A brief history of mankind and our technology throughout the years

Technology Technology and Cultures Knowing what technology will form bizexpansion at a 10 year period will better help you plan for the future. That Intuit and the Institute for the Future conducted a forecast examining how technology can affect and how these businesses can change society and economy. Their research was published in as a three-part series known as "Intuit Future of Small Business Report.

A brief history of mankind and our technology throughout the years

The chief new sources of power were the… General considerations Essentially, techniques are methods of creating new tools and products of tools, and the capacity for constructing such artifacts is a determining characteristic of humanlike species.

Other species make artifacts: But these attributes are the result of patterns of instinctive behaviour and cannot be varied to suit rapidly changing circumstances. Humanity, in contrast with other species, does not possess highly developed instinctive reactions but does have the capacity to think systematically and creatively about techniques.

Humans can thus innovate and consciously modify the environment in a way no other species has achieved. An ape may on occasion use a stick to beat bananas from a tree, but a man can fashion the stick into a cutting tool and remove a whole bunch of bananas.

Somewhere in the transition between the two, the hominid, the first manlike species, emerges. By virtue of his nature as a toolmaker, man is therefore a technologist from the beginning, and the history of technology encompasses the whole evolution of humankind.

In using rational faculties to devise techniques and modify the environment, humankind has attacked problems other than those of survival and the production of wealth with which the term technology is usually associated today.

The technique of language, for example, involves the manipulation of sounds and symbols in a meaningful way, and similarly the techniques of artistic and ritual creativity represent other aspects of the technological incentive.

This article does not deal with these cultural and religious techniques, but it is valuable to establish their relationship at the outset because the history of technology reveals a profound interaction between the incentives and opportunities of technological innovation on the one hand and the sociocultural conditions of the human group within which they occur on the other.

Social involvement in technological advances An awareness of this interaction is important in surveying the development of technology through successive civilizations. To simplify the relationship as much as possible, there are three points at which there must be some social involvement in technological innovation: In default of any of these factors it is unlikely that a technological innovation will be widely adopted or be successful.

The sense of social need must be strongly felt, or people will not be prepared to devote resources to a technological innovation. The thing needed may be a more efficient cutting tool, a more powerful lifting device, a laboursaving machineor a means of utilizing new fuels or a new source of energy.

Or, because military needs have always provided a stimulus to technological innovation, it may take the form of a requirement for better weapons.

In modern societies, needs have been generated by advertising. Whatever the source of social need, it is essential that enough people be conscious of it to provide a market for an artifact or commodity that can meet the need.

Social resources are similarly an indispensable prerequisite to a successful innovation. Many inventions have foundered because the social resources vital for their realization—the capital, materials, and skilled personnel—were not available.

The notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci are full of ideas for helicopters, submarines, and airplanes, but few of these reached even the model stage because resources of one sort or another were lacking.

A brief history of mankind and our technology throughout the years

The resource of capital involves the existence of surplus productivity and an organization capable of directing the available wealth into channels in which the inventor can use it.

The resource of materials involves the availability of appropriate metallurgical, ceramic, plasticor textile substances that can perform whatever functions a new invention requires of them. The resource of skilled personnel implies the presence of technicians capable of constructing new artifacts and devising novel processes.

A society, in short, has to be well primed with suitable resources in order to sustain technological innovation. A sympathetic social ethos implies an environment receptive to new ideas, one in which the dominant social groups are prepared to consider innovation seriously. Such receptivity may be limited to specific fields of innovation—for example, improvements in weapons or in navigational techniques—or it may take the form of a more generalized attitude of inquiry, as was the case among the industrial middle classes in Britain during the 18th century, who were willing to cultivate new ideas and inventors, the breeders of such ideas.

Whatever the psychological basis of inventive genius, there can be no doubt that the existence of socially important groups willing to encourage inventors and to use their ideas has been a crucial factor in the history of technology.

Social conditions are thus of the utmost importance in the development of new techniques, some of which will be considered below in more detail.

It is worthwhile, however, to register another explanatory note. This concerns the rationality of technology.


It has already been observed that technology involves the application of reason to techniques, and in the 20th century it came to be regarded as almost axiomatic that technology is a rational activity stemming from the traditions of modern science.

Nevertheless, it should be observed that technology, in the sense in which the term is being used here, is much older than science, and also that techniques have tended to ossify over centuries of practice or to become diverted into such para-rational exercises as alchemy.

The modern philosophy of progress cannot be read back into the history of technology; for most of its long existence technology has been virtually stagnant, mysterious, and even irrational.Our teams continue to test and roll out new technology and services that make our supply chain faster and more efficient.

In June, we open a new distribution facility in Perth Amboy, N.J., to test how we move product faster and more efficiently in . To ask other readers questions about A Brief History of Mankind, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Brief History of Mankind Takes us from pre-human history to just before the Crash (how Aydon must have cursed cruel Fate) ending with what seemed then 'The Irish Miracle /5.

A Brief History of Space Exploration The development of ballistic missiles, first used by Germany toward the end of World War II, paved the way for the launch vehicles that would fuel a space race between the Soviet Union and the United States.

33 reviews for A Brief History of Humankind online course. About 2 million years ago our human ancestors were insignificant animals living in a corner of Africa. Their .

A brief history of mankind and our technology throughout the years

Below is the history of technology based on different ages. Stone Age During the Stone Age which roughly lasted about million years ago as humans started to develop at about BC which began the Bronze Age during which several technologies developed. The purpose of this review is to inform anyone interested in this book that the other book written by Aydon, The Story of Man (ISBN ), is the same as this book, A Brief History of Mankind/5(8).

History of technology - Wikipedia