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Technology

Technology is the field that applies science to solve problems with an industrial or commercial end in mind. Engineering applies human traits such as imagination, judgement, and intellectual discipline[?] to existing human knowledge to create or use technology safely and efficiently[?].

For example: All buildings require the use of technology of some sort. A lasting artistic expression requires materials to be formed, and creating those materials requires some understanding of their chemical and physical properties. Architecture requires an understanding of the effects of weather, soil and water, in addition to some knowledge of the strengths of the materials used.

The term technology is usually used to explain new inventions and gadgets using recently derived scientific principles and processes. However, even very old inventions such as the wheel are, strictly speaking, technology.

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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. In these ideologies, technological development is morally good. These ideologies are seen as symptoms of scientism by some opponents. 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.

Early or prehistoric advances in technology or fundamental tools

More recent tools that are fundamental to modern technology

Modern major fields of technology

Concepts in Technology[?]

See also: Technology assessment, Timeline of inventions, Technological Convergence


What are our priorities for writing in this area? To help develop a list of the most basic topics in technology, please see Technology basic topics.



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