Technology tree

may be thought of as an existing set of conditions

requiring contingency plans.


impacts | five powers of technology | time | summary


The power of some technical inventions to reorganize our world: Five ages are identified with the underlying material of which tools were made.

Technological changes have been used to divide our past into periods.

  Periods approximate start dominant tool complexes
I Stone Age 10,000 BC hand ax, edible plants,domestic cattle, pigs, fire, bone
II Bronze Age 5000 BC copper smelting, wood fuel, forges, horses
III Iron Age 1000 BC charcoal fuels, olive oil, rice wine, hot metal forges, canals
IV Mechanical Age 1543 clocks, textiles, steam engines, coal & coke fuels, railways
V Information Age 1953 electricity, radio, telecommunications, satellites, airplanes

impacts | five powers of technology | time | summary



Technology is a material manifestation of dominant ideas, practices and institutions with varied means and powers to solve problems that serve a human purpose.

Technology influences our characterization of appropriate gender roles.

Laws of Technology reveal the power of certain tools and discoveries to alter the measure of our surrounding world, experience and values: sundials, clocks, watches, computers.

Technologies in the contemporary world, based on a mechanistic view of reality where machines alter our behavior "aims to remake nature and compel us to live entirely in a technical milieu." For example: automobiles, telecommunications, film, automatic rifles.

impacts | five powers of technology | time | summary



Technological change has reorganized our ideas of space, time and appropriate behavior, offering humankind a great choice to either adapt and learn, or remain powerless and enslaved by our self-satisfied ignorance of nature, history and one another's needs.

In German gestalt psychology, which deals with how we perceive whole or related experiences, theorists suggest there are three worlds in which we reside:

Technology alters all of these worlds:


The Two Cultures

Pursell | Pacey–World | Postman | Head | Tenner |Pacey–meaning| Eberhart | Snow | Kaku | Boulding | Delillo | Kranzberg

| Postman–Tech | Postman–Television |

Related pages


impacts | five powers of technology | time | summary



"We are what we use."