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What do you consider to be the purpose of technologies?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:51 pm
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What do you consider to be the purpose of technologies? 
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Post What do you consider to be the purpose of technologies?   Posted on: Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:51 pm
This question to me seems to be relevant in this section. The reason is that some posts seem to ask "Why look for a solution for this purpose or problem? It already is solved".

To ask such aquestion is important and a good and positive thing because it controls the direction the ressources for development are going to to some degree. And we never could develop all technologies desired in parallel - we always have to select.

Those who ask the question in quotes may consider the purpose of technologies to solve technical problems. This is the initial purpose of the historical beginning of technological process.

But what about these additional purposes?

2. Enabling the use of additional ressources by new alternative technologies for the same already solved technical problem.

3. Reduction of ressource consumption for a given number of services, machines etc.

4. Improvement of existing solutions

5. Removal of polluting effects

6. Consumption of polluting chemicals

...

What purposes do you miss in this list? The list applies to nearly all threads of this section. What purposes do you have in mind and what effects has it on the contents of your posts?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:08 pm
The main purpose of technology is to make life easier for mankind and improve its general health and life expectancy.

Technology is a tool to help us advance.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:53 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
The main purpose of technology is to make life easier for mankind and improve its general health and life expectancy.

Technology is a tool to help us advance.


I'd rephrase that as "general quality of life", but otherwise spot on.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:46 am
main purpose might be that, but it seems that technology is instead being used to rapidly kill us off the face of earth... which is why i'm trying to get to the moon or mars as soon as possible :lol:

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:14 am
The American-Heritage Dictionary says:

"The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives. "

Which is exactly what all this is being used for, although advancing the quality of living is a nice thought as well. Unfortunately the government, the biggest employers of technology, rarely have the thought of promoting welfare, they are usually just destroying someone else's...

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:05 am
eraurocktchick87 wrote:
Unfortunately the government, the biggest employers of technology, rarely have the thought of promoting welfare, they are usually just destroying someone else's...


Technology is a two edged sword, it can take us to the stars or alternatively it can bring on Armageddon. Hopefully space will help humanity exploit the peaceful uses of technology by keeping it de-militarised as much as possible..

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:00 pm
All the answers are very good and interesting - they are real philosophic ones.

There are reasons why I listed several concrete purposes: I observed people talking here to each other while posting under different aspects - and the difference hasn't been recognized. That caused no problems but the discussion and debates may go on much more creatively und effeciently if each one here can read or clarify in this thread which aspects he has in mind.

I myself sometimes have in mind the solution of a problem not solved that moment - other times I have in mind a new solution of a problem already solved because the new solution may provide technical advantages. Other times again I have in mind a new solution that is of interest beacsue of economical advantages only - and so on.

This thread is intended to improve communication and understanding each other in this section.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:19 pm
There's an old allegory that seems to fit here: Karate students are trained, over the period of their tuition, to be able to kill and maim with their bare hands. However, by the time they are done learning, they have also acquired the mental and emotional discipline to use their skills only as a last-ditch resort of self-defense.

Technological research works much the same way: as we develop new technologies, we have greater capability to do good, and greater capability to do harm. Take nanotechnology, for example: nanomachines, properly programmed, can float around inside a person's bloodstream, repairing damage, destroying cancerous cells, fighting off disease, and many other things. On the other hand, nanomachines, properly (and much more simply) programmed, can reduce a human being to a small puddle of sticky wet goo in a matter of seconds by separating the carbon from our bodies. They can either destroy all life on the face of the Earth, or allow us to extend our lifespans several times.

The difference between karate and technology is that with technology, you are never forced to acquire the mental and emotional discipline before you are allowed to use it.

It has, on occaison, been likened to giving a machine-pistol to a mentally-challenged child (idiot was the old word for it).

"We must be careful" is a rather slight understatement.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:58 pm
That was a good wheeze.

DKH

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