Convergence

Convergence is the process of different technologies coming together to create new technologies. A phone is a good example of this process. Phones have become so complex and powerful that making phone calls is almost rare for some people. Just as a Leatherman is the creation of mechanical convergence (knives, pliers, screw drivers, scissors, etc), our phones are essentially digital multitools (GPS, cameras, music, streaming, countless apps, etc). Continuing the multitool example, mechanical convergence has seemed to slow down as you can only do so much with such a limited, pocket sized platform. Smartphones however, have grown exponentially in strength and ability while becoming increasingly slimmer. At this point there really aren't many things that computers can do that phones can't, Microsoft office is even phone compatible now.

Convergence has a a way of eliminating the "middle man" due to an increase in efficiency, therefore convergence continually eliminates jobs and businesses . Examples that we have touched on in class have been travel agents, bank tellers, and cashiers, but it doesn't stop there and there are many more. Convergence has a way of creating jobs as well. When a new technology comes out that takes a job away there must then be a person who's job is to create, operate, and maintain that new technology. Using agriculture as an example, a combine harvester is an advanced piece of machinery that uses a modular attachment system that can be switched out to harvest a wide variety of crops. A combine can easily outperform 1000 men working in a field in half the time, but even though those men are out of a job there are new jobs available in creation and maintenance of the combine.

The honest truth is that when convergence happens many people lose their jobs, but in the natural ebb and flow of the free market everything works itself out. If people are wise enough to find a new profession in a high demand job they can find success and in the big picture productivity increases as a whole.

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