Large scale systems
As time grows old, technology walks its path along with different breakthrough in science and history as well. Machines all created to show the real face of technology coming to age and so as the systems running them and how they run the system. It is believed that it came to time that machine age gas moved to the systems age and somehow mechanization turns to systematization, but it’s a big challenge how to control technological systems in various scales and how to manage systematization in order to solve technological and organizational problems.
It is very evident that technological systems play a big part in socio-economic growth of every nation. According to Russell Ackoff, a professor from University of Pennsylvania, “the key to machine-aged thinking is to take apart the machines to fully understand them” (Hughes 78). That simply means that the essence of systems-age thinking is synthesis. But it is also a fact that problems with regards to the use of systematization appear from time to time whether in smaller of larger scale. It is so believed that the concept of systematization is more difficult and complex than mechanization concept. A political scientist from University of California in the person of Tood La Porte noticed that some “systems are so complex that some components of it that are obsolete have been set aside and so poorly comprehended” (Hughes 79).
In electrification as an example, there are too many points to be accounted for and pay attention with, with regards to pursuing such task whether in small or bigger scale. Authorities conduct thorough research and feasibility studies whether or not to apply smaller or bigger scale of electrification system. After all, still we can see the advantages and disadvantages of each system.
“Planning for an electrification programme at national level is a complex task” (Smith 88). But like other large scale system, it involves a “large financial investment, very vulnerable to strikes, sabotage, mechanical failure and larger number of consumers” (OTA 110) that may result in high cost maintenance. Pollution follows after setting up big power plants. That means the bigger the system of electrification, the higher the level of pollution it gives to environment. A collapse on a large scale electrification system may cause the other technological systems that directly benefit from electrification to fall. Small industries may also be affected as a result of the domino effect of the collapse. Large scale systems of electrification may be very beneficial to more consumers but its complexity may also be threatening to socio-economic growth.
On the other hand, smaller scale of electrical system can benefit only a smaller number of consumers. But unlike the larger one it may not affect any other systems for it caters much more little area than the other. It is very ideal for remote regions that need a sole system of electrification. A disadvantage of these is the sole burden of maintenance cost, unlike in the bigger scale that the mother system may shoulder all the maintenance costs. Because the electrification system does not need a bigger powerplant, lower level of pollutant is produced and is less hazardous to environment. Like other small scale technology systems, small scale electrification uses less labor cost and manpower compared to bigger ones.
The use of technological system corresponds with the situation and how it is needed in other areas with different geographical and cultural conditions. Obviously, it can be seen that in a larger scale systems, more problems can be encountered due to its complexity, but despite all of these, we are so sure that in or growing society, the need of very fact and reliable system is needed. Whether it is in small or large scale, it cannot be set aside that the reliability of every technological system depends on proper control and management.
Hughes, Thomas Parke. Human-Built World : How to Think About Technology and Culture.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004
OTA Resource Recovery and Recycling from Municipal Solid Waste and Beverage Container
Deposit Legislation. Materials and Energy from Municipal Waste. Diane Publishing,
Smith, Nigel. Low-cost Electrification – Affordable Electricity Installation for Low-Income
Households in Developing Countries. Intermediate Technology Consultants, 1995.