I’d like to start making a distinction between what many of us think technology is and what I think technology actually is.
When we say “technology” we often think about things that I’d better call digital, for example computers, cellphones and different electronic devices. All this surely is “technology”. However, I think that when we pronounce this word we should think about ourselves, and consider any type of development that we have produced.
Technology comes from the Greek “Tèchnè” (art) and “Logìa” (speech), which literally means anything that can be said or done about an art. It is something that we need and can’t do without.
A few days ago I read an article by an eminent American writer, photographer, conservationist and expert of digital culture: Kevin Kelly.
The title of the article was “We are technology” and I really agree with him. Kelly coined a word, “Technium” by which he includes all human inventions, all men’s mind-products , from the “banal” music to the iPod.
The first weapon that a human created from a stone to kill an animal is an example of technology. Seen from this point of view, according to me, technology can’t be absolutely considered something negative. On the contrary, it is something that we need to survive, something vitally important and something that is part of our being. Charles Darwin, in his “Origins of the species”, explained that all creatures in the world need to change to adapt themselves to their environment and survive. This is technology, according to me, the ability that we humans have to make the most of our intelligence. Every invention comes from a necessity.
Surely there are also negative aspects, not less relevant. They are products of the corrupt part of human being. We can’t blame a gun for killing a man, it didn’t invent itself, or we can’t blame television if millions of people spend their days sitting on the sofa eating tons of chips.
So it should be our duty to take advantage of our inventions, using them to better the quality of our life.
If you are interested, you can have a look at Kelly’s blog at www.kk.org