Technology has changed the way we live, work, and play in ways that are both positive and negative. Understanding how it shapes the world around us is essential for anyone involved in developing new technologies. It is also important for those who use them.
A technology is a system of tools or techniques that make it easier to accomplish a task. Examples include computers and word processing software. Depending on the context, different people will give different meanings to the same term.
Technology is a complex subject. To understand it, you need to examine how its various applications impact society and the environment. Technologists are often ill-equipped to address social issues. In this sense, they can be seen as the new Luddites.
The origin of the term “technology” can be traced back to the Indo-European root tek. Originally, tek referred to the skill of building wooden houses by wattling. Later, a more generalized concept of tek emerged, including specialized skills like medicine.
The emergence of the term ‘technology’ marks the beginning of a shift in how we view machinery and large-scale technological systems. This era saw the development of the scientific revolution. Using an experimental approach, scientists were able to articulate and test their theories.
Similarly, a positive attitude towards technology persisted into the 19th century. However, it was during the late nineteenth century that foundational issues were discussed. These issues illustrated the close relationship between science and philosophy.
An early example of the technological’mire’ is a 1911 paper by Walter Sombart. Similar to the critique of technological determinism that occurred in the 1960s, Sombart’s paper sought to demonstrate that science can be conducted without the use of technologically advanced devices.