To what extent are tools, inventions, discoveries or implements not the drivers of history?
Or are technologies driven by both non-technological events and adaptive techniques based on new discoveries that alter the existing knowledge of materials that together alter what emerges as technical advances?
compass and clocks
algebra & trigonometry
The combined influences of two or more contributions is greater than the mere sum of their impacts.
This is the definition of synergy, referred to by Pacey about iron and engines.
Pursell -- Technology is "creative in that it gives definition to what is already present , but inchoate." p. 66.
Related parts form a complex whole possessing distinct characteristics.
Techniques are a distinguishing ingredient determining if our knowledge of the world succeeds or fails in controlling the technology on which we rely.
Postman -- some applications are more equal than the inventions that sustain discovery, i.e. printing, compass, gunpowder, and clocks. The emergence of technopoly eclipsed technocracy.
“In a technocracy, tools play a central role in the thought–world of a culture.” p. 28.
Pacey -- the three innovations of Maurice of Nassau where an applied technique that had great impacts. p. 98--99.
Eberhart -- Though the knowledge of early metallurgists was gained through trial and error ...their art was tied to the ability to inhibit dislocation motion." p. 50.