Technology Does Not Mean Electronics

 

It’s ignorant to assume that technology and electronics are synonyms. Technology is a specialized type of tool made by man to help him solve problems. Computers and electronics are definitley not the only things that do this.

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I get hesitant to tell people I’m into “tech” because more often than not, they assume it means I like picking computers apart or reading about whatever under-qualified founders just raised money for their bad startup idea. No.

My passion lies in learning about all types of tools that solve problems. To go even further, I enjoy studying how these tools get adopted into the world. I’m obsessed with the stories about how the products we use everyday became normalized.

Ever since humans started roaming the Earth, we’ve created tools to help us. Tools are the way we extend our own capabilities when our anatomy can’t achieve everything we’d like. We might be limited by own own flesh and bones at times, but our minds give us the capability to create third party methods of convenience that give us the power we want.

We wanted to eat, so we created technology to hunt our food. We wanted to protect ourselves from the elements, so we created technology to create clothes. We wanted to fly, so we created technology to soar through the air. We wanted to speak to people without having to be in the same room, so we created technology to transmit vibrations through copper cords.

So as you can see, whenever we want to “x” we create a technology that does “x”.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the ambition of the goal is. Humans, using their ability to think, will invent a solution, or at least try. And that my friends, is technology.

The other beautiful part of this inevitability of invention-making is invention-mastering.

It doesn’t matter if the goal is as small as scooping up some ice cream, humans will revise, re-make and innovate different methods of solving that one goal until it’s perfect.

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In this photo you can see a stunning example of how different minds try to solve the same problem. All of these varieties of ice cream scoopers represent more than just ways to scoop ice cream. They represent how we as a species are gifted with different ways of perceiving problems and how to solve them.

How beautiful is it that humans have unique approaches to solving the same problem?

How lucky are we, that we get to learn from each other and our different perspectives?

If you pay attention to history, technology is as natural as nature itself. Ever since we began to integrate into the world, we used raw materials such as wood, fur, metal, bone, etc. to achieve what we could not achieve without it.

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Technology is the physical expression of human kind exercising his ability to think. It’s proof that we are prone to identify problems and get creative enough to manipulate the resources we have access to on Earth to solve them.

To think the term “technology” is limited to your iPhone or newest favorite app ignores the centuries of invention, innovation and convenience provided to us by the people who came before. I am eternally grateful for the “weirdos” who mixed, tinkered and played with the materials I get to take advantage of on a daily basis. I’m also as thankful to the humans who coordinated a free-trade system to allow these inventions to spread and be available for purchase.

Everything from vacuums to velcro or sinks to Snapchat, the diversity in thought and effort is something I can’t ignore.

 
CULTUREAlex Wolf