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Portal:Technology

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Introduction

A steam turbine with the case opened. Such turbines produce most of the electricity used today. Electricity consumption and living standards are highly correlated. Electrification is believed to be the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century.

Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings.

The simplest form of technology is the development and use of basic tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the later Neolithic Revolution increased the available sources of food, and the invention of the wheel helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale.

Technology has many effects. It has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment. Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions of the ethics of technology. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, and the challenges of bioethics.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition.

Selected general articles

Selected images

In the news

3 January 2019 – 14th Street Tunnel shutdown
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces that a complete shutdown of the 14th Street Tunnel in New York City, proposed to allow for subway repairs caused by damage from Hurricane Sandy, has been halted. Cuomo says that engineers will use a new technology from Europe to make critical repairs to the tunnel without having to close it entirely. The complete shutdown would have closed the tunnel, which is used by nearly 225,000 people each weekday, for an expected 15 months. (New York Times)
18 December 2018 – Transportation in Los Angeles
Elon Musk opens the 1.6km-long Boring Test Tunnel in Hawthorne, California, which is designed to demonstrate technology that will transport cars at high speeds below the city. (BBC)

Selected emerging technologies and related topics

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