Technology — it’s one of the most important aspects of our lives. From the first stone tools to our modern computers, it has influenced our entire history and will continue to do so for years to come. But how exactly does it work? This book provides an accessible introduction to the principles that make up this complex subject. It explains the fundamental concepts, and uses step-by-step explanations with simple graphics that show devices like a cell phone or a laptop in action.
From the ancient art of pictograms to the modern world of e-mail, we have always used technology to send messages to other people. This technology is called communication technology, and it enables us to stay in touch with family and friends across the globe and explore new ideas, practices, and perspectives from different parts of the world.
The word ‘technology’ is derived from two Greek words: techne, meaning skill, and logos, meaning word or discourse about the way things are gained. So, when it comes to technology, the definition is broad, covering everything from the skills that enable us to build and repair machines to the ideas and theories that help us understand our surroundings and how they function.
Most technological innovations spread or fail on the basis of free-market forces. Occasionally, though, some become so widespread that they affect the whole society. Examples include contour plowing, vaccination, and nuclear power plants. In these cases, the use of the technology becomes an issue that can be debated and possibly regulated by government or business entities.
Technology is also the engine that drives scientific research. It enables scientists to observe and study the weather, demographic patterns, and gene structure. Scientists also use technology to develop medical treatments and to travel to remote areas for research. They use it to communicate with their colleagues, publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, and develop new materials.
In the 1900s, people began to put the parts that make electronic products work into tiny chips called integrated circuits. These made it possible for people to create personal computers, cellular phones, and digital cameras. People also used technology to create electrical devices that are placed inside the body, such as pacemakers and hearing aids.
Today, companies use technology to improve their products and outperform their competition. They also use it to ease the operations of their employees and customers. The advantages of technology are clear and numerous, from reducing the time and effort needed to complete a task to increasing accuracy. This is why technology has proven to be a valuable resource for almost all industries.