re posted from IOL
“There is a general belief that if a technology comes from a first world country then it must be better than ours. Mostly, that is not true.
Who knows that South Africans developed the world’s first frequency-hopping radio or that we developed the world’s most powerful artillery gun? Who knows that South African gold mines penetrate nearly 4km below the surface? That is staggering technology.
However, the entire technology community, plus the population in general, suffers from a significant inferiority complex when it comes to believing in our ability to make complex systems work”
Believe in the country’s technology capability – we are good
Dr Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and chief executive of Stratek Business Strategy Consultants. Photo: Supplied
IN SCIENCE, engineering and technology South Africans are far more competent than most people realise. Sadly, this includes the science and engineering people themselves. I have been fortunate to have seen a significant cross-section of local technology competence.
I have been down goldmines and diamond mines, I have been inside power stations and large-scale heavy engineering works. I have also been into cement plants, cosmetics production plants, DVD production facilities and more. I love getting invitations to tour such places because I always learn things.
The concept of technology is a case of developing some science, which makes money within the boundaries of the law. So when I tour around I don’t only look at the machines. I also ask workers why they do what they do. I also check on quality assurance (QA) systems.
For years, I have watched QA systems evolve in motor car production lines. They now use laser beams to line up a car chassis to position the engine on it. In days gone by they used hand-measuring devices. These days, cars are painted by computers. I recall watching humans do it by hand, in the past.
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