning technological advancement of communications. In 1837, while working independently from one another Samuel F. B. Morse and the two British engineers Sir William Cook and Sir Charles Wheatstone developed a method of sending an electronic message over a distance of several miles almost instantaneously. The implications of this development were enormous. For the first time in history, human beings had the means to overcome the obstacles imposed upon communications by vast distances. A "Virtual world" of human communications had just been born that was much smaller and could potentially be much more closely knit together than the "real" world. Though the concept of virtual place and time would not become part of the terminology of human thinking for almost another 150 years, the foundations were laid with this invention. It is significant that during this same period we were making rapid progress in conquering distance and time in the real world with advances in the steam engines, which powered ships and railroad locomotives. America\'s telegraph network grew up with and was often found alongside the rapidly developing network of railroad lines that began to tie the various corners of our nation