What is technology?

What is technology?

What’s technology? We spend a great deal of time speaking about it, but the solution is both simple and surprisingly hard to find.

Merriam-Webster says technology is:

“Application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or even to manipulating and changing the human environment. Engineering consists of the use of materials, techniques, tools, and sources of power to make life a lot easier or perhaps nicer and work much more effective. Whereas science is concerned with why and how things happen, technology focuses on making things happen.”

That is a neat definition, but there’s nothing in it that couldn’t be construed to apply to the world of mining, for example.

The word technology is a blend of 2 Greek words, logos and techie. Techne means art, craft, and skill. Logos means “to speak of”. Others have since taken the word logos to imply the practical application of techne, but others point out that’s stretching its etymological roots.

Below: Elon Musk on the Technology of the Future

Basically, neither of these bookish pursuits appear to help us nail down a definition which would be satisfying to a contemporary audience.

Let us discuss some famous quotes about technology that could somehow get us nearer to the answer: Probably the most effective way to look at technology is in terms of progress. In ways that are many, the world just gets better because technology has the capability to make a better standard of living. A vaccine eliminated polio. The internet breaks down social, sexual and racial barriers. Computers provide greater access to education. But is it always correct that much more technology will be the solution to the world’s problems?
Not according to tech legend Bill Gates. Gates say that while the dream of offering internet access to the massive amounts of individuals that don’t have it’s a noble one, is is not even close to being as crucial as making sure that even more folks have proper plumbing, or perhaps access to vaccinations against infectious diseases.

“Innovation is a good thing,” Gates told The Financial Times recently. “The human condition – put aside and a number of footnotes – is improving due to innovation,” he says. But while ­”technology’s incredible, it does not get right down to the folks nearly all in need in anything near the time frame we should want it to”.

Below: Steve Jobs on How Technology Changes the World… To not be wrongly identified as Digital technology or Informatics.
“IT” redirects here. For various other uses, see IT (disambiguation).
“Infotech” redirects here. For the Indian company, see Infotech Enterprises.
Information science
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Information society
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Ontology
Philosophy of info
Science and technology studies
Taxonomy
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Bibliometrics
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Quantum info science
vte info technology (IT) will be the use of computers to store, transmit, retrieve, and manipulate data[1] or perhaps information. It’s usually used within the context of business operations as opposed to private or perhaps entertainment technologies.[2] It’s regarded as a subset of communications and information technology (ICT). An info technology system (IT system) is typically an info system, a communications system or perhaps, more specifically speaking, a computer – which includes all hardware, peripheral equipment and software – operated by a small group of users.

Humans have been storing, manipulating, retrieving, and communicating info since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in aproximatelly 3000 BC,[3] but the term info technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that “the brand new technology doesn’t yet possess a established name. We shall call it info technology (IT).” Their definition includes 3 categories: techniques for processing, the application of mathematical and statistical methods to decision making, and also the simulation of higher order thinking through computer programs.[4]

The phrase is often used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, it also includes other info distribution technologies including telephones and television. Many services or products within an economy are associated with info technology, which includes computer hardware, telecom equipment, internet, semiconductors, electronics, software, and e-commerce.[5][a]

Depending on the storage and processing technologies employed, it’s doable to distinguish 4 distinct phases of IT development: pre mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), physical (1450 1840), electromechanical (1840 1940), and electric (1940 present).[3] This article focuses on most recent period (electric).

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