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Technology: What Is It And How Did We Get Here?

Let's learn a thing or two and appreciate the technology we have today.

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What is technology? It's not just cell phones, computers and television, but it is any object that aids an individual in finishing their task in a more effective manner. Needless to say, humans have made great strides to get where we are now. It is important to appreciate the means that it took for society to get here, because "contrary to its 19th-century predecessor, 20th-century technology became more and more oblivious to the successive steps that had led to its present state and any future developments" (Picon, 2009, p.142). Though oblivious, innovation still progresses technology at a fast pace to where it is now able to almost blur the line of time and distance.

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As early as caveman days, technology has already made itself notable when it was first discovered that they used and manipulated sticks and stones to hunt animals. Picon (2009) states that "technology had to do with the consideration of primeval or former stages of human evolution" (p.142). So you have to admit, sticks and stones were quite an innovative technology for cavemen. Over millions of years, humans made new advances and now don't need to go by the "hunter and gatherer" mentalities (unless you really want to). Instead, grocery stores and farms were created where we can now purchase food, allowing people to contribute their energy and ideas in furthering our technological advancement in society.

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The telephone is a classic example of how far we've come in our ways of creating innovative technology. From using Morse code, creating wired telephones, and now to smartphones, communicating over long distances has never been easier. Surely when we were still using Morse code and telegraphs to communicate, it would have been fine for that time. However, the constant demand for better communication has now pushed the growth of the telephone to where we're holding miniature compact computers in our hands. In Gregory Nemet's (2009) study, he explains that there is a science and technology-push, where "advances in scientific understanding determine the rate and direction of innovation" (p.701). The more advanced technology we have, the fast we are able to increase this rate of innovation. Since our understanding of science and technology has already progressed greatly, innovation will increase at an extremely fast rate. Considering how far we've come in the last 10 years of cell phones due to a constant demands for better phones, there's no doubt that they will only keep advancing.

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Hopefully we steer away from exploding phones though.

Another piece of technology that has evolved significantly throughout history is transportation. This all started with the wheel. The wheel is considered as one of the more notable pieces of technological artifacts, because it revolutionized the way we travelled. Modes of transportation were shared amongst networks of communication, till which the wheel is now utilized for cars as one of the main modes of transportation. Humans went from riding animals to carriages, and from there on to creating automobiles. Now, just like how we have smartphones, we have supercars. This even raises the possibility of new forms of transportation where it does not utilize the wheel, aside from trains and subways. The possibility that an idea as such is even considered shows how far technology has progressed and will further advance.

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There are many other different kinds of technology that have progressed significantly in the past hundred years that are notable in showing how society has steered the advancement of technology. Along with Nemet's (2009) study, he mentions the demand-pull along with the technology-push, explaining that "demand drives the rate and direction of innovation" (p.701). Therefore, with the advances of science and the demand of the market, technology will be pushed into a cycle of continuous innovation, with the idea that as long as there is a demand, it will be created. People will always be looking for innovative ways of accomplishing their goals, which only means that our current technology will only keep advancing.

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Nemet, G. F. (2009). Demand-pull, technology-push, and government-led incentives for non-incremental technical change. Research Policy, 700-709.

Picon, A. (2009). Does Our Technology Make The Past Irrelevant To Our Future? : Beyond Techno-Determinism and Social Constructivism. History of the Future, 141-146.

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