Technology

Technology

Overview

Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

s, machine
Machine
A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, and a molecular machine. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work...

s, techniques, craft
Craft
A craft is a branch of a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. In historical sense, particularly as pertinent to the Medieval history and earlier, the term is usually applied towards people occupied in small-scale production of goods.-Development from the past until...

s, system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

s or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ; . The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include construction technology, medical technology, and information technology.

Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.
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Quotations

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.

Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt (2002)

Technology and the machine resurrected San Francisco while Pompeii still slept in her ashes.

Silas Bent, Machine Made Man, p. 326. (1930)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry Into The Limits of the Possible (1962; revised 1973)

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.

Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), ch. 5
Encyclopedia

Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

s, machine
Machine
A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, and a molecular machine. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work...

s, techniques, craft
Craft
A craft is a branch of a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. In historical sense, particularly as pertinent to the Medieval history and earlier, the term is usually applied towards people occupied in small-scale production of goods.-Development from the past until...

s, system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

s or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ; . The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include construction technology, medical technology, and information technology.

Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistorical
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 discovery of the ability to control fire
Fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

 increased the available sources of food and the invention of the wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

 helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, including the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

, the telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

, and the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, have lessened physical barriers to communication
Communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

 and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of weapon
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs
Club (weapon)
A club is among the simplest of all weapons. A club is essentially a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and wielded as a weapon since prehistoric times....

 to nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s.

Technology has affected society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology has helped develop more advanced economies
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 (including today's global economy
Economic globalization
Economic globalization refers to increasing economic interdependence of national economies across the world through a rapid increase in cross-border movement of goods, service, technology and capital...

) and has allowed the rise of a leisure
Leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education....

 class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, known as pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 and its environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

. Various implementations of technology influence the values
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

 of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency
Efficient energy use
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature...

 in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition
Human condition
The human condition encompasses the experiences of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to gender, race, class, etc. — a search for purpose, sense of curiosity, the inevitability of...

 or worsens it. Neo-Luddism
Neo-luddism
Neo-Luddism is a personal world view opposing any modern technology. Its name is based on the historical legacy of the British Luddites which were active between 1811 and 1816...

, anarcho-primitivism
Anarcho-primitivism
Anarcho-primitivism is an anarchist critique of the origins and progress of civilization. According to anarcho-primitivism, the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, and alienation...

, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism
Transhumanism
Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human...

 and techno-progressivism
Techno-progressivism
Techno-progressivism, technoprogressivism, tech-progressivism or techprogressivism is a stance of active support for the convergence of technological change and social change...

 view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other primates and certain dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

 communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.

Definition and usage



The use of the term technology has changed significantly over the last 200 years. Before the 20th century, the term was uncommon in English, and usually referred to the description or study of the useful arts
Useful arts
Useful arts are concerned with the skills and methods of practical subjects such as manufacture and craftsmanship. The word has now gone out of fashion, but it was used during the Victorian era and earlier as an antonym to the performing arts and the fine arts.The term "useful Arts" is used in the...

. The term was often connected to technical education, as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (chartered in 1861). "Technology" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the second industrial revolution
Second Industrial Revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of the larger Industrial Revolution corresponding to the latter half of the 19th century until World War I...

. The meanings of technology changed in the early 20th century when American social scientists, beginning with Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement...

, translated ideas from the German concept of Technik into "technology." In German and other European languages, a distinction exists between Technik and Technologie that is absent in English, as both terms are usually translated as "technology." By the 1930s, "technology" referred not to the study of the industrial arts, but to the industrial arts themselves. In 1937, the American sociologist Read Bain wrote that "technology includes all tools, machines, utensils, weapons, instruments, housing, clothing, communicating and transporting devices and the skills by which we produce and use them." Bain's definition remains common among scholars today, especially social scientists. But equally prominent is the definition of technology as applied science, especially among scientists and engineers, although most social scientists who study technology reject this definition. More recently, scholars have borrowed from European philosophers of "technique" to extend the meaning of technology to various forms of instrumental reason, as in Foucault's work on technologies of the self ("techniques de soi").

Dictionaries and scholars have offered a variety of definitions. The Merriam-Webster
Merriam-Webster
Merriam–Webster, which was originally the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is an American company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language .Merriam-Webster Inc. has been a...

 dictionary offers a definition of the term: "the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area" and "a capability given by the practical application of knowledge". Ursula Franklin
Ursula Franklin
Ursula Martius Franklin, , is a Canadian metallurgist, research physicist, author and educator who has taught at the University of Toronto for more than 40 years...

, in her 1989 "Real World of Technology" lecture, gave another definition of the concept; it is "practice, the way we do things around here". The term is often used to imply a specific field of technology, or to refer to high technology or just consumer electronics
Consumer electronics
Consumer electronics are electronic equipment intended for everyday use, most often in entertainment, communications and office productivity. Radio broadcasting in the early 20th century brought the first major consumer product, the broadcast receiver...

, rather than technology as a whole. Bernard Stiegler
Bernard Stiegler
Bernard Stiegler is a French philosopher at Goldsmiths, University of London and at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne. In addition, he is Director of the , founder in 2005 of the political and cultural group, , and founder in 2010 of the philosophy school,...

, in Technics and Time, 1
Technics and Time, 1
Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus is a book by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, first published by Galilée in 1994. The English translation, by George Collins and Richard Beardsworth, was published by Stanford University Press in 1998...

, defines technology in two ways: as "the pursuit of life by means other than life", and as "organized inorganic matter."

Technology can be most broadly defined as the entities, both material and immaterial, created by the application of mental and physical effort in order to achieve some value. In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems. It is a far-reaching term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar
Crowbar (tool)
A crowbar, a wrecking bar, pry bar, or prybar, or sometimes a prise bar or prisebar, and more informally a jimmy, jimmy bar, jemmy or gooseneck is a tool consisting of a metal bar with a single curved end and flattened points, often with a small fissure on one or both ends for removing nails...

 or wooden spoon
Spoon
A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl, oval or round, at the end of a handle. A type of cutlery , especially as part of a place setting, it is used primarily for serving. Spoons are also used in food preparation to measure, mix, stir and toss ingredients...

