Technology refers to the people, materials and tools that make it possible for humans to do things. Anthropologists use the term to refer to everything from the controlled use of fire by our hominid ancestors millions of years ago, through the wheel and other inventions, to today’s computers, cell phones, rockets, and more.
Technology is also the heart of science, providing the eyes and ears of scientists to advance various lines of research such as weather systems, genetic patterns, and other complex systems. Technology also allows scientists to transport themselves and their equipment to remote research sites (such as Antarctica, the moon, or even space), protect themselves from hazardous materials, and collect samples for analysis.
With the help of step-by-step explanations, original graphics, and a simple layout that puts similar devices side-by-side, How Technology Works will help readers understand how today’s technology works. For example, the book explains how the integrated circuit makes electronic products such as computers, CD players, and cellular telephones work by showing the parts that make up each device and their connections to each other.
Arthur also shines a light on how the development of technologies such as the internet and augmented reality will have a profound impact on the way that we live, learn, and work. He argues that it is important to liberate technology from scholars who reduce it to instrumental reasoning, the process of finding the best means to a specific end. He also argues that we must rescue it from determinists who see technology as driven by its own ends and divorced from culture.