Click on a title below to access the article in this Special Report.
Thinking About Technology
As the pace of technological change quickens, its impact on human life intensifies. Who is the servant, and who the master?
Illustration by Emiko Ozaki/The World & I
Introduction Technology is one of the most important topics in human affairs, although we usually think of it only when something breaks down. There ...
The Meaning of Technology Technology is among the most important and confused topics in the national conversation. It rarely appears on the official agenda, yet it is at issue in all significant debates. Occasionally it surfaces with some explicitness. Newt Gingrich has declared his love of it; the Unabomber professes to hate it. But do they have the same thing in mind when they talk about technology? One suspects that partly they do and partly they don't. Some clarification of the meaning of technology is surely needed. ...
On Behalf of Humanity: The Technological Edge A rational examination of technology needs to begin with a
recognition of its role in the living world. We find that long
before humans arose on this planet, its life forms manipulated
their environments in all manner of ways that we still see
much in evidence today, in beaver dams and spider webs and
bird nests. Indeed, technology is a fundamental strategy of
life itself, not only responding to external environments but
reshaping them on behalf of the organisms it serves. ...