Tuesday, July 14, 2020


What is technology?

Technology is a set of ordered knowledge, coming from the field of the different sciences, that is applied to the resolution of our problems, desires, and needs. It can be used in the plural (technologies) or in the singular (technology), to refer to the set of available tools made by humans.

Technology is one of the most powerful, versatile, and significant resources of our species, through which we can modify the environment around us, and even our bodies and minds. It is the result of a long cultural and scientific evolution, which represents enormous power and enormous risk.

In recent times, technology has also become an object of daily consumption. This has meant the creation of a technological market and consumerist culture of so-called gadgets or devices for more or less decorative and recreational use.

However, state-of-the-art technology remains committed to the fulfillment of the species' longest postponed dreams: the cure of diseases, the improvement of the quality of life, and the exploration of the borders of the universe, feeding back with the scientific knowledge of exponentially.

Technology concept

The word technology comes from the union of two Greek roots: tekné ("art", "technique") and logos ("know", "knowledge").

We can interpret its etymological meaning as knowledge of techniques, or knowledge to make things possible.

With the development of science, technology became the application of knowledge into a technique.

In other words, in addition to "knowing the world", technology allows scientists to transform reality.

Types of technology

Traditionally two types of technologies are distinguished:

The "hard" technologies are those linked to the "hard sciences" or exact, that is to say, to the more concrete scientific knowledge, such as the transformation of matter or energy, such as physics and chemistry.
"Soft" technologies, on the other hand, are those that aspire to modify the functioning of the world in perceptible ways, but that does not imply the same level of concrete scientific application, being able to be derived from the social sciences or other forms of scientific knowledge, like psychology or economics.

History of technology

The history of technology is also the history of the invention of tools and techniques by humans. This tour practically begins with the origin of the species in the Stone Age (2.5 million years ago).

The earliest recorded technological objects are stone and bone weapons. At the same time, human beings learn to control fire and therefore are capable of cooking their food, as well as other knowledge typical of a hunter-gatherer culture.

The most recent milestones in the history of technology are computer science, robotics, space travel, and quantum physics. Added to this are thousands of other things that we have learned to do in two million years of social, cultural, and economic evolution.

Modern technology

Modern technology is called all that coming from the modern world, that is to say, the one after the European Renaissance. The current world, with its technology, was built in the last five centuries (the Modern Age ). It is opposed to ancient technology, typical of earlier historical periods, already considered obsolete.

However, due to the nature of the technological career, a discovery opens doors to new ones. That is why, since the Technological Revolution of the 20th century, technology tends to become obsolete in a very short time.

As a consequence, modern technology is constantly being manufactured today, thus giving rise to the so-called “new technologies”, which are those that emerged at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

What is a technology for?

Technology fulfills numerous functions in human life, ranging from the most vital to the most superficial, such as:

Improve the objective quality of life, healing or preventing diseases, freeing human beings from the most arduous, difficult, or risky work, or allowing them to do it with less impact on their body.
Allow the movement and exploration of the planet and its recesses, as well as outer space and other stars, to satisfy the innate curiosity of the human being and his desire for knowledge of other worlds.
Protect the human species and even other animal or plant species from death and disease, from natural catastrophes or even from the irresponsible action of human beings themselves.
Facilitate communications between human beings over great spatial and temporal distances.
Allow the accumulation of knowledge in an organized way, the retrieval of information at high speeds, or effective physical organization.

However, technology can have the purpose that we want to give it since it serves everything: to carry out beneficial, noble and hopeful actions, or to make instruments of war, death, and destruction.

The technological paradigm

The technological paradigm is understood as a pattern or set of rules that have to do with the level of technology of civilization or humanity as a whole. That level has profound implications in other areas of human life, such as the economy and society.

The passage from one paradigm to another is called technological change, and occurs when three basic conditions exist:

Wide possibilities of applying new technology.
Increasing demand for such technology in various markets, that is the valuation and popularization of technology.
Increasing the decrease in the unit cost of production of the new technology, that is, lowering of its real production.

Technological change

Technological change is the name given to the incorporation of new technologies and new products derived from it, into the model of the society of humanity at a given moment. It is a gradual and cumulative process.

This change offers human groups greater margins of action against their problems of different kinds. In general, it displaces an earlier technological paradigm, which from then on is considered obsolete or obsolete.

Thus, the great technological changes in the history of humanity have had a huge impact on almost all areas of human endeavor. Often they revolutionized the way the social, political, and economic operates.

A common example of this is represented by the invention of antibiotics, which increased human life expectancy to almost double years. Thus, the field of medicine was forever revolutionized.

Why is technology important?
Technology is vital in our contemporary conception of the world. With it, we have the possibility of making it a better, more organized space in which the main serious problems find a solution. On the other hand, we can also use it to ruin each other's lives.

Technology does not have a morality of its own, in the same way, that science does not. However, it has enormous potential: that of our brains, capable of understanding the rules of the universe and modifying them for their benefit.

What risks can technology bring?

Not everything is rosy with technology. First of all, many technologies are used for war purposes. Also, other risks may arise from its excessive impact on our culture and our way of relating socially, and even the political consequences that may arise from certain inventions.

For example, the nuclear energy discovered in the twentieth century led to the development of nuclear reactors that led cheap and clean electricity to many corners of the world. However, they also allowed the construction of atomic weapons such as those dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

Examples of technology

The technology examples are too abundant to make a complete list, but we can highlight the following:

The electricity and all forms of generation and accumulation for industrial and domestic purposes.
Oil refining, a technique that allows obtaining numerous petrochemical derivatives, from plastic to gasoline.
Computing, the result of the evolution of electronics, electricity, and mathematics, to the point of manufacturing powerful data handling machines with which today we do virtually everything.
Space travel and orbiting technology, which has allowed us to send probes to other planets and even put a man on the moon.

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