Technology is an ever-present part of our lives. Understanding how it works, and how it impacts us as humans, is crucial to those who develop and research new technologies, as well as for everyone else who uses them.
There are many different types of technology, with each one offering a unique set of functions. Some of them are designed to make work easier while others help people keep in touch with friends and family who may live far away.
Technological advances have made machines smarter, allowing them to take on tasks that were previously done by humans. This has allowed companies to cut costs and increase profits, while also providing a higher standard of service for customers.
But there are also many drawbacks of technological advances. Using too much technology can cause eye strain, back pain and addiction, and it can affect our physical health as well as our mental wellbeing. Over-dependence on technology can lead to a lack of face-to-face communication and social skills, as well as privacy issues when it comes to the collection and use of personal information. The environmental impact of technology is also a growing concern, with many technologies creating pollution and causing harm to the natural world.
Arthur’s theory is a useful correction to the way we tend to talk about technology. It rejects the idea that technological progress is down to lone inventors who ‘discover’ a new technology. Instead, he suggests that the development of technology has a fractal quality, with each new step building on and connecting to the previous.