Thursday, August 31, 2006

defining technology

My assignment for today is to blog about anything technology related. In looking for inspiration, I started with the dictionary.

  • the science or study of the practical or industrial arts, applied sciences, etc.
  • the terms used in a science, etc.; technical terminology
  • applied science
  • a method, process, etc. for handling a specific technical problem
  • the system by which a society provides its members with those things needed or desired

Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th edition

It seems to me that most of the time we use the word technology, we mean either the 3rd or the 5th definition. I'm curious about the last one. Think about providing members of society with things that are needed or desired. I have no trouble seeing how many of the things we've studied so far fit into that definition. (I do admit to never knowing that I needed or desired a flickr chia pet, but I can acknowledge that I do not make up all of society.) But I think the true value in some of what we've looked at is the, to borrow a phrase from Anne of Green Gables, the scope for imagination that exists in so many possibilities. I think it's just knowing the stuff that is possible somehow makes a difference. Are most of ever going to use mashups as a part of our regular lives? Probably not. But how cool is it to know that if I wanted to, I could create a fake magazine cover with whatever title and photo I wanted on it. You could make some pretty cool gag gifts that way.


Post a Comment

<< Home