Defining Technology – A Review of George J. SchatzbergSeptember 28, 2021
Technology is the collective sum of any procedures, technical skills, ways, and means utilized in the achievement of specific objectives, like scientific research, or in the creation of new products or services. The sum of all human knowledge and the potential for future improvement is referred to as technology. In business, technology is also used to refer to a group of things, practices, and systems that are used to improve the operation of a business. While some industries may use technology in the name of modernity, others use it as a means to achieve something more specific and meaningful.
The scope and focus of modern technology, like the technologies we have outlined above, is astounding. Take the invention of the wheel, for example. People did not immediately jump to the conclusion that the wheel was one of the most significant technological innovations in history, because no one had ever seen one before. The discovery of the wheel was the result of long and careful observation of how animals moved around and how the forces of gravity and friction were acting on those bodies. Over time, the science of mechanics emerged from this study, and eventually people began to use the new material means to create and make the wheel, which significantly changed the face of early civilization.
In the modern world, however, the scope of modern technology is so vast that most people do not see all of the possible applications and uses for these technologies. One area where the scope of technologies is especially vast is in the realm of business and office technology. Office equipment, software, printers, desktop computers, faxes, networking devices, and many other computer related technologies are present in all aspects of modern office life. While some of the more common types of office technology are far beyond the reach of most people, like fax machines, others, like email, are widespread and have become a part of everyday life. These common types of office technology can be grouped into three main categories: analog technologies, digital technologies, and infrared technologies.
The scope of Schatzberg’s work also encompassed topics that were outside of the scientific realm. As a professor at Harvard University during the late twentieth century, he was known for his studies of ancient Greek science, especially astrology. He helped to popularize the notion that the movements of heavenly bodies could be used to scientifically predict events in ancient civilizations and in his studies of how astronomy and astrology are reflected in architecture. In his book The Principles of Modern Physics, he discussed concepts like “vacuum energy”, “cosmological vacuum”, and “pantotic energy”.
In addition to his studies of ancient Greek science and architecture, Schatzberg explored topics that fall within the spectrum of modern scientific research. These include topics that are considered to be within the informational science category, such as computer sciences, engineering, information science, numerical analysis, and cognitive science. Within the informational science category, he explored topics that fall into the technological domain, including telecommunications, computer systems, information technology, digital information systems, and wireless communication. In his book A History of Technologies, Schatzberg discussed several other technical areas, all of which fall under his broader definition of the term “technologies”.
All in all, Schatzberg offers a more comprehensive definition of the term techne, making it easier for people to distinguish between different technological innovations. With his detailed note writing style, he is able to do this quite effectively, particularly drawing from his wide background in mathematics and his strong background in engineering. In short, he is a valuable contributor to the field of techno.