This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
COMMENTARY by Andy Pye ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS THE SOCIETY OF


IS TECHNOLOGY DIMINISHING US?


now hops on and off the waterbus without looking up from his or her mobile phone. And I, of course, amequally guilty: I have brought the last pages of this issue withme to write, having run out of time to complete the job before leaving withmy daughter and niece to drive themacross Europe to performin the Venice Carnival. We find ourselves “playing” with smartphones in a way we never did with


W


the functional handle of a traditional telephone because, whereas the first telephone was designed by engineers thinking in functional terms, today’s mobiles are built in dialogue withmarketers who have carefully noted how colour and curve, brightness and texture, heft and sizemake us feel. Jonathan Safran Foermakes this point in his book Here I Am. He writes:


“Most of our communication technologies began as substitutes for an impossible activity. We couldn’t always see one another face to face, so the telephonemade it possible to keep in touch at a distance. The answering machinemade amessage possible without the person being near their phone. Online communication originated as a substitute for telephonic communication, which was considered too burdensome or inconvenient. And then texting, which facilitated yet faster andmoremobilemessaging. “But then a funny thing happened: we began to prefer the diminished


substitutes. It’s easier tomake a phone call than tomake the effort to see someone in person. Leaving amessage on someone’smachine is easier than having a phone conversation. So we began calling when we knew no one would pick up. Shooting off an email is easier still, because one can further hide behind the absence of vocal inflection, and of course there’s no chance of accidentally catching someone. With texting, the expectation for articulateness is further reduced, and another shell is offered to hide in. Each step ‘forward’ hasmade it easier – just a little – to avoid the emotional work of being present, to convey information rather than humanity.” Now we have a US president governing by Tweet; the Lithuanian





president commented that the best way to forma relationship with Trump is to follow his Twitter feed. Isn’t it possible that technology, in the forms in which it has entered our everyday lives, has diminished us? And isn’t it possible that it is getting worse? It is not a question of being “anti-technology” or “pro-technology”, but a question of getting the right balance in our lives.  Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran Foer, is published by Hamish Hamilton.


to prefer the diminished substitutes


We began ’


riting this column overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, I amstruck once again by howmuch the young people in my company aremissing out on their surroundings by having their heads in their devices. The average Venetian


President and Chairman of Council


Peter Vincent, PSEE, BA, IEng, MIET, Hon.FSEE Immediate Past President


GrahamCouser, PPSEE, CEng, CEnv, Hon.FSEE Past Presidents


Prof Steve Burnage PPSEE, CEng, CEnv, FIMechE Hon.FSEE


Prof Mervyn L. de Calcina-Goff, StJ, PPSEE ASIS CEnv, FRSA, Hon.FSEE


Vice Presidents


Stephen Tweed, CEng, CEnv, FSEE James Regan, CEnv, FSEE


Hon.Treasurer


Colin Weetch, IEng, FSEE Chief Executive


Prof Raymond P. Clark, OBE, DSc, CEng, CEnv, Hon.FSEE, Hon.FSE


Offices of the SEE 22 Greencoat Place, London SW1P 1PR


office@environmental.org.uk www.environmental.org.uk


Environmental Engineering


www.EnvironmentalEngineering.org.uk Editorial


Direct Line +44 (0) 20 7863 3078 Editor Andy Pye MA (Cantab)


andy.pye@concordepublishing.com


Technical Editor Jonathan Newell BSc jon.newell@concordepublishing.com Design Editor Andy Warren


Advertising


Direct Line +44 (0) 20 7863 3077 Advertising Manager John Harvey


john.harvey@concordepublishing.com Subscriptions


Direct Line +44 (0) 20 7863 3075


Concorde Publishing Ltd Orders Department, 100 Borough High Street, London SE1 1LB, UK subscriptions@concordepublishing.com


Finance Director David Fidler


david.fidler@concordepublishing.com Managing Director Paul Williams


paul.williams@concordepublishing.com


ConcordePublishingLtd 100 Borough High Street, London SE1 1LB, UK Direct Line +44 (0) 20 7863 3079


© Society of Environmental Engineers 2017 ISSN 0954-5824


This publication is copyright under the Berne Convention and the International Copyright Convention. Apart from any fair


dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, no part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrical, chemical mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the


copyright owners. Unlicensed multiple copying of the contents of this publication is illegal. Inquiries should be addressed to: The Publisher, Concorde Publishing Ltd, 100 Borough High


Street, London SE1 1LB, UK. Views expressed are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by The Society of


Environmental Engineers or its publisher Concorde Publishing Ltd. Data and conclusions developed are for information only and are not intended for use without independent substantiating investigation by the potential user.


February 2017 /// Environmental Engineering /// 3


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60