, or more complex machines, such as a space station
Space station
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time, and to which other spacecraft can dock. A space station is distinguished from other spacecraft used for human spaceflight by its lack of major propulsion or landing...

 or particle accelerator
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

. Tools and machines need not be material; virtual technology, such as computer software
Computer software
Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it....

 and business methods, fall under this definition of technology.

The word "technology" can also be used to refer to a collection of techniques. In this context, it is the current state of humanity's knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants; it includes technical methods, skills, processes, techniques, tools and raw materials. When combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space technology", it refers to the state of the respective field's knowledge and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" refers to the high technology available to humanity in any field.

Technology can be viewed as an activity that forms or changes culture. Additionally, technology is the application of math, science, and the arts for the benefit of life as it is known. A modern example is the rise of communication
Communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

 technology, which has lessened barriers to human interaction and, as a result, has helped spawn new subcultures; the rise of cyberculture
Cyberculture
Cyberculture is the culture that has emerged, or is emerging, from the use of computer networks for communication, entertainment and business. It is also the study of various social phenomena associated with the Internet and other new forms of network communication, such as online communities,...

 has, at its basis, the development of the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and the computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

. Not all technology enhances culture in a creative way; technology can also help facilitate political oppression and war via tools such as guns. As a cultural activity, technology predates both science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, each of which formalize some aspects of technological endeavor.

Science, engineering and technology


The distinction between science, engineering and technology is not always clear. Science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 is the reasoned investigation or study of phenomena, aimed at discovering enduring principles among elements of the phenomenal world by employing formal
Formality
A formality is an established procedure or set of specific behaviors and utterances, conceptually similar to a ritual although typically secular and less involved...

 techniques such as the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

. Technologies are not usually exclusively products of science, because they have to satisfy requirements such as utility
Utility
In economics, utility is a measure of customer satisfaction, referring to the total satisfaction received by a consumer from consuming a good or service....

, usability
Usability
Usability is the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object. The object of use can be a software application, website, book, tool, machine, process, or anything a human interacts with. A usability study may be conducted as a primary job function by a usability analyst or as a secondary job...

 and safety
Safety
Safety is the state of being "safe" , the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be...

.

Engineering is the goal-oriented
Goal-oriented
The concept of goal orientation was developed to describe variability in dispositional or situational goal preferences that an individual implicitly sets for him/herself in achievement situations. GOs assist in providing a motivational framework for how individuals perceive, interpret, and judge...

 process of designing and making tools and systems to exploit natural phenomena for practical human means, often (but not always) using results and techniques from science. The development of technology may draw upon many fields of knowledge, including scientific, engineering, mathematical
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, linguistic
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

, and historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 knowledge, to achieve some practical result.

Technology is often a consequence of science and engineering — although technology as a human activity precedes the two fields. For example, science might study the flow of electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s in electrical conductor
Electrical conductor
In physics and electrical engineering, a conductor is a material which contains movable electric charges. In metallic conductors such as copper or aluminum, the movable charged particles are electrons...

s, by using already-existing tools and knowledge. This new-found knowledge may then be used by engineers to create new tools and machines, such as semiconductor
Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

s, computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

s, and other forms of advanced technology. In this sense, scientists and engineers may both be considered technologists; the three fields are often considered as one for the purposes of research and reference.

The exact relations between science and technology in particular have been debated by scientists, historians, and policymakers in the late 20th century, in part because the debate can inform the funding of basic and applied science. In the immediate wake of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, for example, in the United States it was widely considered that technology was simply "applied science" and that to fund basic science was to reap technological results in due time. An articulation of this philosophy could be found explicitly in Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush was an American engineer and science administrator known for his work on analog computing, his political role in the development of the atomic bomb as a primary organizer of the Manhattan Project, the founding of Raytheon, and the idea of the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer...

's treatise on postwar science policy, Science—The Endless Frontier: "New products, new industries, and more jobs require continuous additions to knowledge of the laws of nature... This essential new knowledge can be obtained only through basic scientific research." In the late-1960s, however, this view came under direct attack, leading towards initiatives to fund science for specific tasks (initiatives resisted by the scientific community). The issue remains contentious—though most analysts resist the model that technology simply is a result of scientific research.

Paleolithic (2.5 million – 10,000 BC)


The use of tools by early humans
Homo (genus)
Homo is the genus that includes modern humans and species closely related to them. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old, evolving from australopithecine ancestors with the appearance of Homo habilis....

 was partly a process of discovery, partly of evolution. Early humans evolved from a species
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. A. afarensis was slenderly built, like the younger Australopithecus africanus. It is thought that A...

 of foraging
Foraging
- Definitions and significance of foraging behavior :Foraging is the act of searching for and exploiting food resources. It affects an animal's fitness because it plays an important role in an animal's ability to survive and reproduce...

 hominids which were already bipedal, with a brain mass approximately one third that of modern humans. Tool use remained relatively unchanged for most of early human history, but approximately 50,000 years ago, a complex set of behaviors
Behavioral modernity
Behavioral modernity is a term used in anthropology, archeology and sociology to refer to a set of traits that distinguish present day humans and their recent ancestors from both living primates and other extinct hominid lineages. It is the point at which Homo sapiens began to demonstrate a...

 and tool use emerged, believed by many archaeologists to be connected to the emergence of fully modern language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

.

Stone tools


Human ancestors have been using stone and other tools since long before the emergence of Homo sapiens approximately 200,000 years ago. The earliest methods of stone tool
Stone tool
A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistoric, particularly Stone Age cultures that have become extinct...

 making, known as the Oldowan "industry", date back to at least 2.3 million years ago, with the earliest direct evidence of tool usage found in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 within the Great Rift Valley
Great Rift Valley
The Great Rift Valley is a name given in the late 19th century by British explorer John Walter Gregory to the continuous geographic trench, approximately in length, that runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in South East Africa...

, dating back to 2.5 million years ago. This era of stone tool use is called the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

, or "Old stone age", and spans all of human history up to the development of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 approximately 12,000 years ago.

