TechnologyTechnology has more than one definition. One is the development and application of tools, machines, materials and processes that help to solve human problems. As a human activity, technology predates both science and engineering.
The term technology thus often characterises inventions and gadgets using recently-discovered scientific principles and processes. However, even very old inventions such as the wheel exemplify technology.
Another definition -- used by economics -- sees technology as the current state of our knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products (and the our knowledge of what can be produced). Thus, we can see technological change when our technical knowledge increases.
Technology in ideology
Very often, new is assumed to mean "better" in technology and engineering circles. The notion of appropriate technology developed in the 20th century to describe situations where it was not desirable to use very new technologies or those that required access to some centralized infrastructure or parts or skills imported from elsewhere. The eco-village movement evolved in part due to this concern. Intermediate technology, more of an economics concern, refers to compromises between central and expensive technologies of developed nations and those which developing nations find most effective to deploy given an excess of labour, and scarcity of cash. In general, an "appropriate" technology will also be "intermediate".
Exactly contrary assumptions are made by those who promote transhumanism, posthumanism, technological singularity, which collectively were described as "Cosmist" views by Hugo de Garis. In these ideologies, technological development is morally good. These ideologies are seen as symptoms of scientism and mathematical fetishism by those who use those terms. Some consider them also to be symptoms of belief in capitalism.
In economics, definitions or assumptions of progress or growth are often related to one of more of the above assumptions. Challenging prevailing assumptions about technology and its usefulness has led to ideas like uneconomic growth or measuring well-being. These, and economics itself, can often be described as technologies, specifically, as persuasion technology - a concern covered in its own separate article.
Concepts in technology
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SCOPE Science Controversies
Establishing online, intellectual communities of scientists, classroom teachers, and science learners focused on current controversies in science that concern scientists and also connect to the interests of the general public.
The Impact Of Technology
How the second industrial revolution ( miniaturisation and artificial intelligence) is relentlessly stagnating and impoverishing our community.
The Center for the Study of Technology and Society - Innovation
Keeping up with technology's developments is central to anticipating its social effects. Includes links to news reports on nanotechnology, advanced computing, space, and cryogenics.
Interactive knowledge organization, combining major world wide universities who manage this searchable database. Project is presently launching.
Center for the Study of Technology and Society
Nonprofit research and educational group based in Washington, D.C., providing news and information on technology related issues and their effect on society.
Red Rock Eater News Service
Mailing list and links to articles from UCLA professor Phil Agre about social and political aspects of computing and networking.
Choices and Challenges
An archive of proceeding of conferences dealing with ethical decisions in science and technology.
The Loka Institute
Non-profit research and advocacy organization concerned with the social, political, and environmental repercussions of research, science and technology.
Scientists For Global Responsibility
Explores the ethical dimension of scientific research and technology: ethical controversies, global energy and resource issues, alternative technologies, and global population and consumption.
Homepage of author and radio host Whitley Strieber, covering alternative and mainstream science news and debates.
State of the World: An Imaginary Dialogue Amongst Several Real Critics of Science
An excerpt from the transcript of the (imaginary, but based on real quotations) proceedings of the advisory committee on ecological catastrophe, charged with producing three policy recommendations.
Africa in a High-Technology Millennium
British Broadcasting Corporation interviews Nigerian computer and Internet pioneer, Philip Emeagwali, on what science and technology can do for Africa in the Information Age.
Center for Technology Studies
Resources from the Pacific Research Institute supporting ways to promote opportunity, innovation, and economic growth by limiting government intervention in the electronic frontier.
Technology Watch Centre
The Technology Watch Center (TWC) an organization within the National Science Foundation under the auspices of the Science & Technology Personnel Development Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
A Survey Of Technology In Cities
Article by Nigel Harris, published in Urgan Age magazine, discusses how advancing technologies will affect cities.
News, publications, conferences, and case studies about using technology in state and local government.
RFID privacy issues and news.
Where's My Privacy?
Weblog covering privacy issues related to technology and legislation. Many related links.