The Purpose of Technology

Each day, millions of people spend 8 or more hours attempting to improve the technology they sell or use. Technology impacts many aspects of life, from entertainment to warfare. At times, I see the products which are being produced, and I feel as though the essence of technology has been forgotten. Unfortunately, I do not think that most engineers take time to consider the reasons why people demand the technology we make, or how technology impacts culture as a whole.

In fact, the question of the purpose of technology is discussed in more depth by social scientists and critical theorists than by the people who actually build things. It is remarkable how little interest this conversation inspires among the engineers I have met.

At this point in time, I have not taken a chance to study the topic in any detail - at all. Today, I am speaking strictly from the gut-feeling I have in regard to the question.

I like to believe that the ideal purpose of technology is to enhance the lives of all conscious beings. This ranges from simplifying daily tasks to improving transportation, or providing solutions to illness.

It is obvious today that technology is often used for tasks which do not support the ideal purpose I came up with.

I am not sure that, even if there were a wider discussion of the purpose of technology among engineers, if there would be any significant change. The fact is that, in many cases, negative ideologies actively give motivation to people to build machines which harm the planet or even other people. Although technology helps shape the future, it is ideologies which decide the techonology we invest in.