To make a stone tool, a "core
Lithic core
In archaeology, a lithic core is a distinctive artifact that results from the practice of lithic reduction. In this sense, a core is the scarred nucleus resulting from the detachment of one or more flakes from a lump of source material or tool stone, usually by using a hard hammer percussor such...

" of hard stone with specific flaking properties (such as flint
Flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

) was struck with a hammerstone
Hammerstone
In archaeology, a hammerstone is a hard cobble used to strike off lithic flakes from a lump of tool stone during the process of lithic reduction. The hammerstone is a rather universal stone tool which appeared early in most regions of the world including Europe, India and North America...

. This flaking produced a sharp edge on the core stone as well as on the flakes, either of which could be used as tools, primarily in the form of choppers
Chopper (archaeology)
Archaeologists define a chopper as a pebble tool with an irregular cutting edge formed through the removal of flakes from one side of a stone....

 or scrapers
Scraper (archaeology)
In archaeology, scrapers are unifacial tools that were used either for hideworking or woodworking purposes. Whereas this term is often used for any unifacially flaked stone tool that defies classification, most lithic analysts maintain that the only true scrapers are defined on the base of...

. These tools greatly aided the early humans in their hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

 lifestyle to perform a variety of tasks including butchering carcasses (and breaking bones to get at the marrow
Bone marrow
Bone marrow is the flexible tissue found in the interior of bones. In humans, bone marrow in large bones produces new blood cells. On average, bone marrow constitutes 4% of the total body mass of humans; in adults weighing 65 kg , bone marrow accounts for approximately 2.6 kg...

); chopping wood; cracking open nuts; skinning an animal for its hide
Hides
A hide is an animal skin treated for human use. Hides include leather from cattle and other livestock animals, alligator skins, snake skins for shoes and fashion accessories and furs from wild cats, mink and bears. In some areas, leather is produced on a domestic or small industrial scale, but most...

; and even forming other tools out of softer materials such as bone and wood.

The earliest stone tools were crude, being little more than a fractured rock. In the Acheulian era, beginning approximately 1.65 million years ago, methods of working these stone into specific shapes, such as hand axe
Hand axe
A hand axe is a bifacial Stone tool typical of the lower and middle Palaeolithic , and is the longest-used tool of human history.-Distribution:...

s emerged. The Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age...

, approximately 300,000 years ago, saw the introduction of the prepared-core technique
Prepared-core technique
The prepared-core technique is means of producing stone tools by first preparing common stone cores that can then be shaped into the desired implement.-First evidence:...

, where multiple blades could be rapidly formed from a single core stone. The Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

, beginning approximately 40,000 years ago, saw the introduction of pressure flaking, where a wood, bone, or antler punch could be used to shape a stone very finely.

Fire


The discovery and utilization of fire, a simple energy
Energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

 source with many profound uses, was a turning point in the technological evolution of humankind. The exact date of its discovery is not known; evidence of burnt animal bones at the Cradle of Humankind
Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site first named by UNESCO in 1999, about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Gauteng province. This site currently occupies ; it contains a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million...

 suggests that the domestication of fire occurred before 1,000,000 BC; scholarly consensus indicates that Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

 had controlled fire by between 500,000 BC and 400,000 BC. Fire, fueled with wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

 and charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

, allowed early humans to cook their food to increase its digestibility, improving its nutrient value and broadening the number of foods that could be eaten.

Clothing and shelter


Other technological advances made during the Paleolithic era were clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 and shelter; the adoption of both technologies cannot be dated exactly, but they were a key to humanity's progress. As the Paleolithic era progressed, dwellings became more sophisticated and more elaborate; as early as 380,000 BC, humans were constructing temporary wood huts. Clothing, adapted from the fur and hides of hunted animals, helped humanity expand into colder regions; humans began to migrate
Historical migration
It is thought that pre-historical migration of human populations began with the movement of Homo erectus out of Africa across Eurasia about a million years ago. Homo sapiens appears to have colonized all of Africa about 150 millennia ago, moved out of Africa some 80 millennia ago, and spread...


out of Africa by 200,000 BC and into other continents, such as Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

.

Neolithic through Classical Antiquity (10,000BC – 300AD)


Man's technological ascent began in earnest in what is known as the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 period ("New stone age"). The invention of polished stone axes was a major advance because it allowed forest clearance on a large scale to create farms. The discovery of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 allowed for the feeding of larger populations, and the transition to a sedentist
Sedentism
In evolutionary anthropology and archaeology, sedentism , is a term applied to the transition from nomadic to permanent, year-round settlement.- Requirements for permanent settlements :...

 lifestyle increased the number of children that could be simultaneously raised, as young children no longer needed to be carried, as was the case with the nomadic lifestyle. Additionally, children could contribute labor to the raising of crops more readily than they could to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

With this increase in population and availability of labor came an increase in labor specialization. What triggered the progression from early Neolithic villages to the first cities, such as Uruk
Uruk
Uruk was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river, on the ancient dry former channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq.Uruk gave its name to the Uruk...

, and the first civilizations, such as Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

, is not specifically known; however, the emergence of increasingly hierarchical
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 social structures, the specialization of labor, trade and war amongst adjacent cultures, and the need for collective action to overcome environmental challenges, such as the building of dikes and reservoir
Reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

s, are all thought to have played a role.

Metal tools


Continuing improvements led to the furnace
Furnace
A furnace is a device used for heating. The name derives from Latin fornax, oven.In American English and Canadian English, the term furnace on its own is generally used to describe household heating systems based on a central furnace , and sometimes as a synonym for kiln, a device used in the...

 and bellows
Bellows
A bellows is a device for delivering pressurized air in a controlled quantity to a controlled location.Basically, a bellows is a deformable container which has an outlet nozzle. When the volume of the bellows is decreased, the air escapes through the outlet...

 and provided the ability to smelt
Smelting
Smelting is a form of extractive metallurgy; its main use is to produce a metal from its ore. This includes iron extraction from iron ore, and copper extraction and other base metals from their ores...

 and forge
Forge
A forge is a hearth used for forging. The term "forge" can also refer to the workplace of a smith or a blacksmith, although the term smithy is then more commonly used.The basic smithy contains a forge, also known as a hearth, for heating metals...

 native metals (naturally occurring in relatively pure form). Gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, and lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, were such early metals. The advantages of copper tools over stone, bone, and wooden tools were quickly apparent to early humans, and native copper was probably used from near the beginning of Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 times (about 8000 BC). Native copper does not naturally occur in large amounts, but copper ores are quite common and some of them produce metal easily when burned in wood or charcoal fires. Eventually, the working of metals led to the discovery of alloys such as bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 and brass
Brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 (about 4000 BC). The first uses of iron alloys such as steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 dates to around 1400 BC.

