The Nature of Technology?

Does technology have a nature? 

What is nature?

In this context, ‘nature’ refers to technology’s basic, inherent features – its characteristic or essence. 

This then begs the question, what exactly is technology?

Technology derives from the Greek tekhnē, which means art or craft and ‘logia’ which means an explanation or the study of something (like geology, biology, theology, genealogy, etc). So while folks typically think instantly of computers when technology is mentioned, in actuality an artist is a technologist. The artist is using his or her skills, methods and processes (techniques) to achieve the production of a work of art. This is technology.

Early man’s development of basic tools is another example of technology.  

Now, if a fellow takes this knowledge, bundles it up somehow (like programming software), sticks it in a machine (like computer hardware), then voilà – now we have what most folks think of today as being technology.

I’ll be referring to both these (both the machines and the techniques) as technology, making distinctions where needed.

So, does technology have a nature? 

Good question. I’ll talk a bit more about that in the next post.