2. Laws

Laws concerning technology.


Technology is neither good nor bad;
nor is it neutral.

Melvin Kranzberg

Technology is everything we create. Everything which is not of the natural world is technological. This includes artifacts such as smartphones, supersonic jets and the printing press. However it also includes abstract practices like agriculture, the harnessing of fire, and the concept of money.

Technologies are divisible as tools and techniques. Tools are physical components such as scissors, communication satellites or incandescent lightbulbs. Techniques are the methods through which tools are used, like writing, business models or law.

Technology affects every aspect of our lives. We depend on urbanization, language, transportation, electricity and countless other technologies so ubiquitous they have become invisible. Millennia of coevolution leaves us inseparable from this technological infrastructure, locked into a delicate balance of power.


Chapters

  1. Exponential Change
  2. Unintended Consequences
  3. Combinatorial Evolution
  4. Inspiration Informs Innovation
  5. Naturalization
  6. Incomprehensibility
  7. Solutionism

What is technology?

An ongoing attempt to bring the world closer to the way one wishes it to be. Whereas science aims to understand the world as it is, technology aims to change the world.

Maarten Franssen

The human making and using of material artifacts in all forms and aspects.

Carl Mitcham

The human modification of the natural world.

Edward Tenner

Everything invented after we were born.

Kevin Kelly

Everything that doesn’t work yet.

W. Danny Hillis

Organization, procedures, symbols, new words, equations, and, most of all, a mindset.

Ursula Franklin

Every technology is both a burden and a blessing;
not either-or, but this-and-that.

Neil Postman

An improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau

Etymology

  • Techne +
    art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained.
  • Logos
    word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed, a saying, or an expression.

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