What Is Technology?


Technology is a term used to describe knowledge or tools that make tasks easier or resolve problems. It includes everything from computers and mobile phones to the internet and robotics.

The development of new technology often involves a long, iterative process. This is because it usually requires a step-by-step approach to testing and proving that ideas or theories are workable and scalable.

Joseph Dunne points out that the technologist actively participates in determining what kind of future they wish to see materialize, rather than being handed a clearly defined problem. This means that the technologist must reason through contingencies, constraints, and behavior in specific circumstances.

Moreover, since people’s attention and energy are finite, the technology must efficiently route their resources towards its own end. This often means routing away from other routes or ends, because they’re less efficient or more demanding.

For example, the digital photography path became the preferred route to taking photographs and replacing film and darkrooms. This meant that analogue photography was deprioritized, made harder and less gratifying. Eventually, this led to the end of the analogue photography pathway and its associated workflows.