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Category: 02. 9/12 Understanding S, T, and S (Page 2 of 2)

Understanding S, T, and S

Today, when we hear the word “technology,” most people immediately picture high-tech gadgets, smartphones, or anything that involves electricity. However, “technology” encompasses much more than that; it’s an umbrella term used to describe anything that allows us to perform a task. But one question still remains: should we change that definition to fit modern standards?

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Understanding Technology

The understanding of technology changes as time goes on. Throughout history, technology has created different effects on society. Yet it is important to understand that tech is bigger than products and ideas. As Anil Dash says, “Technology isn’t an industry, it’s a method of transforming the culture and economics of existing systems and institutions.”

This means that technology changes but it’s effect on society have not on a macro level. For example, the industrial revolution changed how the world forever. The world went from hand production methods to machines. An industrial boom created a societal shift with the new reliance on high powered machines that caused mass production. The culture changed in ways many people never could imagine. Labor jobs were not as needed.  A certain individual could make a lot more money. Everyone had to adapt.

The technological advancement of computers is very similar to the industrial revolution. Companies and people rely on computers and phones for everyday life. Literally, the world would not be able to function if computer technology got interrupted. Similar to the industrial revolution computer technology changed society. Culture and economics are forever impacted by the advances of digital technology. Now it is all about how can technology cut costs and time for companies and individuals. Digital technology also created a shift in cultural actions and everyday life through connectivity.

Technology’s meaning has changed over time. Thoreau describes technology as “an improved means to an unimproved end.” This pretty much challenges that technology may make things easier, but what is the result of that. This definitely applies to technological advancements today. Many people will wonder if having a cell phone at their hand at all times will really provide them with more happiness than if they did not have one. Flash forward to today, David Nye describes technology as,  “The sum total of systems of machines and techniques that underlie a civilization…. Not merely a system of machines with certain functions, but an expression of a social world.” It is important to not view technology as product advancement but that to understand technology is to understand the effects it has on cultural, economics, and society.

Science: The Pursuit of Knowledge

To fully understand the concept of science and technology, it is imperative to scrutinize the work of 20th Century philosophers such as Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper. Through significant works such as The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, it is clear Kuhn conveys the concept of science as an ever changing study; furthermore, he believes scientific thinkers look to increase the preciseness of scientific knowledge.  Continue reading

The Falsifiability of Science

The ways in which we can understand what science is or what technology is may vary depending on the field of study you are understanding them from. For example, how we define science in everyday human life can have different meaning if you ask a historian or if you ask a philosopher. However, I believe that Karl Popper thought about it best when he took all sorts of scientific mindsets into account, from Einstein’s relativity theory to Marx’s theory of history, and came to the conclusion that in order for a scientific theory to be true science it must be falsifiable.

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Science and Technology in Terms of Evolution

In David Nye’s piece on the definition of technology, he stated that the evolution of humans to use and create technology is what sets us apart from other species because it gives social life the ability to be more complex. Evolution can be associated with technology in two ways: the evolution of the tools and machines themselves, and the evolution of human societies as they accept or reject technology and science. Continue reading

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