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What Is Technology?

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Technology refers to the tools used by human beings for practical goals. It can also refer to a set of practices and a system of rules for achieving a particular end. People may use a variety of technologies to achieve their goal, depending on the situation and their own unique values and needs. It can be difficult to define exactly what constitutes “technology.” A broad definition would encompass all of the tools that people use in their daily lives, from utensils and clothing to computers and satellites. Technology can also be seen as a process by which a society advances from a lower to a higher level of social development.

For example, people who are more advanced in knowledge and education tend to be better equipped to make technological progress. Technology can also be seen as a tool that people use to promote political and social change. However, there are also critics who argue that a preoccupation with technological progress can prevent society from addressing other important issues. The criticisms of technology have ranged from the anti-technology works of the Luddites to the more pronounced anti-technological arguments in books like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Goethe’s Faust.

The history of technology is a record of human attempts to turn natural resources into useful objects. The early prehistoric inventions of fire and the wheel helped people to use the environment more effectively. Later, humans developed the telegraph and telephone, which reduced the time and distance required to communicate. These developments increased the speed of information transmission, allowed people to work together across greater distances, and opened up a world of new possibilities for commerce, leisure activities, and cultural interactions.

In the 1900s, people discovered how to put all of the parts that make electronic products work onto a single chip called an integrated circuit. This enabled the creation of personal computers and other electronic devices. People also began using electrical devices on living things, such as hearing aids and kidney dialysis machines. Doctors placed other electrical devices inside the body, such as pacemakers to keep hearts beating steadily.

Today much of the discussion about technology revolves around gadgets, such as mobile phones, the internet, and big screen televisions. These are the visible facets of technological progress, but they only scratch the surface. A deeper look reveals that all of these are tools that are part of the invisible technology that makes modern life possible.

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