Technology is a human endeavor that allows us to do many different things. The word technology is derived from the Greek word techne, which means “knowledge of how to make things”. In addition to its many practical uses, technology has other important roles such as impacting the environment and intervening in conflicts. This article explores these different aspects of technology.
Techne is a Greek word for knowledge of how to make things that would otherwise not exist
The word technology is derived from the Greek techne, which originally meant “knowledge of the crafts”. Later, the word was used to encompass all types of craft, including ship captaining, music, farming, and the governing of states. Today, technology refers to the products of human knowledge and creativity.
The first period of technology spans from Greek antiquity to the Middle Ages. In the first period, techne was understood as the knowledge of how to make things that would otherwise be impossible, and it was used as an element of craft-knowledge. The second period of technology, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, is marked by a much more elevated appreciation of technology.
Instrumental definition allows choice of means to an end
The instrumental definition of an object or an event does not rely on the concept of intrinsic value to determine its worth. Rather, it depends on the means used to produce the end. Instrumental values are usually ignored, but they are a type of non-binary value.
A dentist may believe that the means he uses to achieve a goal are painful, but he may still believe that the means are necessary. If that’s the case, he wouldn’t be irrational.
Impact of technology on the environment
One of the most negative impacts of technology on the environment is resource depletion. This happens when we use resources faster than they can be replenished. There are many different types of natural resources: some are renewable, while others are non-renewable. For example, fossil fuels are not renewable. As we increase our reliance on these fuels, we are depleting our planet’s water supply and causing severe deforestation. This deforestation leads to the destruction of wildlife and the destruction of habitats.
Other effects of technology include dramatic changes in climate worldwide. This can lead to global warming, the extinction of birds and plants, and increased prevalence of diseases. Climate change has become an increasing problem for people worldwide. Hot countries are experiencing increasingly hotter summers, while cold countries are experiencing colder winters. Using air conditioning to cool your home during summer months can help combat the effect of climate change, but it can also be harmful to wildlife. The increased amount of pollution, energy consumption, and heat generation from technology are all contributing factors to climate change.
Intervening power of technology
Technology is a tool that can be weaponized against vulnerable communities. Consider the New York City Lantern Law, which required Black people to carry a lantern in the dark. This weaponized technology against Black and Indigenous communities and disproportionately benefited white citizens. Other examples include the emergence of hand-held computers and home entertainment systems. These innovations have a disruptive effect on communities and have become a major weapon for power structures.