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Technology is a broad term dealing with the use and knowledge of humanity's tools and crafts.
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- Anything that was in the world when you were born is normal and natural.
Anything invented between when you were 15 and 35 is new and revolutionary and exciting, and you’ll probably get a career in it.
Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams in the book The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time, 2002, p. 95, which is a posthumous collection of previously published and unpublished material by him.
- Asimov: Science fiction always bases its future visions on changes in the levels of science and technology. And the reason for that consistency is simply that—in reality—all other changes throughout history have been irrelevant and trivial. For example, what difference did it make to the people of the ancient world that Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire? Obviously, that event made some difference to a lot of individuals. But if you look at humanity in general, you'll see that life went on pretty much as it had before the conquest.
On the other hand, consider the changes that were made in people's daily lives by the development of agriculture or the mariner's compass ... and by the invention of gunpowder or printing. Better yet, look at recent history and ask yourself, "What difference would it have made if Hitler had won World War II?" Of course, such a victory would have made a great difference to many people. It would have resulted in much horror, anguish, and pain. I myself would probably not have survived.
But Hitler would have died eventually, and the effects of his victory would gradually have washed out and become insignificant—in terms of real change—when compared to such advances as the actual working out of nuclear power, the advent of television, or the invention of the jet plane.
- Plowboy: You truly feel that all the major changes in history have been caused by science and technology?
- Asimov: Those that have proved permanent—the ones that affected every facet of life and made certain that mankind could never go back again—were always brought about by science and technology. In fact, the same twin "movers" were even behind the other "solely" historical changes. Why, for instance, did Martin Luther succeed, whereas other important rebels against the medieval church—like John Huss—fail? Well, Luther was successful because printing had been developed by the time he advanced his cause. So his good earthy writings were put into pamphlets and spread so far and wide that the church officials couldn't have stopped the Protestant Reformation even if they had burned Luther at the stake.
- Isaac Asimov, "Science, Technology and Space: The Isaac Asimov Interview" Pat Stone, Mother Earth News, October 1980.
- Technology and the machine resurrected San Francisco while Pompeii still slept in her ashes.
- Silas Bent, Machine Made Man, p. 326. (1930)
- It makes sense to examine Plato and pottery together in order to understand the Greek world, Descartes and the mechanical clock together in order to understand Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the same way, it makes sense to regard the computer as a technological paradigm for the science, the philosophy, even the art of the coming generation.
- Jay David Bolter, Turing's man: Western Culture in the Computer Age (1984)
- It's Supposed To Be Automatic But Actually You Have To Press This Button
- John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar (1968), "continuity (12)"
- First you use machines, then you wear machines, and then ...? Then you serve machines.
- John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar (1968), "continuity (14)"
- First we had the legs race. Then we had the arms race. Now we're going to have the brain race. And, if we're lucky, the final stage will be the human race.
- John Brunner, The Shockwave Rider (1975), Bk. 1, Ch. "The Number You Have Reached"
- Those of us concerned with developing new technology should consider ourselves to have a major undertaking to try to meet the expanding needs of the increasing number of people in the world with its finite resources and environments constraints.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry Into The Limits of the Possible (1962; revised 1973)
- No technique is possible when men are free. … Technique requires predictability and, no less, exactness of prediction. It is necessary, then, that technique prevail over the human being. For technique, this is a matter of life or death. Technique must reduce man to a technical animal, the king of the slaves of technique. Human caprice crumbles before this necessity; there can be no human autonomy in the face of technical autonomy. The individual must be fashioned by techniques, either negatively (by the techniques of understanding man) or positively (by the adaptation of man to the technical framework), in order to wipe out the blots his personal determination introduces into the perfect design of the organization.
- Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (1964), p. 138
- I'm struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity. The transfer is not paying off. Sure, muscles are unreliable, but they represent several million years of accumulated finesse. Musicians enjoy drawing on that finesse (and audiences respond to its exercise), so when muscular activity is rendered useless, the creative process is frustrated. No wonder artists who can afford the best of anything keep buying “retro” electronics and instruments, and revert to retro media.
- Brian Eno, as quoted in Wired (January 1999)
- While technology can be instrumental in closing gaps and reducing social inequality, not everyone feels invited to the party. Religious extremists, fundamentalists and racists of all sorts, find an easy foothold for spreading hatred and anger among youngsters who feel they’re missing out on the spoils of technology.
- Technology and innovation must act as a means of just social change—to reduce social gaps and inequality, to ensure that every person on this planet has a chance to enjoy the fruits thereof, and to make the world a better place.
- For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
- Richard Feynman, Rogers' Commission Report into the Challenger Crash, Appendix F - "Personal Observations on Reliability of Shuttle" (June 1986)
- Technology [is] the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.
- Max Frisch, Homo Faber (1957)
- The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday.