Energy and Transport


Meanwhile, humans were learning to harness other forms of energy. The earliest known use of wind power is the sailboat. The earliest record of a ship under sail is shown on an Egyptian pot dating back to 3200 BC. From prehistoric times, Egyptians probably used the power of the Nile annual floods to irrigate their lands, gradually learning to regulate much of it through purposely built irrigation channels and 'catch' basins. Similarly, the early peoples of Mesopotamia, the Sumerians, learned to use the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for much the same purposes. But more extensive use of wind and water (and even human) power required another invention.

According to archaeologists, the wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

 was invented around 4000 B.C. probably independently and nearly-simultaneously in Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture
Maykop culture
The Maykop culture , ca. 3700 BC—2500 BC, was a major Bronze Age archaeological culture situated in Southern Russia running from the Taman Peninsula at the Kerch Strait nearly to the modern border of Dagestan, centered approximately on the modern Republic of Adygea in the Kuban River valley...

) and Central Europe. Estimates on when this may have occurred range from 5500 to 3000 B.C., with most experts putting it closer to 4000 B.C. The oldest artifacts with drawings that depict wheeled carts date from about 3000 B.C.; however, the wheel may have been in use for millennia before these drawings were made. There is also evidence from the same period of time that wheels were used for the production of pottery
Potter's wheel
In pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in asma of round ceramic ware. The wheel may also be used during process of trimming the excess body from dried ware and for applying incised decoration or rings of color...

. (Note that the original potter's wheel was probably not a wheel, but rather an irregularly shaped slab of flat wood with a small hollowed or pierced area near the center and mounted on a peg driven into the earth. It would have been rotated by repeated tugs by the potter or his assistant.) More recently, the oldest-known wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes of Slovenia.

The invention of the wheel revolutionized activities as disparate as transportation, war, and the production of pottery (for which it may have been first used). It didn't take long to discover that wheeled wagons could be used to carry heavy loads and fast (rotary) potters' wheels enabled early mass production of pottery. But it was the use of the wheel as a transformer of energy (through water wheels, windmills, and even treadmills) that revolutionized the application of nonhuman power sources.

Medieval and Modern history (300 AD —)


Innovations continued through the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 with innovations such as silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

, the horse collar
Horse collar
A horse collar is a part of a horse harness device used to distribute load around a horse's neck and shoulders when pulling a wagon or plow. The collar often supports and pads a pair of curved metal or wood pieces, called hames, to which the traces of the harness are attached...

 and horseshoe
Horseshoe
A horseshoe, is a fabricated product, normally made of metal, although sometimes made partially or wholly of modern synthetic materials, designed to protect a horse's hoof from wear and tear. Shoes are attached on the palmar surface of the hooves, usually nailed through the insensitive hoof wall...

s in the first few hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. Medieval technology
Medieval technology
Medieval technology refers to the technology used in medieval Europe under Christian rule. After the Renaissance of the 12th century, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth...

 saw the use of simple machine
Simple machine
A simple machine is a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force.In general, they can be defined as the simplest mechanisms that use mechanical advantage to multiply force. A simple machine uses a single applied force to do work against a single load force...

s (such as the lever
Lever
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to either multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object or resistance force , or multiply the distance and speed at which the opposite end of the rigid object travels.This leverage...

, the screw
Screw
A screw, or bolt, is a type of fastener characterized by a helical ridge, known as an external thread or just thread, wrapped around a cylinder. Some screw threads are designed to mate with a complementary thread, known as an internal thread, often in the form of a nut or an object that has the...

, and the pulley
Pulley
A pulley, also called a sheave or a drum, is a mechanism composed of a wheel on an axle or shaft that may have a groove between two flanges around its circumference. A rope, cable, belt, or chain usually runs over the wheel and inside the groove, if present...

) being combined to form more complicated tools, such as the wheelbarrow
Wheelbarrow
A wheelbarrow is a small hand-propelled vehicle, usually with just one wheel, designed to be pushed and guided by a single person using two handles to the rear, or by a sail to push the ancient wheelbarrow by wind. The term "wheelbarrow" is made of two words: "wheel" and "barrow." "Barrow" is a...

, windmill
Windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...

s and clock
Clock
A clock is an instrument used to indicate, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". A silent instrument missing such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece...

s. The Renaissance
Renaissance technology
Renaissance technology is the set of European artifacts and customs which span the Renaissance period, roughly the 14th through the 16th century. The era is marked by profound technical advancements such as the printing press, linear perspective in drawing, patent law, double shell domes and...

 brought forth many of these innovations, including the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 (which facilitated the greater communication of knowledge), and technology became increasingly associated with science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, beginning a cycle of mutual advancement. The advancements in technology in this era allowed a more steady supply of food, followed by the wider availability of consumer goods.


Starting in the United Kingdom in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 was a period of great technological discovery, particularly in the areas of agriculture
Agricultural revolution
Agricultural Revolution or Agrarian Revolution may refer to:*The Neolithic Revolution , the initial transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture in prehistory...

, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, metallurgy
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

 and transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

, driven by the discovery of steam power. Technology later took another step with the harnessing of electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 to create such innovations as the electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

, light bulb and countless others. Scientific advancement and the discovery of new concepts later allowed for powered flight
Flight
Flight is the process by which an object moves either through an atmosphere or beyond it by generating lift or propulsive thrust, or aerostatically using buoyancy, or by simple ballistic movement....

