Technology is the rational process of creating means to order and transform matter, energy, and information for realizing valued ends. It encompasses both the tools, devices, systems, methods and procedures that enable such transformations — from toothbrushes to transportation systems — as well as the knowledge that makes them possible.
It’s also an indispensable part of modern business, whether it’s facilitating collaboration and communication with remote employees or providing customers with a smoother shopping experience. But many businesses are not taking full advantage of the potential for tech to boost their bottom line.
As technology grows in popularity and scales, it tends to prioritize certain paths and neglect others. For example, when TVs became popular, they exponentially scaled the behavior of zoning out in front of a screen, hypnotized by constant visual stimulation. In the same way, when digital cameras proliferated, they deprioritized the analogue photography pathway and its associated behaviors: the inefficient but gratifying practice of physically retouching images for hours in darkrooms.
Technology has become an integral part of both our personal and professional lives, but it’s important to recognize its limitations. The goal of technology is to optimize the use of finite resources, but in doing so it must inherently exclude other routes and ends that could equally efficiently route those resources. This is why it is not enough to simply follow science; technology must be developed by people who reason through contingencies, constraints and specificities and choose which kind of future will actually materialize from the infinite possibilities that science can offer us.