Technology is one of the fundamental phenomena of contemporary society. It is a powerful force in both the economy and culture and, as such, it is impossible to ignore it. The study of technology as a discipline has emerged over the last two centuries, focusing on the nature and meaning of technology, as well as the relationship between technology and society.
Technology comes in many different forms. Some are disruptive, while others are incremental. Disruptive technologies disrupt traditional industries and create new products. Incremental technologies change and improve upon old products and processes. Examples of disruptive technologies include digital photography, which reduces the need for traditional film. Incremental technologies, on the other hand, are less radical but have valuable improvements.
Technology is more than just gadgets. It has different meanings for different people and is increasingly affecting our working and personal lives. As such, understanding how technology is shaped by humans is essential for those who create, research, or use it. While the term technology is often considered neutral, its meaning changes constantly depending on the context.
Technology started with the conversion of natural resources into tools that humans could use to help themselves. The prehistoric discovery of fire opened up new sources of food and made it easier to travel through the environment. Later, the wheel made it possible to move more freely and was a significant tool in the development of civilization. Other advances in technology include the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet. Of course, not all technology has been used peacefully. Throughout history, humans have also developed weapons with increasing destructive power.