, and advancements in medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

. The rise in technology has led to the construction of skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

s and large cities whose inhabitants rely on automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s or other powered transit for transportation. Communication was also greatly improved with the invention of the telegraph, telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

, radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 and television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a revolution in transportation with the invention of the steam-powered ship, train
Train
A train is a connected series of vehicles for rail transport that move along a track to transport cargo or passengers from one place to another place. The track usually consists of two rails, but might also be a monorail or maglev guideway.Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate...

, airplane, and automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

.


The 20th century brought a host of innovations. In physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, the discovery of nuclear fission
Nuclear fission
In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts , often producing free neutrons and photons , and releasing a tremendous amount of energy...

 has led to both nuclear weapons and nuclear power
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

. Computers were also invented and later miniaturized
Miniaturization
Miniaturization is the creation of ever-smaller scales for mechanical, optical, and electronic products and devices...

 utilizing transistor
Transistor
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

s and integrated circuit
Integrated circuit
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material...

s. These advancements subsequently led to the creation of the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, which ushered in the current Information Age
Information Age
The Information Age, also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously...

. Humans have also been able to explore space
Space exploration
Space exploration is the use of space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft....

 with satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s (later used for telecommunication
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

) and in manned missions going all the way to the moon. In medicine, this era brought innovations such as open-heart surgery
Cardiac surgery
Cardiovascular surgery is surgery on the heart or great vessels performed by cardiac surgeons. Frequently, it is done to treat complications of ischemic heart disease , correct congenital heart disease, or treat valvular heart disease from various causes including endocarditis, rheumatic heart...

 and later stem cell therapy
Stem cell treatments
Stem cell treatments are a type of intervention strategy that introduces new cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury. Many medical researchers believe that stem cell treatments have the potential to change the face of human disease and alleviate suffering...

 along with new medications and treatments. Complex manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 and construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 techniques and organizations are needed to construct and maintain these new technologies, and entire industries
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 have arisen to support and develop succeeding generations of increasingly more complex tools. Modern technology increasingly relies on training and education — their designers, builders, maintainers, and users often require sophisticated general and specific training. Moreover, these technologies have become so complex that entire fields have been created to support them, including engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, and computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

, and other fields have been made more complex, such as construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

, transportation and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

.

Technicism


Generally, technicism
Technicism
Technicism is an over reliance or overconfidence in technology as a benefactor of society.Taken to the extreme, some argue that technicism is the belief that humanity will ultimately be able to control the entirety of existence using technology. In other words, human beings will eventually be able...

 is a reliance or confidence in technology as a benefactor of society. Taken to extreme, technicism is the belief that humanity will ultimately be able to control the entirety of existence using technology. In other words, human beings will someday be able to master all problems and possibly even control the future using technology. Some, such as Stephen V. Monsma, connect these ideas to the abdication of religion as a higher moral authority.

Optimism



Optimistic assumptions are made by proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism
Transhumanism
Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human...

 and singularitarianism
Singularitarianism
Singularitarianism is a technocentric ideology and social movement defined by the belief that a technological singularity—the creation of a superintelligence—will likely happen in the medium future, and that deliberate action ought to be taken to ensure that the Singularity benefits...

, which view technological development
Technological evolution
Technological evolution is the name of a science and technology studies theory describing technology development, developed by Czech philosopher Radovan Richta.-Theory of technological evolution:...

 as generally having beneficial effects for the society and the human condition. In these ideologies, technological development is morally good. Some critics see these ideologies as examples of scientism
Scientism
Scientism refers to a belief in the universal applicability of the systematic methods and approach of science, especially the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints...

 and techno-utopianism
Techno-utopianism
Technological utopianism refers to any ideology based on the belief that advances in science and technology will eventually bring about a utopia, or at least help to fulfill one or another utopian ideal...

 and fear the notion of human enhancement
Human enhancement
Human enhancement refers to any attempt to temporarily or permanently overcome the current limitations of the human body through natural or artificial means...

 and technological singularity
Technological singularity
Technological singularity refers to the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such an intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as...

 which they support. Some have described Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 as a techno-optimist.

Skepticism and critics of technology



On the somewhat skeptical side are certain philosophers like Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory...

 and John Zerzan
John Zerzan
John Zerzan is an American anarchist and primitivist philosopher and author. His works criticize agricultural civilization as inherently oppressive, and advocate drawing upon the ways of life of prehistoric humans as an inspiration for what a free society should look like...

, who believe that technological societies are inherently flawed. They suggest that the inevitable result of such a society is to become evermore technological at the cost of freedom and psychological health.

Many, such as the Luddite
Luddite
The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanised looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life...

s and prominent philosopher Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

, hold serious, although not entirely deterministic reservations, about technology (see "The Question Concerning Technology
The Question Concerning Technology
For Martin Heidegger broadly, the question of being formed the essence of his philosophical inquiry. In The Question Concerning Technology , Heidegger sustains this inquiry, but turns to the particular phenomenon of technology, seeking to derive the essence of technology and humanity’s role of...

)". According to Heidegger scholars Hubert Dreyfus
Hubert Dreyfus
Hubert Lederer Dreyfus is an American philosopher. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley....

 and Charles Spinosa, "Heidegger does not oppose technology. He hopes to reveal the essence of technology in a way that 'in no way confines us to a stultified compulsion to push on blindly with technology or, what comes to the same thing, to rebel helplessly against it.' Indeed, he promises that 'when we once open ourselves expressly to the essence of technology, we find ourselves unexpectedly taken into a freeing claim.'" What this entails is a more complex relationship to technology than either techno-optimists or techno-pessimists tend to allow.

Some of the most poignant criticisms of technology are found in what are now considered to be dystopian literary classics, for example Aldous Huxley's
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

 Brave New World
Brave New World
Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

and other writings, Anthony Burgess's
Anthony Burgess
John Burgess Wilson  – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works...

 A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. The novel contains an experiment in language: the characters often use an argot called "Nadsat", derived from Russian....

, and George Orwell's
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

 Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party...

