Technology – Yesterday and Today
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Technology is a Greek word that has two parts. The first part is ‘techno’ and the second one is ‘logia’. Techno means an art or skill that can be made by the hand. Logia mean modification, or use of knowledge of tools and machines to perform a task. In other words, technology is a complex word that describes a process where simple tools and machines can be used to improve life. It involves the knowledge and use of tools and machines to solve problems in an organized and schematic manner. As an art and science, technology is an ever improving process that aims at providing machines and other complex tools to replace human labor in the work place. Through technology, technicians, scientists, and other stake holders are able to change the world in any sector. These sectors might include information technology, construction, and medical technology.
Technology has a lot to do with science. In fact, some people have claimed that the two are inseparable. Indeed, this is true. Through science, people are able to learn about atoms, electrons and other molecules. Technology then manipulates these molecules to create machine which ease life (Salter, 2010). Therefore, technology is an ever changing entity. It keeps growing everyday with the invention of new materials and elements. In this manner, one needs to differentiate the types of technology. Ideally, two types exist; yesterday’s and today’s. There is another type known as future technology. In this paper, the first two will be discussed and show how they are related to each other.
Yesterday’s technology and its evolution
This type refers to the past. It does not deal with the present, but involves the beginning of mankind all the way to just a few years ago. Yesterday’s technology is like history. It began thousands of years ago and has been evolving over the years. Technology is said to have started with the invention of fire by the Homo erectus more than twenty two hundred thousand years ago. However, this might not be true since man started developing tools even before he invented fire. A precise beginning can be related to the early Stone Age, when man started developing crude weapons and tools for hunting and gathering. This must have been the Paleolithic period, which span from 2.5 million years to about 10,000 BC. From early Stone Age, man moved with technology to the middle stone age. Here, man realizes the opportunity that stone offers. He starts developing flints and stone knives to kill large animals for food. He then invents fire to help in coking of meat and sharpening hunting knives. At this point in time, man is living in caves (Salter, 2010). In the late Stone Age man has realized the potential of stone in producing larger and bigger tools and weapons. He then develops language and society. This indeed is technology.
From Stone Age, technology heads towards Mesopotamia where the wheel is invented to ease movement of goods, people and services. It is important to note that development of the wheel is one of the most important steps in the history of mankind and technology.At this point in time, the Sumerians and Egyptians had also started developing writing in papyrus. The invention of writing was indeed a form of revolution as it created the urge for knowledge and education leading to a series of inventions. Some of the important inventions during the yester years included the invention of telescope by Galileo, invention of steam engine by Stevenson, the invention of telephone by Alexander Graham Bell as well as the invention of electricity by Michael Faraday. Many other people also started studying other disciplines in order to gain knowledge on how some phenomenon worked. Of importance were Isaac Newton and his law of gravity, as well as Archimedes and his law of floatation. In the agricultural sector, the Agrarian revolution saw increase in technology with people like Jethrow Tull inventing the ox drawn plough. Yesterday’s technology has evolved a great deal. Many people have devoted their lives to the study of mathematics, physics and other basic science with a view to improving life through provision of other inventions. Greatest scholars like Aristotle and Hippocrates ensured that the yesterday’s technology got a firm foundation.
Today’s technology can be summarized into one thing: computer. This is indeed the age of computers. This period can be said s to have started in the 1970s with the invention of very large computers which were later replaced by main frame computers. Computers have been used to control and monitor virtually every machine in the world. Talk about microwaves, aero planes, cars, industrial machines, and phones. All are due to computers. This age of technology is referred to as the age of artificial intelligence. This intelligence has been used to control lives of people and other animals all over the world. Of importance is communication. Though computers, many devices have been invented to aid in communication. The invention of phones has ensured that the world becomes a global village where people can communicate with each other despite the long distances (Salter, 2010). Today’s technology can be clearly referred to as modernism and the epic of man’s knowledge. From the 1960s man had advanced his knowledge to such a level that he was able to build space ships for exploring outer space.
In fact, 1969 was the year America managed to provide a space shuttle known as Apollo II, which safely landed in the moon, making Neil Armstrong the first man to ever walk on moon’s surface. USSR followed suit by launching a space ship which travelled around the world in the year 1970. Over the past 40 or so years, technology has advanced a great deal. All fields have been represented equally. More advanced space ships have been created and launched. In fact, there are plans underway for colonizing planet Mars. This is how far technology of today has gone (Salter, 2010). In the field of communication, phones have been created and modified to ease communication. Smart phones have been created with artificial intelligence that enables people to do a lot within short periods of time. Together with these has been the creation of smaller and portable computers in the form of note books, lap tops and palm tops. Indeed, technology has brought us far in terms of communication.
The ever evolving dynamic technology has made advances in the simple forms of communication like moss code. Right now, people can communicate live through internet interface, Skype and other modalities. The field of transport has not been left behind either. Long gone are the days when people used to ride animals as the only source of transport. Today, cars, planes, ships, and trains have been modified to enhance faster transport. In fact, there have been developments that have led to the invention of electric cars and trains. One cannot help but marvel at how fast the world has changed in terms of technology. Today’s technology has replaced human labor. People can work at the comfort of their homes using computers and phones to coordinate their work. At the same time, this technology has done a lot in the world of recreation, entertainment and health. The health sector has also benefited from the new technology. This is though provision of better imaging modalities which have improved diagnosis, treatment and management as a whole.
Comparing and contrasting technology of yesterday and that of today Technology of yesterday and today has contributed positively to the change in life style. This has mainly been due to improvement in life through the availability of enough food andemployment opportunities. Technology has led to the increase in number of industries which process food stuff, making them available for use by many people all over the world. This has been essential in providing fortified food stuff hence prevention of deficiency diseases among children and adults (Salter, 2010). Technology as a whole has helped in the improvement of transport and communication systems all over the world. Transport has become cheaper and faster. Together with communication, transport has led to development of many industries and improvement in business opportunities and economy as a whole. Indeed, the world has become a global village. Technology has also led to the advancement in knowledge and improvement in the health sector. People have been able to use computers and typing press to print and publish text books and other learning materials leading to improvement in the education sector. Health has also been improved with the invention of imaging modalities and better treatment method.
On the other hand, there are some differences that emerge between the two generations of technology. To begin with, yesterday’s technology is more inferior as compared to today’s technology. This is because today’s technology is building on yesterday’s technology to improve itself. Again, yesterday’s technology depended too much on steam, fossil fuel, and petroleum, while today’s technology depends on electricity, solar and geothermal energy. Yesterday’s technology caused a great pollution to the environment through the burning of fossils and fuels while today’s technology produces little or no smoke at all and is friendly to the environment (Salter, 2010). Lastly, it is important to note that today’s technology has led to the advance in weaponry. This has led to creation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction that has contributed to terrorism and loss of thousands of lives through wars. This is a setback that yesterday’s technology did not experience.