Is it possible to imagine this life without computers? In fact, computers play an unbelievably significant role in people’s every day life both for work and entertainment. Each sphere of human life is connected with computers, Internet technologies, and online communication.
The field of computer technologies is advanced day by day, and the changes are quite noticeable. It is necessary to admit that the development of computer technologies causes the rising of ethical, legal, and even some moral issues; this development has been advanced within a short period of time considerably in order to improve own business, distant communications, and information exchange.
People click on their mice, type their keyboards, gaze at their screens, and enlarge their level of knowledge, meet new people, and, of course, earn money. Computer technologies have a certain influence on many spheres of life, and geology is one of them. The science about the Earth and its constituents provides people with a good chance to learn more about the place, where we live and know for sure how it is possible to improve our planet in future.
The relation between the spheres of computing and the sphere of geology has lots of peculiarities and advantages connected to legal, ethical, social, and moral issues; the development of one sphere causes the changes within the other sphere, this is why any change should be analyzed from both sides and taken into consideration.
One of the first computers appeared in far 1940s in order to achieve positive results in the military sphere. At the beginning of the 1970s, the first personal computers became available for people. And, of course, the year of 1985, when the first Microsoft Windows was introduced, turned out to be crucially important for society and computerization all over the world.
Nowadays, people may spend so much time in the Internet, so that “the relationship of Internet and society is characterized by antagonisms that are an expression of the modern antagonism between cooperation and competition” (Fuchs, 340). If people do not have common affairs, it does not matter that people have nothing to do with computers.
Many people use computers to complete certain tasks, conduct researches, draw tables, and present information in a clear way. So, it is quite possible to find out numerous advantages as well as disadvantages of computerization of society, however, people will never argue that the use of computers may worsen their lives. Nowadays, people focus on such details, connected to computerization: design, size, font, and color turn out to be so important.
For example, in the article of Steve Lohr, much attention is paid to clouds, which may considerably influence the development of the company, because “everyone talks about Google-style cloud computing software” (Lohr, 2009). Such points could seem senseless for people from the 19th century, but a person of the 21st century can spend days and nights discussing these kinds of issues.
With the help of such example, it is possible to say that computerization makes people pay attention to the details, which are not crucially important for this life, but still, become more and more important. People start caring less about personal preferences and interests, spend less time with own families in order to create proper conditions for work. Computers help the users in many ways, but it is necessary to remember that wrong treatment with computers may have negative effects on the users.
These problems may be connected to financial, physical, and emotional side. Possible bankruptcy, visual impairment, emotional surges, etc. Some people do not still have enough experience to control their work with computers, and this is why they may suffer because of own mistakes.
In fact, computer technologies are closely connected to any sphere of life, and it is not surprisingly that geology has a kind of dependence from the development of computers and innovative programs. Geology is the science that studies our Earth and its constituents. With the help of new programs and other computer applications, the work of geologists, the analysis of information, and data gathering become simpler and simpler.
Computers open more and more opportunities to study the structure of the Earth, evaluate what may spoil it and how it is possible to improve its conditions. Scientists may create illustrative graphs and vectors to explain some significant information and save it for further analysis. The development of computer technologies also promote proper saving of the material during a long period of time: disks, flesh cards, and numerous Internet databases.
However, it is necessary to admit that the use of computers in geology may be dangerous: certain undetected errors take place and may significantly influence the results. Computer modeling helps to create a proper image, predict possible development of the events, and even find out several possible outcomes. However, all these calculations are made by computers, not by humans.
And the results of these investigations have a great impact on humans, this is why those people, who run the computers during the investigations, become responsible for the results and for all possible mistakes from computers’ side. There are several areas of geology, in which computing may be used: structural geology, mineralogy, mining geology, and hydrogeology.
These areas of geology turn out to be rather important, this is why geology and computer technologies and their relations should be examined. In hydrogeology, computer technologies help to comprehend groundwater effects; in geophysics, magnetism, gravity, and seismic shifts may be studied. Such kind of examination helps to overcome all those challenges, which may happen, and warn about possible errors within computer technologies and wrong results.
Sara Baase admits that ethical rules aim at enhancing “human dignity, peace, happiness, and well-being” (Baase, 30). This is why ethical issues have to be considered in any sphere, where people spend certain time of their lives. It does not take much time to read a couple of ethical rules in order to be a worthwhile part of this world.
So, with a rapid rising of computer technologies, some ethical issues have been changed. For example, it is not appropriate to say that something is ethically correct or wrong; it is better to divide the ideas into three categories: obligatory, prohibited, and acceptable. In this case, computer users have more rights while using computers; their actions are not limited.
The major point is that people can define what is ethically acceptable for them and what may be not. Protection of liberties is also considered as ethically essential. There is one more distinction that has to be mentioned – positive rights, when people are obliged to provide certain services and products for others. These claim rights have to taken into account in order to follow all the ethical norms.
As for the legal perspective, it is possible to remember about the Fourth Amendment that is all about people’s right to be secure within their houses and papers (Baase, 66). Computer technologies make personal information available to government, even more, with the help of technological innovations, the government has lots of opportunities to search houses without even informing people about it. Such actions turn out to be legal, but not appropriate.
Moral issues and computing have to be properly analyzed, because some computer errors may lead to people’s injuries or even deaths. Lots of people still argue whether it is possible to make a computer morally responsible. If the predictions made with the help of the computer are wrong and bring negative results, computers have to responsible for this or people, who work on this computer. If the computer is responsible, it is necessary to punish it.
But such punishment as to break the computer down or not to turn it on will be not enough to forget about human death. So, each of the above-mentioned issues has certain impact on further development of computer technologies. This is why in order to behave properly even within a cyberspace, it is important to analyze and be aware of several moral and ethical issues, and follow that any take steps is legally approved.
Computing ethics is not that difficult to comprehend: mind own duties, do not do any harm to people around, follow the settled rules, and be responsible for any of your word and action. In this case, your life with computer technologies will be worthwhile, and no one can blame for some kind of indecent behavior.
People spend too much time close to their computers: some computer users prefer to be online in order to get fresh news and be aware of all changes in the world as soon as possible; some people just use computers to speed up their work, get the results a bit quicker, and save their work for a long period of time; and some people find computers as good means to entertain, communicate, and find out captivating material to discuss. This is why the functions of computers are great in numbers.
Computer technologies develop rapidly day by day, offering more and more opportunities to people. Because of such a rapid development of computer technologies, certain changes with moral, legal, and ethical issues take place. In this paper, we have analyzed how people changes ethical norms and what actions are acceptable legally.
Computerization of society plays a significant role for human development, and in order to develop properly, people should remember about moral and ethical aspects of every day life.
Computerization touches numerous spheres of our life: education, science, design, art, etc. Lots of scientists make use of computers to achieve good results and improve our future. Geologists are one of those, who use computers to investigate the Earth and its components, and analyze the findings from many perspectives.
If people do not know how to use computers properly and follow moral and ethical rules, they have a chance to make a mistake and fail their work. This is why it is better to be ready to challenges, caused by rapid development of computer technologies, and use computers taking into consideration both negative and positive consequences.
Baase, Sara. A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing and the Internet. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007.
Fuchs, Christian. Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Lohr, Steve. “When Cloud Computing Doesn’t Make Sense.” The New York Times. 15 Apr. 2009. 15 Jul. 2009.