Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Scientific Management and Molecular Biology?

I notice while reading “The Principles of Scientific Management” that the techniques Taylor speaks of can be paralleled to Biological processes. It doesn’t seem as if something such as managing laborers could have any connection in the slightest to molecular biology. I guess this is just an example of how our bodies are perfect examples of how the jobs that we preform are related.

What I mean is that, our bodies are designed so perfectly that the processes that we develop for doing simple work are quite similar. In every cell that undergoes aerobic cellular respiration contains a perfect example of arranging steps of a long process to provide the most efficiency. When an electron enters the electron transport chain, the final step of aerobic respiration, it is carried along proteins that transfer its energy. These proteins are imbedded into a plasma membrane, this allows them to be perfectly positioned as to provide the minimal amount of energy loss.

Wasting energy was a key point that Taylor speaks about. To achieve the most effective means for carrying on a task, the wasted energy of the worker must be minimized. “...the necessity for individually studying each machine and placing it in perfect order, all take time, but the faster these elements of the work are studied and improved, the better for the undertaking” (Taylor 68).

Now where this all relates to technology. “The Principles of Scientific Management” was written before the knowledge of how the electron transport chain was setup. I find this similarity very interesting. Because of the efficiency that our bodies and other biological process use, our future ways of preforming tasks could be based off of these processes. Instead of spending years trying to devise new ways of preforming a task; the answer to literally lie inside of us.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

I'm no biologist, but to me you're opening up what will become at least a minor topic later in the semester: the science/field of cybernetics, originating roughly in the 50s, which treats living and nonliving systems as analogous to one another. I don't know how respectable this stuff is in contemporary biology, but it certainly exerted an influence on, e.g., computer science.