. And, in Faust
Faust
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical...

by Goethe, Faust's selling his soul to the devil in return for power over the physical world, is also often interpreted as a metaphor for the adoption of industrial technology. More recently, modern works of science fiction, such as those by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments and altered...

 and William Gibson
William Gibson
William Gibson is an American-Canadian science fiction author.William Gibson may also refer to:-Association football:*Will Gibson , Scottish footballer...

, and films (e.g. Blade Runner
Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K...

, Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell
is a Japanese multimedia franchise composed of manga, animated films, anime series, video games and novels. It focuses on the activities of the counter-terrorist organization Public Security Section 9 in a futuristic, cyberpunk Japan ....

) project highly ambivalent or cautionary attitudes toward technology's impact on human society and identity.

The late cultural critic Neil Postman
Neil Postman
Neil Postman was an American author, media theorist and cultural critic, who is best known by the general public for his 1985 book about television, Amusing Ourselves to Death. For more than forty years, he was associated with New York University...

 distinguished tool-using societies from technological societies and, finally, what he called "technopolies," that is, societies that are dominated by the ideology of technological and scientific progress, to the exclusion or harm of other cultural practices, values and world-views.

Darin Barney has written about technology's impact on practices of citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 and democratic culture, suggesting that technology can be construed as (1) an object of political debate, (2) a means or medium of discussion, and (3) a setting for democratic deliberation and citizenship. As a setting for democratic culture, Barney suggests that technology tends to make ethical
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 questions, including the question of what a good life consists in, nearly impossible, because they already give an answer to the question: a good life is one that includes the use of more and more technology.

Nikolas Kompridis
Nikolas Kompridis
Nikolas Kompridis is a professor at the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy at the University of Western Sydney. His scholarly work addresses a wide range of subjects in contemporary social and political philosophy, as well as in aesthetics and philosophy of culture...

 has also written about the dangers of new technology, such as genetic engineering
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

, nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, synthetic biology
Synthetic biology
Synthetic biology is a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering. It encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies, and disciplines with a variety of definitions...

 and robotics
Robotics
Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots...

. He warns that these technologies introduce unprecedented new challenges to human beings, including the possibility of the permanent alteration of our biological nature. These concerns are shared by other philosophers, scientists and public intellectuals who have written about similar issues (e.g. Francis Fukuyama
Francis Fukuyama
Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama is an American political scientist, political economist, and author. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford. Before that he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of...

, Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas
Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theory on the concepts of 'communicative rationality' and the 'public sphere'...

, William Joy, and Michael Sandel
Michael Sandel
Michael J. Sandel is an American political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. He is best known for the Harvard course 'Justice' which is available to , and for his critique of Rawls' A Theory of Justice in his Liberalism and the Limits of Justice...

).

Another prominent critic of technology is Hubert Dreyfus
Hubert Dreyfus
Hubert Lederer Dreyfus is an American philosopher. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley....

, who has published books On the Internet and What Computers Still Can't Do.

Another, more infamous anti-technological treatise is Industrial Society and Its Future, written by Theodore Kaczynski
Theodore Kaczynski
Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski , also known as the "Unabomber" , is an American mathematician, social critic, anarcho-primitivist, and Neo-Luddite who engaged in a mail bombing campaign that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others.Kaczynski was born in Chicago, Illinois,...

 (aka The Unabomber) and printed in several major newspapers (and later books) as part of an effort to end his bombing campaign of the techno-industrial infrastructure.

Appropriate technology



The notion of appropriate technology
Appropriate technology
Appropriate technology is an ideological movement originally articulated as "intermediate technology" by the economist Dr...

, however, was developed in the 20th century (e.g., see the work of Jacques Ellul
Jacques Ellul
Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. He wrote several books about the "technological society" and the interaction between Christianity and politics....

) to describe situations where it was not desirable to use very new technologies or those that required access to some centralized infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

 or parts or skills imported from elsewhere. The eco-village movement emerged in part due to this concern.

Technology and competitiveness


In 1983 a classified program was initiated in the US intelligence community to reverse the US declining economic and military competitiveness. The program, Project Socrates
Project Socrates
Project Socrates was a US Defense Intelligence Agency program established in 1983 within the Reagan administration. This classified program, founded and directed by physicist Michael Sekora, was designed for the purpose of identifying the root cause of the United States' declining ability to...

, used all source intelligence to review competitiveness worldwide for all forms of competition to determine the source of the US decline. What Project Socrates determined was that technology exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage and that the source of the US declining competitiveness was the fact that decision-making through the US both in the private and public sectors had switched from decision making that was based on technology exploitation (i.e., technology-based planning) to decision making that was based on money exploitation (i.e., economic-based planning) at the end of World War II.

Technology is properly defined as any application of science to accomplish a function. The science can be leading edge or well established and the function can have high visibility or be significantly more mundane but it is all technology, and its exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage.

Technology-based planning is what was used to build the US industrial giants before WWII (e.g., Dow
Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company is a multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. As of 2007, it is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization .Dow...

, DuPont
DuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

, GM
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

) and it what was used to transform the US into a superpower. It was not economic-based planning.

Project Socrates determined that to rebuild US competitiveness, decision making throughout the US had to readopt technology-based planning. Project Socrates also determined that countries like China and India had continued executing technology-based (while the US took its detour into economic-based) planning, and as a result had considerable advanced the process and were using it to build themselves into superpowers. To rebuild US competitiveness the US decision-makers needed adopt a form of technology-based planning that was far more advanced than that used by China and India.

Project Socrates determined that technology-based planning makes an evolutionary leap forward every few hundred years and the next evolutionary leap, the Automated Innovation Revolution, was poised to occur. In the Automated Innovation Revolution the process for determining how to acquire and utilize technology for a competitive advantage (which includes R&D) is automated so that it can be executed with unprecedented speed, efficiency and agility.

Project Socrates developed the means for automated innovation so that the US could lead the Automated Innovation Revolution in order to rebuild and maintain the country's economic competitiveness for many generations.

