Throughout history, technology has played a key role in shaping the course of human civilization. From a simple tool such as a hammer to a complex system of control like a nuclear bomb, technology has changed the way we live. It has shaped the way we make decisions, conduct business, and communicate.
Technology is the process of inventing, researching, designing, manufacturing, and utilizing products and services. It is also a social enterprise that involves human and nonhuman components. Most technological products require repair and maintenance. It is also necessary to dispose of waste materials safely. Moreover, technological innovations often become a hot topic of public debate. They may also be subject to formal regulation or public policy.
Technology is a complex social enterprise that affects everyday life. The impact of technology can be positive or negative. In order to design a good technological system, people must assess its impact on people, the environment, and society. They must also compare the economic and design criteria for each solution. Ideally, they can present their final solution to management and government officials.
There are several basic types of technology: industrial, business, and information. Industrial technology includes manufacturing processes, materials and equipment, and energy sources. Business technology includes business operations, marketing, and finance. Information technology includes software and hardware. All technological systems include human components. Human control is necessary to monitor control elements, program control elements, and take over when technology malfunctions.
Technology grew out of techniques for manipulating things. In the beginning, tek probably referred to building a wooden house by wattling. As technology advanced, it expanded to specialized expertise. Rhetoric was considered a form of technology by Aristotle. Other authors, such as Hippocrates, referred to medicine as a form of techne.
Technology is an intrinsic part of the cultural system. It shapes and reflects the values of that system. It also has the potential to drive the invention of new things. Agricultural technology has probably had more influence on human life than political revolutions. It has also contributed to an explosive population increase, especially in the past two centuries.
Some technologies work on a local scale, while others work at a global scale. For example, automobiles are designed to run on gasoline, electricity, and oil. An automobile has the potential to change the way people live. It is also possible that new technology will have more applications than its initial design. In this case, it is essential to reach design compromises that take personal values into account.
Optimal design is the process of combining the best possible constraints with the most appropriate means toward the end. This requires human control and coordination, even in automatic systems. Designing a system without human control is not practical. Nevertheless, if there are constraints that cannot be lowered to zero, overdesign is a potential hedge against failure.
Optimal design takes into account all constraints. Some constraints are absolute, such as physical properties, and others have flexibility, such as keeping demands on personnel. Some are relative, such as the likelihood of undesirable consequences from a given design.