- Dennis Gabor, in Innovations: Scientific, Technological and Social (1970)
- Crap is the essence of innovation and technological advancement. ...It’s our human way of becoming … well … generators of more crap that helps us become more modern, productive and communicative human beings.
- Michael Scott Gallegos, "The Pompous Propensity of Poop" (Oct 10, 2010)
- Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
- Aldous Huxley Ends and Means (1937)
- We're trying to change the Kleenex mentality of technology - you buy a smartband or an Android Wear watch and next year you'll throw it away. This is a horrible world we're preparing for the next generation. We have to get away from that crazy approach, as we look at the resources left on this planet. We need to be able to create objects that are worth keeping and upgrading.
- If a sleep monitor has electrodes and wires that look like something from Frankenstein's lab, you might not wear it consistently, and the information it gathers and reports may be compromised.
- Camera-phones are like nuclear power plants: bad people will turn them into evil, good people will put them to good use.
- All technologies should be assumed guilty until proven innocent.
- Jerry Mander as cited in: Peter Lunenfeld, Snap to Grid, 2001. p. 29
- As well as Japanese animation, technology has a huge influence on Japanese society, and also Japanese novels. I think it's because before, people tended to think that ideology or religion were the things that actually changed people, but it's been proven that that's not the case. I think nowadays, technology has been proven to be the thing that's actually changing people. So in that sense, it's become a theme in Japanese culture.
- Technology presumes there's just one right way to do things and there never is.
- If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man's ethical formation, in man's inner growth, then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world.
- Joseph Ratzinger, Saved by Hope (2007), § 22
- We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
- I know that science and technology are not just cornucopias pouring good deeds out into the world. Scientists not only conceived nuclear weapons; they also took political leaders by the lapels, arguing that their nation — whichever it happened to be — had to have one first. … There’s a reason people are nervous about science and technology.
And so the image of the mad scientist haunts our world—from Dr. Faust to Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Strangelove to the white-coated loonies of Saturday morning children’s television. (All this doesn’t inspire budding scientists.) But there’s no way back. We can’t just conclude that science puts too much power into the hands of morally feeble technologists or corrupt, power-crazed politicians and decide to get rid of it. Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history. Advances in transportation, communication, and entertainment have transformed the world. The sword of science is double-edged. Rather, its awesome power forces on all of us, including politicians, a new responsibility — more attention to the long-term consequences of technology, a global and transgenerational perspective, an incentive to avoid easy appeals to nationalism and chauvinism. Mistakes are becoming too expensive.
- Carl Sagan, in "Why We Need To Understand Science" in The Skeptical Inquirer Vol. 14, Issue 3, (Spring 1990)
- We've arranged a global civilization in which the most crucial elements — transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting, profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
- Carl Sagan, in The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 2 : Science and Hope, p. 26
- The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.
- E. F. Schumacher, in Small is Beautiful (1973)
- The machine is a slave which serves to make other slaves. Such a domineering and enslaving drive may go together with the quest for human freedom. But it is difficult to liberate oneself by transferring slavery to other beings, men, animals, or machines; to rule over a population of machines subjecting the whole world means still to rule, and all rule implies acceptance of schemata of subjection.
- Gilbert Simondon, Du Mode d'existence des objet techniques (1958), p.127
- Technology … is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.
- C. P. Snow, as quoted in The New York Times (15 March 1971)
- The "hard" science-fiction writers are the ones who try to write specific stories about all that technology may do for us. More and more, these writers felt an opaque wall across the future. Once, they could put such fantasies millions of years in the future. Now they saw that their most diligent extrapolations resulted in the unknowable … soon.
- Vernor Vinge, "The Coming Technological Singularity" (1993)
- Here I had tried a straightforward extrapolation of technology, and found myself precipitated over an abyss. It’s a problem we face every time we consider the creation of intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity — a place where extrapolation breaks down and new models must be applied — and the world will pass beyond our understanding.
- Vernor Vinge, True Names and Other Dangers (1987)
- I have argued above that we cannot prevent the Singularity, that its coming is an inevitable consequence of the humans' natural competitiveness and the possibilities inherent in technology. And yet … we are the initiators. Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things. We have the freedom to establish initial conditions, make things happen in ways that are less inimical than others. Of course (as with starting avalanches), it may not be clear what the right guiding nudge really is...
- Vernor Vinge, The Coming Technological Singularity (1993)
- Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.
- Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), ch. 5
- Man has created a grandiose world of technology, of which dread and fear are often the result... Fortunately, events in the world and our way of life are not determined by technology alone.
- Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.
- Anonymous saying, this is an inversion of the third of Arthur C. Clarke's three laws : "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." It has been called "Niven's Law" and attributed to Larry Niven by some, and to Terry Pratchett by others, but without any citation of an original source in either case, and the earliest occurrence yet located is in Keystone Folklore (1984) by the Pennsylvania Folklore Society.