Technology is the collective set of skills, systems, processes, and practices used in the creation of products or services or the achievement of specific goals, for example, scientific research. In the broadest sense technology can be thought of as anything that has a practical application and is utilized in daily life. Computers, electricity, photography, airplanes, communication, transportation, and many other technological innovations have changed the world dramatically. It is important to keep up with modern technology by learning about its history, the science behind it, and how it applies to our lives. This book presents a brief history of technological change and surveys some of the key thinkers and institutions that have influenced its development.
A close examination of how technological innovations change the world provides an important understanding of the discipline of technology, including its relationships to science, politics, and society. The book briefly surveys key concepts in technology, including knowledge creation, power, and information, leisure time, technical progress, technological change, technical systems, social systems, and economic systems. It then examines key technological changes and the effects they have on society, including their impact on the growth and welfare of human beings and their relation to science, technology, and society. The final chapter examines how modern technologies continue to change the world.
Anderson shows how technological objects and practices can provide the means for different ways of living and the promotion of freedom and social justice. She demonstrates how technologists have developed new and improved methods for measuring the quality of lives and how these quality standards become associated with political and social policies. Anderson shows how technologists have identified and attempted to quantify social issues through technological objects and practices such as clean energy, telecommunications, transportation, financial systems, entertainment, and medical science. She also describes the historical development of technology, including how new technological objects and practices were introduced to the world and how these were used to address important technological problems. She concludes by discussing how technologists have shaped society through the growth of new technological devices and mediums.
The book traces the development of technology across different historical periods in mankind’s history. The first chapter traces the development of Neolithic technology, especially through the rise of agricultural societies in which farming and animal husbandry replaced technological systems based on stone and brick. The agricultural revolution ushered in a new understanding of how humans interact and how nature determines cultural norms. The rise of industrial societies and the dawn of the scientific and technological communities ushered in a new understanding of how humans interact and the nature of reality. As the industrial revolution approached its terminal stage in the first half of the 20th century, technological systems fell behind in several areas, such as communications and entertainment.
The second chapter focuses on how humans have developed technological systems since then. Anderson shows how the forms of technology have changed and continue to do so as society progresses. In particular, she focuses on four different categories of technological systems, each one encapsulating a core aspect of modern life that continues to influence the arts and sciences in their respective fields. These include information systems, power systems, analytical categories, and artistic categories. Among the different categories she examines and discusses, agriculture, communication, and industrial revolution are the core aspects of all of them.
The third chapter analyses the impact of technological change on art and literature. She compares the developments in literary forms across time and places. Cultural studies is an important branch of anthropology, with its focus on the interaction of culture and society. Schatzberg thus provides a valuable contribution to the field by developing a cultural approach to technology and making it relevant to a variety of academic disciplines. Her analyses are premised on her conception of eschatology as an analytical category and a reading of texts in eschatology and aesthetics.