Technology is the application of knowledge to achieve practical goals, and is an intrinsic part of human culture. It consists of techniques, facts and procedures that order matter, transform energy and create the means for realizing valued ends.
The word “technology” has been in use since ancient times. A technology, in general, is an object or process resulting from a technological process, which includes manufacturing, research and management. Although the term is often used to describe products that are derived from such efforts, the term can also be used to describe the concept itself.
Technological innovations can have a positive or negative impact on the environment and on society. Many technological processes contribute to the depletion of natural resources and to the creation of unwanted by-products. As such, understanding the role of technology in the world can be a useful exercise for all concerned.
In addition, the development of technology has had a dramatic effect on human history. For example, the invention of the wheel enabled humans to control their environment and to increase the number of food sources available. However, many technologies have had a corrosive influence on society as well.
The use of technology has played a key role in the emergence of advanced economies. Almost everyone uses some form of technology every day. New technology often raises new ethical questions.
Technologies range from small, individual effects to profound impacts on the human population. Even in the most mundane of technology applications, the effects can be measurable and observable.
One common definition of technology is “the set of means created by a technological process”. This can include physical objects, such as toothbrushes, to virtual objects. Generally, technologies aim to improve the lives of people.
Another common definition of technology is the application of science. Such technologies include the development of medical devices and the creation of informational systems. Most technology is designed to make the process of solving a problem more efficient and easier.
Technology is the result of a transfer of scientific knowledge from the laboratory to the marketplace. Scientific discoveries have had a dramatic impact on the development of technology. Some examples of these are the development of nuclear explosives, which changed wars, and preventive medicine, which has contributed to the growth of the human population.
However, the most basic definition of technology is the application of knowledge to achieve practical goals. Examples of this are the use of knowledge to develop and maintain a network of telegraph lines and to program control elements in a mechanical device.
A technological wave is a sweeping dispersal of new technology. They are difficult to predict, but they often have an indelible impact on industry and culture. Some waves last for a short period of time, primarily because of poor profits.
Technology is a complex social enterprise. It requires people to develop, test and implement new ideas. All of the elements involved have to be coordinated. Furthermore, most technological products require a degree of maintenance.