What is the most common element in all of science fiction? Is it being set in the future or in space? Perhaps it’s innovative plots or mind bending aliens? While all of these are important to science fiction I would argue that the most consistent element in the genre of science fiction is technology, especially technology that pushes what is currently possible or believed.
To highlight technology in science fiction and science fact I will be authoring a series of posts on the development of technology throughout history, into the present day, and into the foreseeable and perhaps not so foreseeable future.
The etymology of the word technology comes from the greek and means the study of an art, craft, or skill. One definition of technology is that it is a developed and refined technique or tool that increases what we can produce through an art, craft, or skill.
I would argue that while this definition is certainly true technology is also something more than that. Especially in the modern day technology has become a set of tools that define us and not only change what we can do, but alter the very way that we live our lives and form our communities.
Some view technology as a Pandora’s box that dehumanizes our relationships and society. From that perspective technology is artificial and against our human nature. It can only corrupt even under the best of intentions. Others argue that technology, like any tool or construct, is not inherently bad or good, but rather can be used by anyone for both good and bad purposes depending on their perspective and culture. Of course there are many other views and distinctions concerning technology some of which I hope to explore as I write these posts. I will try to post about two a week throughout the rest of the summer beginning with stone age technologies and moving through history to the modern day.