The Definition of Technology


Technology is the applied science of using tools to manipulate and transmit information. It encompasses both tangible tools such as utensils and machines as well as intangible ones such as computers. It also includes methods for processing, recording and organizing business data. It is a key component for businesses to run efficiently and effectively. Without it, many business operations would be extremely complicated and time consuming.

The definition of Technology as a designed, material means to an end is one of the most intriguing aspects of this subject. It can be seen in both the sublime of planetary science and the mundane activity of changing gear while driving a car. This intervening power is present everywhere, from the very beginnings of human civilization through to modern business practices.

Every engineering design operates within constraints, including financial (only so much money is available), political (local, state and national regulations), social (public opposition), ecological (likely disruption of the natural environment) and ethical (disadvantages to some people, risk to subsequent generations). Choosing which technologies to develop, or even whether to move forward with an apparently promising initial invention, requires reasoning through these contingencies as best as possible, and striking a reasonable compromise between them.

It is the responsibility of scientists, engineers and mathematicians to work as far ahead of the development of technology as is practical to estimate benefits, side effects and risks. They can help by designing adequate detection devices and monitoring techniques, and by setting up procedures for the collection of relevant data.

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