Other animal species



The use of basic technology is also a feature of other animal species apart from humans. These include primates such as chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s, some dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

 communities, and crow
Crow
Crows form the genus Corvus in the family Corvidae. Ranging in size from the relatively small pigeon-size jackdaws to the Common Raven of the Holarctic region and Thick-billed Raven of the highlands of Ethiopia, the 40 or so members of this genus occur on all temperate continents and several...

s. Considering a more generic perspective of technology as ethology of active environmental conditioning and control, we can also refer to animal examples such as beavers and their dams, or bees and their honeycombs.

The ability to make and use tools was once considered a defining characteristic of the genus Homo
Homo (genus)
Homo is the genus that includes modern humans and species closely related to them. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old, evolving from australopithecine ancestors with the appearance of Homo habilis....

. However, the discovery of tool construction among chimpanzees and related primates has discarded the notion of the use of technology as unique to humans. For example, researchers have observed wild chimpanzees utilising tools for foraging: some of the tools used include leaf sponges, termite fishing probes, pestles and lever
Lever
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to either multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object or resistance force , or multiply the distance and speed at which the opposite end of the rigid object travels.This leverage...

s. West African chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s also use stone hammers and anvils for cracking nuts, as do capuchin monkey
Capuchin monkey
The capuchins are New World monkeys of the genus Cebus. The range of capuchin monkeys includes Central America and South America as far south as northern Argentina...

s of Boa Vista
Boa Vista
-Places:* Boa Vista, Roraima, a city and capital of the state of Roraima in Brazil* Alto Boa Vista, city in Minas Gerais, Brazil* Boa Vista, Cape Verde, one of the Barlavento Islands of Cape Verde* Boa Vista, Paraíba, a city in Brazil...

, Brazil.

Future technology


Theories of technology
Theories of technology
There are a number of theories attempting to address technology, which tend to be associated with the disciplines of science and technology studies and communication studies...

 often attempt to predict the future of technology based on the high technology and science of the time.

See also


  • Bernard Stiegler
    Bernard Stiegler
    Bernard Stiegler is a French philosopher at Goldsmiths, University of London and at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne. In addition, he is Director of the , founder in 2005 of the political and cultural group, , and founder in 2010 of the philosophy school,...

  • Golden hammer
    Golden hammer
    The concept known as the law of the instrument, Maslow's hammer, or a golden hammer is an over-reliance on a familiar tool; as Abraham Maslow said in 1966, "It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."-History:The first recorded statement of the...

  • Critique of technology
    Critique of technology
    Critique of technology is an analysis of the negative impacts of technologies. It is argued that, in all advanced industrial societies , technology becomes a means of domination, control and exploitation, or more generally something which threatens the survival of humanity.Prominent authors...

  • History of science and technology
    History of science and technology
    The history of science and technology is a field of history which examines how humanity's understanding of the natural world and ability to manipulate it have changed over the centuries...

  • Knowledge economy
    Knowledge economy
    The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

  • Lewis Mumford
    Lewis Mumford
    Lewis Mumford was an American historian, philosopher of technology, and influential literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer...

  • List of years in science

  • Luddite
    Luddite
    The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanised looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life...

  • Niche construction
    Niche construction
    Niche construction is the process in which an organism alters its own environment, often but not always in a manner that increases its chances of survival...

  • Technology assessment
    Technology assessment
    Technology assessment Technology assessment Technology assessment (TA, German Tenteractive, and communicative process that aims to contribute to the formation of public and political opinion on societal aspects of science and technology.- General description :...

  • Timeline of historic inventions
  • Technological convergence
    Technological convergence
    Technological convergence is the tendency for different technological systems to evolve towards performing similar tasks. Convergence can refer to previously separate technologies such as voice , data , and video that now share resources and interact with each other synergistically.The rise of...

  • Technology and society
    Technology and society
    Technology and society or technology and culture refers to cyclical co-dependence, co-influence, co-production of technology and society upon the other . This synergistic relationship occurred from the dawn of humankind, with the invention of simple tools and continues into modern technologies such...

  • Technology tree
  • -ology
  • Science and technology
    Science and technology
    Science and technology is a term of art used to encompass the relationship between science and technology. It frequently appears within titles of academic disciplines and government offices.-See also:...

  • Science and technology in Argentina
    Science and technology in Argentina
    The most important aspects of science and technology in Argentina are concerned with medicine, nuclear physics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, space and rocket technology and several fields related to the country's main economic activities....

  • Technological superpowers

Theories and concepts in technology


  • Appropriate technology
    Appropriate technology
    Appropriate technology is an ideological movement originally articulated as "intermediate technology" by the economist Dr...

  • Diffusion of innovations
    Diffusion of innovations
    Diffusion of Innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers, a professor of rural sociology, popularized the theory in his 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations...

  • Paradigm
    Paradigm
    The word paradigm has been used in science to describe distinct concepts. It comes from Greek "παράδειγμα" , "pattern, example, sample" from the verb "παραδείκνυμι" , "exhibit, represent, expose" and that from "παρά" , "beside, beyond" + "δείκνυμι" , "to show, to point out".The original Greek...

  • Philosophy of technology
    Philosophy of technology
    The philosophy of technology is a philosophical field dedicated to studying the nature of technology and its social effects.- History :Considered under the rubric of the Greek term techne , the philosophy of technology goes to the very roots of Western philosophy.* In his Republic, Plato sees...

  • Posthumanism
    Posthumanism
    Posthumanism or post-humanism is a term with five definitions:#Antihumanism: a term applied to a number of thinkers opposed to the project of philosophical anthropology....

  • Precautionary principle
    Precautionary principle
    The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those...

  • Strategy of technology
    Strategy of Technology
    The Strategy of Technology doctrine involves a country using its advantage in technology to create and deploy weapons of sufficient power and numbers so as to overawe or beggar its opponents, forcing them to spend their limited resources on developing hi-tech countermeasures and straining their...

  • Techno-progressivism
    Techno-progressivism
    Techno-progressivism, technoprogressivism, tech-progressivism or techprogressivism is a stance of active support for the convergence of technological change and social change...

