Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is America losing its Tech edge?

I wanted to open this can of worms because this is becoming a problem that needs to be highlighted. As mentioned in a previous post, America has achieved technological superiority. But due to the current administration’s War on Terror resources are being diverted from noble pursuits such as research. This is making it harder for the US of A to maintain its lead. Some say that this is a necessary expense as America is safer because of it. This seems highly unlikely as more and more people are joining the “We hate America” camp, including her allies. Can you blame them? The nation is perceived as a bully picking on weaker nations, its good guy image has been forever tarnished. Trust me no one believes US forces are there to help the Iraqis and Afghanis restore democracy, it’s an occupation plain and simple, all hail Emperor Bush!

Foreigners had more respect for the nation when it was pursuing technological greatness (cold war era). During that time there were terrorist just as there are today but none of them snuck into America and terrorized her people. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union America’s unfailing support for Israel has gotten her in loads of trouble. Undoubtedly the Jewish people had a dire need for their own homeland and the fledgling nation needed support. But this support must not been given blindly.

If America wants to set things right it needs to get back to what makes it great. Or else history will look upon these times as the decline of the United States. A prolonged war in Iraq and Afghanistan will bleed the US dry. Its citizens are already suffering from having to pay increased taxes and exuberant gas prices. This financial burden is making it difficult for them to satisfy their needs. And what’s worse, NASA, the crown jewel of America’s technological empire is showing signs of decay. Drunken astronauts, congressional inquiries, corruption at the highest level all of these ailments are taking hold of the once proud organization.

Other nations are stepping in and taking charge. Japan and Korea are two Asian nations making great strides in the area of research and development. The world looks to them for cutting edge technology and knowledge. China has put a man in orbit and at its current rate of growth will soon become a tech leader, outstripping America, which is only running on momentum. Europe under the umbrella of the European Union has done a lot of work in the area of Information Technology, a domain once held only by the US.

And this is just me speaking off of the top of my head. Check out what the IEEE has to say, you’ll find that they have empirical evidence to back me up:

A DEARTH OF INNOVATION? IEEE-USA created the institute in 2006 in response to a concern that innovation in the United States is in decline and that the country’s longtime competitive advantage is evaporating. Such concern had been spelled out in a report earlier that year by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering called “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.”

“The report pointed out two phenomena,” says Ralph W. Wyndrum, an IEEE Fellow and 2006 IEEE-USA president, who serves as the institute’s president. “First is a change in the U.S. government’s R&D priorities. The second is the loss of major private research institutions, such as Bell Labs and Sarnoff Labs, which have shrunk or disappeared entirely.” The report also asserted that foreign-born, U.S.-trained engineers returning to their native countries are taking home skills needed to compete with the United States.

“Innovation in the United States is being diminished both in absolute terms and in comparison with up-and-coming nations, such as China,” Wyndrum says.

To counteract these trends, three years ago Wyndrum began lobbying the IEEE-USA Board of Directors to create an organization dedicated to teaching U.S. technologists how to innovate.

Read full article here

So I implore the powers to be don’t trash America and its people they don’t deserve it, let’s get back to basics and focus on recovering our title as tech leaders.

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