Increasing returns cause products that are ahead to get further ahead. The concept has revolutionized economics. Business is next. Our understanding of how markets and businesses operate was passed down to us more than a century ago by a handful of European economists—Alfred Marshall in England and a few of his contemporaries on the continent. It is an understanding based squarely upon the assumption of diminishing returns: products or companies that get ahead in a market eventually run into limitations, so that a predictable equilibrium of prices and market shares is reached. But steadily and continuously in this century, Western economies have undergone a transformation from bulk-material manufacturing to design and use of technology—from processing of resources to processing of information, from application of raw energy to application of ideas.
The Responsibility of Intellectuals
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Margaret Kosal Yet, others have argued that such technologies could yield doomsday scenarios and that military applications of such technologies have even greater potential than nuclear weapons to radically change the balance of power. The most destructive periods of history tend to be those when the means of aggression have gained the upper hand in the art of waging war. As new and unpredicted technologies are emerging at a seemingly unprecedented pace globally, communication of those new discoveries is occurring faster than ever, meaning that the unique ownership of a new technology is no longer a sufficient position, if not impossible.
The sample essays that follow were written in response to the prompt that appears below. The rater commentary that follows each sample essay explains how the response meets the criteria for that score. For a more complete understanding of the criteria for each score point, see the "Analyze an Issue" Scoring Guide.
Standardization is defined as a process whereby which a company makes its methods, mostly due to its production process, and uniformity throughout the organization. Standardization assists with cost cutting by removing a duplicated effort and enables the organization to take advantage of the economies of scale when making purchases. It is important to note that standardization has got both advantages and disadvantages.