  • Technocentrism
    Technocentrism
    Technocentrism is a term that denotes a value system that is centred on technology and its ability to affect, control and protect the environment. Technocentrics have absolute faith in technology and industry and firmly believe that humans have control over nature...

  • Technocracy

  • Technocriticism
    Technocriticism
    Technocriticism is a branch of critical theory devoted to the study of technological change.Technocriticism treats technological transformation as historically specific changes in personal and social practices of research, invention, regulation, distribution, promotion, appropriation, use, and...

  • Technological evolution
    Technological evolution
    Technological evolution is the name of a science and technology studies theory describing technology development, developed by Czech philosopher Radovan Richta.-Theory of technological evolution:...

  • Technological determinism
    Technological determinism
    Technological determinism is a reductionist theory that presumes that a society's technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values. The term is believed to have been coined by Thorstein Veblen , an American sociologist...

  • Instrumental conception of technology
    Instrumental conception of technology
    The instrumental conception of technology is Mary Tiles' and Hans Oberdiek's description of the theory technological artefacts are value neutral...

  • Technological nationalism
    Technological nationalism
    Technological nationalism is the belief that Canada’s existence as a sovereign, independent nation hinges on its use of communication technology. Communication theorist Maurice Charland developed this concept in relation to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway .Canada's greatest...

  • Technology readiness level
    Technology Readiness Level
    Technology Readiness Level is a measure used by some United States government agencies and many of the world's major companies to assess the maturity of evolving technologies prior to incorporating that technology into a system or subsystem...

  • Technological singularity
    Technological singularity
    Technological singularity refers to the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such an intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as...

  • Technological society
    Jacques Ellul
    Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. He wrote several books about the "technological society" and the interaction between Christianity and politics....

  • Technorealism
    Technorealism
    Technorealism is an attempt to expand the middle ground between Techno-utopianism and Neo-Luddism by assessing the social and political implications of technologies so that people might all have more control over the shape of their future...

  • Technological revival
    Technological revival
    The technological revival concept, which can also be called technological reminiscence, consists in using the technology of today to bring back to life the technological contents of yesterday.-Applicability of the concept:...

  • Transhumanism
    Transhumanism
    Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human...

  • Technology Management
    Technology Management
    Technology Management is set of management disciplines that allows organizations to manage its technological fundamentals to create competitive advantage...


Economics of technology


  • Technocracy (bureaucratic)
    Technocracy (bureaucratic)
    Technocracy is a form of government where technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. Economists, engineers, scientists, health professionals, and those who have knowledge, expertise or skills would compose the governing body...

  • Technocapitalism
    Technocapitalism
    Technocapitalism is a term used to describe the changes in capitalism brought about by the emergence of high technology sectors in the economy.-New organizations:Luis Suarez-Villa, in his 2009 book Technocapitalism: A Critical Perspective on Technological...

  • Technological diffusion
    Diffusion (business)
    Diffusion is the process by which a new idea or new product is accepted by the market. The rate of diffusion is the speed that the new idea spreads from one consumer to the next. Adoption is similar to diffusion except that it deals with the psychological processes an individual goes through,...

  • Technology acceptance model
    Technology acceptance model
    The Technology Acceptance Model is an information systems theory that models how users come to accept and use a technology. The model suggests that when users are presented with a new technology, a number of factors influence their decision about how and when they will use it, notably:* Perceived...

  • Technology lifecycle
    Technology lifecycle
    Most new technologies follow a similar technology maturity lifecycle describing the technological maturity of a product. This is not similar to a product life cycle, but applies to an entire technology, or a generation of a technology....

  • Technology transfer
    Technology transfer
    Technology Transfer, also called Transfer of Technology and Technology Commercialisation, is the process of skill transferring, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that...

  • Energy accounting
    Energy accounting
    Energy accounting is a system used within industry, where measuring and analyzing the energy consumption of different activities is done to improve energy efficiency.-Energy management:...

  • Nanosocialism
    Nanosocialism
    Nanosocialism refers generally to a set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the research, development and use of nanotechnology.- Politics :...

  • Post-scarcity

Technology journalism


  • The Verge
    The Verge (website)
    The Verge is an American technology news and media network operated by Vox Media with offices in Manhattan, New York...

  • Engadget
    Engadget
    Engadget is a multilingual technology blog network with daily coverage of gadgets and consumer electronics. Though on appearance Engadget functions much like a blog and may be defined as such, much of its editorial content takes the form of an online magazine...

  • TechCrunch
    TechCrunch
    TechCrunch is a web publication that offers technology news and analysis, as well as profiling of startup companies, products, and websites. It was founded by Michael Arrington in 2005, and was first published on June 11, 2005....

  • Wired (magazine)
    Wired (magazine)
    Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...


Further reading

.
  • Frank Popper
    Frank Popper
    Frank Popper is a historian of art and technology and Professor Emeritus of Aesthetics and the Science of Art at the University of Paris VIII. He has been decorated with the medal of the Légion d'honneur by the French Government...

     (2007) From Technological to Virtual Art, Leonardo Books, MIT Press
    MIT Press
    The MIT Press is a university press affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts .-History:...

  • Charlie Gere
    Charlie Gere
    Charlie Gere is a British academic who is Director of Research at the Institute for Cultural Research at Lancaster University.-Career:* His PhD, ‘The Computer as an Irrational Cabinet’, was part practice-based and was from the Centre for Electronic Arts and the Department of Visual Culture,...

     (2005) Art, Time and Technology: Histories of the Disappearing Body, Berg
  • Kevin Kelly
    Kevin Kelly
    Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog. He has also been a writer, photographer, conservationist, and student of Asian and digital culture.-Biography:...

    . What Technology Wants
    What Technology Wants
    What Technology Wants is a 2010 nonfiction book by Kevin Kelly focused on technology as an extension of life.-Summary:In his young adulthood Kevin Kelly spent many years traveling remote parts of the developing world, an experience which helped inform his perspective on what he has coined the...

    . New York, Viking Press
    Viking Press
    Viking Press is an American publishing company owned by the Penguin Group, which has owned the company since 1975. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim...

    , October 14, 2010, hardcover, 416 pages. ISBN 9780670022151